Piccolo Events in Charlotte

Cynthia Ellis | July August 2011

   Every year, members of the National Flute Association meet to recharge their creative batteries and immerse themselves in four days of all things flute. Piccolo enthusiasts have many offerings to enjoy this year, including a plethora of exciting performances by national and international piccolo artists.
   Erinn Freshette will perform on two recitals on August 14. She will play with The South Carolina Society Stars at 9 am and on the Charlotte Symphony Flutists, Past and Present recital later in the day. Freshette joined the Charlotte Symphony as piccolo/third flute in 2002 and is the only person to win both the Young Artist and Piccolo Artist Competitions.
   Two premieres of piccolo works will be played by Lois Bliss Herbine, including Daniel Dorff’s new work Tweet. The four and a half minute work will be heard Saturday evening at 6. Herbine writes that the piece has “a full quarter-note melody with flourishing grace notes that contrast with an ascending sixteenth-note sotto voce secondary theme. The middle section contrasts a ‘secretly tiptoeing’ staccato melody with interjecting forte descending runs. It also contains a jazzy interlude.”
   Herbine will also premier a yet untitled three-movement work by Cynthia Folio on a recital dedicated to Folio’s compositions August 13th at 9:30 am. Cynthia Folio is Associate Professor at Temple University and has released two CDs as flutist/composer. Folio’s program notes about the work state that “the piece will explore the colors and psychological associations that we have with the piccolo.”
   Matjaz Debeljak will perform in the United States for the first time. Matjaz is a piccolo and flute player in the Slovene National Theatre Opera and Ballet in Ljubljana and has also played in the Slovene Police Orchestra for thirteen years. He has performed in many recitals in Slovenia and Croatia. Matjaz will perform on the High Frequency Concert dedicated to works for the piccolo on August 12 at 12:30. He will be performing works by Slovenian composers Kumar, Krivokapic and Kopac. The Kumar composition, Graphitts, was dedicated to Matjaz and is very humorous. The final composition by Kopac is very virtuosic featuring double tonguing passages. 
   Mary Ann Archer will also perform on the High Frequency’s recital, performing the Sonata in E minor for violin by J. S. Bach, David Loeb’s Reflections on Sephardic Melodies for solo piccolo, Fritz Kreisler’s Tambourin Chinois and Nazareth’s Brazilian Rags for piano. The last two works, as well as the Bach sonata, were arranged by Archer, as this concert is dedicated to piccolo music borrowed from other lands and instruments. Archer was flutist/piccoloist with The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra from 1977-2003. She now lives on the campus of Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia and performs with area orchestras.
   The NFA’s newly commissioned work Sonata For the Piccolo for Piccolo and Piano by Jean-Michel Damase will be performed by Jean-Louis Beaumadier. The new work was completed in November 2010 and will be included on the required repertory list for the 2012 NFA Piccolo Artist Competition. The work is written in the 1960s French style, much like Poulenc’s writing. According to Beaumadier “This style of writing was considered to be outdated, but now, it has regained in popularity once more and is considered to be a very fresh and novel way of writing.” Beaumadier will also perform another work by Damase called Insects. Beaumadier states that “you can imagine several different stories with insects in this work…Damase discovered that with me, piccolo can be a solo instrument.” Beaumadier performed as piccolo soloist with the National Orchestra of France for twelve years and has appeared as guest soloist with many orchestras in France, Caracas, Brussels and Vienna besides performing recitals internationally as well. He has recorded twenty CD’s including The Golden Age of Piccolo featuring works of Eugene Damare, which earned the International Grand Prize from the Charles Cros Academy.
   You will not want to miss the rich array of performances for piccolo this August. I look forward to seeing you there.