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Linda Toote | July August 2009

Lifetime Achievement Award
    Sir James Galway is the sole recipient of this prestigious award for his contributions and global influence on the flute community. Celebrating his 70th year, Galway has a prominent presence in several important events. On Friday evening he plays a recital in the Broadway Ballroom, highlighting the music of Philippe Gaubert. Later in the program, James and Jeanne Galway perform the premiere of a work for two flutes and string quartet by New York composer Mark Adamo.
    Join the Galways in an attempt to break the world record for the largest gathering of flutists. The record, 1,701, is currently held by the German Flute Society. All are welcome in this workshop, culminating in a new work written in four-part harmony for mass flute choir. Commissioned by James Galway, the piece includes excerpts from his favorite pieces. Download the music and follow the instructions on Lady Jeanne Galway’s website:
    There is also a Saturday class for college-aged flutists, “An Introduction to the Art of Flute Playing as Seen by James Galway,” and a Sunday masterclass for high school students led by Jeanne Galway.

Opening Night

    This concert includes a multi-disciplinary work for musician/dancer New York’s Zara Lawler; Paul Edmund-Davies performs a jazz-inflected work by Mike Mower; and Denis Bouriakov, the newly-appointed principal of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, introduces his virtuosic transcription of the Sibelius Violin concerto.  
    On the same program, Flute Force performs an ethereal, antiphonal work by Joseph Schwantner, and La Scala principal flutist David Formisano performs for an NFA audience for the first time. Jeffrey Khaner, principal of the Philadelphia Orchestra, premieres a work by Jonathan Leshnoff, and New York contemporary specialist Patricia Spencer premieres a work by Shirish Korde with tabla virtuoso, Samir Chatterjee. There is something for everyone on this eclectic program.
Concerto Gala
    Saturday’s concert is anything but typical. William Bennett performs his transcription of the C.P.E. Bach Concerto in D major, a work that C.P.E. transcribed for keyboard; Bennett has returned it to its original format. Robert Dick performs the N.F.A.-commissioned premiere of Pan Penseroso by Yale and Julliard composer Martin Bresnick, and the     “Paganini of the Piccolo”, Jean-Louis Beau-madier plays Andersen’s Moto Perpetuo. Blink and you might miss it.
    Eric Ewazen’s Concerto for Flute performed by Boston Symphony principal Elizabeth Rowe is also on the program. Written for Julius Baker, it has never been heard by N.F.A. audiences. Lastly, Matthias Ziegler performs with flute, contrabass flute, and membrane flutes on the concerto NOLA by Tajik composer Benjamin Yusupov.
Workshops and Classes
    Workshops and classes are offered by Ian Clarke, Matthias Ziegler (extended techniques and electrification), Linda Chesis (for amateurs 30+), Michael Parloff (orchestral excerpts), and Geralyn Coticone (piccolo). Two “Composers on Composers” masterclasses illuminate the work of six flutist/composers, each coaching their own composition – a definitive crash course in the styles of Ian Clarke, Robert Dick, John Heiss, Katherine Hoover, Gary Schocker, and Elizabeth Brown.
    These days, who has time to waste? Trevor Wye, Patricia George, and Paul Edmund-Davies teach us how to be more efficient with our time for warm-ups, practicing, and getting the job done. Lisa Fahlstrom provides targeted strategies for amateurs. 
    Lew Tabackin offers a masterclass, and Jamie Baum gives a seminar on improvisation. Matthias Ziegler leads a class on contemporary techniques through improvisation, and Baroque specialists Linda Pereksta, Jan Boland, Wendy Rolfe, Michael Lynn, and Christopher Krueger invite you for an initial lesson on these fascinating instruments.
Premieres, Electronics, and Chamber Music
    A partial list of 2009 premieres includes new material from Jonathan Berger, Paul Schoenfield, Glen Cortese, Joseph Schwantner, Gary Schocker, Katherine Hoover, and Jonathan Leshnoff, variously performed by Carol Wincenc, Carl Hall, Brad Garner, Alexa Still, Gary Schocker, Mimi Stillman, and Jeffrey Khaner.
    Two concerts of music for Flute and Electronics/Multi Media will charge your batteries, and chamber music abounds: Sandra Church and Mindy Kaufman from the New York Philharmonic, the DaCapo Chamber Players, Areon Flutes, Azure, and Janus are just a few of the dynamic ensembles presenting in New York.
    A concert of up-and-coming flutists includes last year’s Young Artist Competition winner, Daniel Velasco, Alena Lugovkina, and the N.F.A. debut of 9-year-old Emma Resmini. Although the work of Georg Phillip Telemann is certainly familiar, you have probably never heard a performance of the collected duets for 11 pairs of flutes in a marathon session or Teleman-athon lasting nearly six hours.
Headliner Concerts
    Headliner concerts include performances by international flutists Gergely Ittzes, Carlo Jans, Shigenori Kudo, Matej Zupan, Jean Ferrandis, Bulent Evcil, Alexa Still, Raffaele Trevisani, French master flutist Maxence Larrieu, and German flute quintet, Quintessenz. They will be joined by colleagues from this side of the pond: Fenwick Smith, Mark Sparks, Marya Martin, Susan Hoeppner, Carl Hall, Mimi Stillman, and the N.F.A. Professional Flute Choir, which premieres a work by Robert Aitken.
Sit, Be Still, and Breathe
    As usual, there are several events on physical and mental health. As well as the traditional yoga and Alexander Technique classes, the convention includes seminars on bio-feedback, the maturing flutist, exercise programs, injury prevention, and Body Mapping. There is even a demonstration of benefits from the Nintendo Wii for improving posture and balance.
    There are also seminars on motivation, persistence and resilience, self-talk strategies, and confidence building. A complete listing of all events and presenters is available at

Jazz & Late Night
    You won’t have to leave the hotel for great jazz. Daily afternoon concerts  begin on Thursday with Billy Kerr, followed by Holly Hoffmann on Friday,  Lew Tabackin on Saturday, and Jamie Baum on Sunday. 
    Great jazz continues into the night with the legendary Paquito D’Rivera Thursday night and New York sensation Anne Drummond on Friday – both performing at the N.F.A. for the first time.
    The Jazz Flute Big Band led by Ali Ryerson plays on Saturday night. Jazz is not the only late-night offering however. Led by Trevor Wye, 58 professional flutists perform a polyphonic feast of Thomas Tallis on Thursday evening after the Opening Night concert. Late on Friday you can join Celtic flutists in an informal Irish Jam Session.
Spotlight On Composers
    Beyond the “Composers on Composers” panels, Lowell Lieber­mann, Martin Amlin, and John Heiss present concerts of their flute repertoire. Individual recitals feature Denis Bouriakov, Carol Wincenc, Jean-Louis Beaumadier, Ian Clarke, Paul Edmund-Davies, and Gergely Ittzes.

Early Music
    As well as the biennial Baroque Artist Competition, Rachel Brown offers a class and workshop on the era of Johann Quantz and Frederick the Great. N.F.A. newcomer Kate Clark explores the Renaissance flute with British lutenist Nigel North, and Stephen Preston presents the traverso flute as never heard before, with an exceptionally varied unaccompanied program that spans four centuries. 

Get Smart
    Flute teachers across the country recharge their pedagogical batteries at flute conventions each year. This year they can attend several round table discussions on such topics as teaching tips, level-appropriate repertoire, the correlations between singing and playing, music theory, and running a studio as a business. When it’s time for a breather, “Song and Wind” focuses on the breathing techniques of Arnold Jacobs, long-time tubist of the Chicago Symphony.
    History buffs can hear Nancy Toff’s presentation and historic recordings in “Flutists of the New York Philhar-monic and New York Symphony.” Robert Bigio, editor of the British Publication Pan, speaks on former flute makers Rudall, Rose and Carte, Andra Bohnet discusses Irish Clinton Flutes, and Barbara Hopkins looks at 19th-Century Hopkins flutes.
    Sandy Schwoebel talks about the N.F.A. library, an invaluable resource for members, William Bennett, Bouriakov, and friends take an in-depth look at Paul Taffanel based on the new scholarship from Edward Blakeman, and a panel of writers talk about preparing articles for consideration by publishers.  Christine Cleary and Karen Lonsdale share strategies for the free-lance flutist and offer a workshop on grant writing.
    The panel on college admissions moderated by John Wion will be of interest to those pondering their future education, and a trio of flutists from the West Point Band perform and speak about musical careers in the military. Maria Schimpf and Jennifer Townsend discuss careers in Music Therapy, and Hae Won Shin presents “From Julius Baker’s Rack” a class that shares the fascinating contents of Baker’s notes from his lessons with William Kincaid.
    Have you always wanted to know who was playing the pan pipes in the Lion King? Get a sneak peak into the theater world as several flutists speak about their lives as doublers in Broadway orchestra pits.
    We will celebrate the careers, pedagogy, and contributions of Louis Moyse, Francis Blaisdell, and Thomas Nyfenger with individual sessions dedicated to these memorable figures. The Remembrance and Healing concert includes several works written to commemorate the events of 9/11 in New York City.

Ethnic Music
    New York’s ethnic diversity is reflected in concerts and workshops on Irish music and the Shakuhachi flute. Twenty flute choirs representing Iceland, France, Venezuela, Australia, and others will perform, and Adrianne Greenbaum and her ensemble FleytMuzik plays Klezmer music from Eatern Europe in the closing ceremonies.
    This overview of the convention is only a partial listing of what you will find at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square this August 13th – 16th. Visit for more details on all of these events and many others. You should also take this opportunity to explore one of the world’s great cities with infinite possibilities that are merely footsteps away. Just don’t get in so late that oversleep and miss the 8:00 a.m. events.