Meet Tutti Violin, Amy Furfaro

What inspired you to become a professional musician, and how did your journey lead you to join the West Australian Symphony Orchestra?
I have always loved making music with friends. I started violin lessons with my two best friends who learned from their grandmother. Our families used to go on holidays together and start the day with violin practice/trio, before getting down to the serious business of mucking about on bikes or the beach.

In late high school, my passion for ballet and violin came into direct conflict: I had to choose between playing with the Melbourne Youth Orchestra or dancing in Swan Lake with my ballet school, in their joint production. In the end, the choice was made for me - if I didn’t play, I couldn’t be in the orchestra. I loved it and I haven’t looked back since!

The incredible tutors and experiences on National Music Camps, Australian Youth Orchestra Programmes, the VCA and ANAM, as well as attending many MSO and ACO performances, all helped cement my determination to become an orchestral musician. There is nothing quite like the thrill of being in the middle of that massive symphonic sound.

The network of friends I made through all my studies meant that when I wanted to return to Australia after studying and working in the UK, and with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, Perth was a great place to land. From the first rehearsal I played with WASO (as a casual), it was a goal to get a permanent job with them!


Are there any particular pieces or performances you're excited to be a part of in 2024?
I’m excited to have the opportunity to play Mahler 8 for the first time later this year, as well as the selections from the Ring Cycle in June. This is a huge repertoire that doesn’t come around very frequently. Along the way, there are many highlights including working with soloists from within the orchestra, working with conductor Umberto Clerici again, and premiering another work by composer Holly Harrison – her piece Hi Vis that we played last year was so much fun to learn and play!


Outside of your professional career what are your hobbies or interests?
For relaxation, I love reading detective fiction, as well as getting out and about on my bike and being part of a community garden. This year I’d like to explore more of Perth’s beautiful bike path network. I also like to get crafty, whether drawing or learning to sew. 

If you could perform with any historical figure, musician, or even fictional character, who would it be and why?
This one is really tough – there are so many to choose from. Stephane Grappelli, David Oistrakh and Ginette Neveu are my violin idols so they’d have to be in the mix, but perhaps more to speak to than play alongside. Having said that, I think it would have been amazing to be part of the orchestra for the premiere of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. It was such challenging listening for audiences at the time that it ended in a riot!