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Orchestral Flute Blog

Claudia Stein: Interview, Oct ’17

I had the good fortune whilst still at a special music school to meet composers and literally ‘grow up with them’, so that contemporary music was a natural part of my background. When I was 15, my classmate John Rausek wrote a piece dedicated to me. Later on I developed a close relationship to the composition…

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Mario Caroli: Interview Sep ’17

Do you approach learning contemporary music with the same principles as for something earlier? Yes, of course! I never make differences between the 'repertoire' and the new pieces, and maybe this approach makes it new and refreshing. I play a lot of contemporary music...

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Peter Lukas-Graf: Interview Jun ’17

What inspired you to play the flute? As a little schoolboy I played treble recorder like everybody. By looking for a real instrument my parents proposed a "real flute" a Böhm-flute.   Who were your musical inspirations? I listened to my mother who was a singer. Later...

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Clare Southworth: Interview ‘Nov 16

Who were your main musical influences? I had two main influences outside my college life, which were William Bennett and Geoffrey Gilbert. I would meet up with them even year at the international summer school where I was a student at first, and then I taught on it...

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Katherine Baker: Interview Jun ’16

How did your musical journey begin? I went to the Royal Academy of Music with the intention of studying with William Bennett who had inspired me to apply there. For my first year I had lessons with his wife Michie who took me back to the basics of Taffanel &...

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Jim Walker: Interview May ’16

What do you think makes a great orchestral player? It is impossible to separate most of those critical characteristics from those of a great soloist, chamber musician or session musician. The fundamentals are universal and without them, no musician can function at a...

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Claire Wickes: Interview Mar ’16 (Part 2)

First Flute of the English National Opera: Part - 2 Advice for Students and Young Players As your studying and professional playing overlapped, what did you find to be the main differences between playing with student orchestras and professional orchestras?...

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Claire Wickes: Interview Feb ’16 (Part1)

First Flute of the English National Opera   What is your favourite opera that you have played so far and why? It’s very difficult to decide on a favourite; everything that I’ve played so far has had such different qualities and assets that to just...

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Othonas Gkogkas: Interview Jan ’16

Principal Flute of the Thessaloniki State Symphony Orchestra   Who were your teachers, and who influenced you whilst you were studying? My first teacher was Thomas Georgiou and then Michael Cox, Kate Hill and Patricia Morris. I think I was lucky because my...

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Gareth McLearnon: Interview Dec ’15

You have a great portfolio career. Which part do you enjoy the most? Funnily enough - it’s not actually one thing that I enjoy the most - but rather it's the diversity of my career which I really value, and the variety of my professional life and experiences that...

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Olga Ivusheikova: Interview, Nov’ 15

Teacher at the Moscow conservatoire and the Gnesis specialist music school   Who, out of all of your teachers, have influenced you the most? I had many teachers in my flute-playing life. I would consider my first teacher to be Vadim Abramovich Berezovsky, father...

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Ulla Miilman: interview Oct, ’15

First Flute Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra "Great inspiration and knowledge has also come my way by working with my highly respected colleagues in the orchestra" Where did you study? I was very lucky with my first teacher who was the principal flute of the...

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Elizabeth Rowe: Interview Sep, ’15

Principal Flute of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Who, out of your teachers, has helped you the most with the the audition preparation for you first job in a professional orchestra and how? I learned something unique and important from each of my teachers, but by far...

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Denis Lupachev: Interview Aug, ’15

First flute of the Mariinsky theatre in St. Petersburg I was very lucky to be in the orchestra during the renaissance of the theatre as we know it now. The orchestra was, just like the theatre, falling apart and it wasn’t until 1988 when Valery Gergiev took the...

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Michael Cox: Interview june, ’15 Part 2

Which are your three favourite symphonies? It is incredibly hard to choose because I would choose all of the Bruckner symphonies, and all of Brahms’, a lot of Mozart and quite a lot of Mahler. You are asking me to select just three and I will not. I will choose five...

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Michael Cox: Interview May, ’15 Part 1

Recently we have asked our Facebook fans, newsletter subscribers and website visitors to write questions to Michael Cox, our Artist-in-residence, on any flute related topics. We were overwhelmed with the response. Michael worked very hard to try and answer all of the...

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Hallfriour Olafsdottir: Interview April, ’15

First flute of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra What route did your studies take you? I first studied the flute in Iceland, my home country, with the English born Principal flute of the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Bernard Wilkinson. He advised me to go abroad to summer...

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Christopher Green: Interview March, ’15

Principal Piccolo of the Royal Opera House Orchestra (Covent Garden - London) In your opinion, what are the main differences between playing in a pit orchestra and a symphony orchestra? If someone had asked me this question eight years ago I would have said that there...

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Kuhlau’s Solo Flute music – CD by Stefano Parrino

Kuhlau was born into s family of musicians on 11th September 1786. He studied composition with Christian Freidrich Gottlieb Schwenke, an ex-student of C. P. E. Bach. In 1813 he fled to Denmark from the French occupation of Germany, where he became the ‘Kings Chamber...

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Wissam Boustany: Interview Feb, ’15 – (Part 2)

You do a lot of touring/travelling, teaching, rehearsing. How do you practice to keep in shape? Discipline is KEY. But my understanding of the word ‘discipline’ is very different to the common interpretation of the word. Discipline to me means ‘to...

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Wissam Boustany: Interview Jan, ’15 – (Part 1)

How did your studies prepare you for the orchestral world? The honest answer would have to be: My studies didn’t prepare me, which was certainly, at least partly my fault. But I also happen to believe that no educational institution should claim to be able to fully...

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Ian McLauchaln, Interview Dec, ’14

We know that you studied flute repair and headjoint making at the RNCM. Who were your teachers and who influenced you the most? I did indeed! I had a great time whilst I was there and met many interesting people. My first flute teacher at the Royal Northern College...

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Aldo Baerten: Interview, Sep ’14

First flute of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra What do think of Principal Chairs? Do you find this to be a useful resource for flute students and professionals? Congratulations; it is an extremely interesting site with lots of information, which can help...

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Netherlands Flute Academy (NEFLAC)

The Netherlands Flute Academy This summer I was lucky enough to attend the Netherlands Flute Academy (NEFLAC) summer school as a Young International Professional (YIP) in Amsterdam. This summer school is hosted by Emily Beynon, principal flute of the Royal...

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Lisa Beznosiuk: Interview, Aug ’14

How do you think a modern flute player should now approach classical and baroque repertoire? Would you recommend learning the traverso flute? Nowadays it is relatively easy to get hold of baroque and classical flutes, a wealth of music is readily available online...

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Nikolai Popov: Interview, July ’14

You mentioned the Army. How did you manage to keep the flute practice up, if at all? I served in the Admiralteyskiy Military Orchestra of St. Petersburg. This was actually my first orchestral experience. Interestingly, if you look back at the...

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Zart Dombourian-Eby: Interview June ’14

This month we talk to Ms. Dombourian-Eby known to everyone as Zart She received her B.A. and M.M. degrees from Louisiana State University. After a year of study in Houston with Albert Tipton, she attended Northwestern University, where she earned a Doctor...

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Paul Edmund-Davies: Interview May’ 14 (Part 2)

Paul's Video Materclasses You are having a very varied career. Which aspects of it do you enjoy the most? So many! Whilst being a musician has many drawbacks, I would not have changed anything in my life so far and the future looks equally captivating. You...

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Paul Edmund-Davies: Interview Apr’ 14 (Part 1)

Paul has established his international reputation as flautist and soloist in the twenty years that he was Principal Flute of the London Symphony Orchestra.   When you were at music college did you feel that your course really prepared you...

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Stefano Parrno: Interview Feb, ’14

International Touring Flautist You studied all around Europe and had lessons with really great teachers, did you find the style of their playing and teaching is different? I think every teacher has his own idea about playing, although generally...

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Ian Clarke: Interview Jan, ’14

Do you think that in this climate one has to be able to do many things apart from just playing? It's a difficult balance between remaining focused enough to excel in any particular area, whilst at the same time developing a broad enough skill...

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Walter Auer: Interview Dec, ’13

Principal of the Vienna Philharmonic   How did your studies prepare you for the orchestral playing world? Who out of your teachers was the most helpful in that aspect? And why? When I think about it, apart from honing the usual orchestral...

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Michael Cox: Interview Oct, ’13

I had a period when I was a young player who wanted to be deep and meaningful and serious and sought to change the world. Lately I've become much more aware of how important the charm is in music, as well as all those other serious things. But...

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Louis Lots and Beyond

Louis Lots and Beyond: an interview with Michael Cox Does it make the sounds you want to make, does it “speak” to you? Will you be able to have a relationship with it? If you push it in this or that direction, will it respond?   How did you...

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Stefano Parrino CD – Arie e Capricci

“Does a nineteenth century Italian instrumental era exist? It certainly does. It is rich, varied, curious, often pleasant and sometimes noteworthy and considerable”  - Stefano Parrino Mercandante is, of course, known to flute players for his Concerto in E...

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Peter Verhoyen: Interview Sep, ’13

What would you say the advantages and disadvantages of the audition system and system of appointing jobs in Europe as opposed to UK? Screened auditions VS unscreened, trials etc? I think it demands a lot of flexibility from the audition...

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Andrea Oliva: Interview, August ’13

“Andrea Oliva is one of the best flutists of his generation, a shining star in the world of the flute”. This is what Sir James Galway said about Andrea Oliva, Principal Flutist at Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Orchestra in...

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Emily Beynon: Interview, June ’13

Hi Emily, thanks for talking to us at Principal Chairs. Can we start by asking you about competitions? Do you feel they are important for young flautists to do? Competitions can be useful learning tools for certain types of people, yes. In the past when...

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Gareth Davies – with a new book

The Show Must Go On - On Tour with the LSO 1912 & 2012 A memoir of the London Symphony Orchestra on tour in the US and further afield, focusing on their historic first visit to America in 1912, when the were due to sail on the Titanic, and their most...

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New Album – by Katherine Bryan

Principal Flute Royal Scottish National Orchestra places the flute in the spotlight with an exiting new album of American Concertos.   We were delighted to welcome Katherine Bryan as a Principal Chairs artist earlier this year when she recorded three...

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