"Grace, flawless technique, and a thrilling energy--Nicole Riner is the whole package." --Seattle Weekly
"Exuberant playing that made the concert go by in a flash. At the end I wanted more, more, MORE!"--Rapid City Journal
"Riner's sound is luscious and full, like Paula Robison's or Marina Piccinini's. She is clearly undaunted by the challenge of recording a thoroughly demanding program. I especially relish the playing in the final movement of the Feld Sonata. This recording is a gem."--American Record Guide
"She made contemporary music accessible, and even fun!" -- Casper Star-Tribune
"...an exquisite display of colors available on the flute...exemplary performances" -- David DeBoor Canfield, Fanfare Magazine
"Thank you for what you are doing for my music!" -- composer Dave Deason
"Beautiful and inspiring playing, Nicole. It was an honor to have you premiere my Rhapsody."--composer Richard Faith
"I loved your performance and was gratified by the audience response. I am so fortunate to have enjoyed a premiere at your incredibly capable musical hands."--composer Randall Shinn
Interview with Justine Estes, Black Hills Chamber Music Society Newsletter:
JE: What or who was the most important influence in you decision to study music? Why?
NR: Most of my family members played instruments as a hobby, and we always had a diverse collection of music playing in the house when I grew up. So, I never imagined not playing an instrument--for me, it was only a question of which one. When I got to college, I thought it was impractical to major in music and so I didn't, at first. I was majoring in Russian and Eastern European languages and wanted to be an interpreter, but I found the coursework boring and kind of easy. I was taking flute lessons on the side with the amazing Jan Boland, and she suggested I try a theory class for fun. I loved it. I think what brought me back to music permanently was the fact that it is so challenging, and there is always a new level to conquer. I will be learning how to be a better musician for the rest of my life, and I love that.
JE: When choosing repertoire, what is it about a piece of music that inspires you to want to perform it?
NR: Well, this is kind of a problem for me, actually! I sometimes find music boring to listen to, but when I'm playing it on my flute, I am never bored, so I will play anything! I particularly like surprising harmonies, a beautiful melody, and a lot of athleticism (covering all ranges and demanding a high level of technique). Because I like to play everything, I sometimes worry that I am not choosing interesting pieces because I don't have the perspective of an audience member, so I often play things for friends and family and ask them if they like it before programming it.
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