Oregon Symphony principal flute Martha Conwell Long, a native of Chapel Hill, NC, began flute lessons at the age of 8. She attended the Colburn School in Los Angeles, where she studied with the renowned Jim Walker and was the first wind player to receive a Bachelor of Music degree. As an undergraduate Martha won first place at the Mid-South Flute Society Young Artist Competition and the Pittsburgh Flute Club Young Artist Concerto Competition and placed in the National Flute Association’s Orchestral Audition and Masterclass Competition. She was also a two-time winner in the NFA’s Masterclass Performer Competition and a winner of the NFA’s Baroque Masterclass Competition.
Martha’s interest in orchestral playing became stronger while in Los Angeles, where she performed with the Young Musicians Foundation Debut Orchestra and the American Youth Symphony, two pre-professional training orchestras. She continued her orchestral studies during the summers, most notably at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. During her final year at Colburn, Martha was named principal flute of the Fort Collins Symphony in Colorado, a position that she held for three seasons during college and graduate school.
Martha continued her studies at the New England Conservatory in Boston, where she completed a Graduate Diploma as a student of Elizabeth Rowe, principal flute of the Boston Symphony. She spent two summers as an orchestral fellow at Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts and was invited to return for a third summer as a New Fromm Player, working closely with the composition fellows and focusing on the study and performance of contemporary music.
After graduating from the New England Conservatory, Martha became principal flute of the San Antonio Symphony in Texas. During her four years in San Antonio, she performed concertos by J.S. Bach, W.A. Mozart, and G.P. Telemann with the orchestra. In addition, Martha worked closely with the Youth Orchestras of San Antonio, founding and directing the YOSA Flute Choir, coaching wind sectionals for the orchestras, and teaching at YOSA’s Summer Symphony Camp. During the summer of 2015, Martha returned to Tanglewood for a fourth summer as a New Fromm Player and was a prize winner at the NFA’s Young Artist Competition.
Martha joined the Oregon Symphony at the beginning of the 2016-2017 season. During her first season, she performed Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Wind Instruments with her colleagues under the baton of Maestro Hans Graf. Outside of the orchestra, she is a member of the 45th Parallel Universe and the Arcturus Quintet.
In the summer Martha teaches at several different camps for middle- and high-school students, and she serves as principal flute of the Oregon Bach Festival. She maintains a small private teaching studio, coaches local youth orchestras, and coordinates the NFA’s Orchestral Audition Competition.
Martha plays on a handmade Powell flute and is a Powell Artist. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, playing Boggle, and hiking with her fiancé Nick and their chocolate lab, Molly.