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Orchestral Flute Blog

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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Meyrick Alexander: Interview, May ’13

Meyrick Alexander has been Head of Woodwind at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff since 2010.   Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions  Meyrick! RWCMD now runs an orchestral training programme – what was...

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Phillippa Davies: Interview, April ’13

As you know, Principal Chairs is focused on providing flute players with everything they need to prepare for orchestral performance and auditions. Because of this we would like to focus this interview on the Orchestral MMus course, which you teach on at...

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Patricia Morris: Interview, Mar ’13

Interview with Patricia Morris Ex-Principal Piccolo BBC Symphony Orchestra, author of the Piccolo Practice Book and co-author of the Orchetral Flute Practice Book. How did you get into piccolo playing? Accident, really. My Uncle was a piccolo...

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Gareth Davies: Interview, Feb ’13

"I think it is important not to treat auditions with a 'do-or-die' mindset..." Hi Gareth! Thanks for coming to chat with us. As a lot of our subscribers are recent graduates could you tell us what you found to be the challenges in bridging the...

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Katherine Bryan: interview, Jan ’13

"Music college doesn't prepare you for how professional orchestra works, who have worked together for years. If anything was out of tune I always thought it was my fault..." You studied a Chetham’s School of Music with Gitte Marcusson (who we actually...

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Michael Cox: Interview Dec, ’12

 "One bit of advice I would give would be not to choose an unaccompanied piece; the panel is always interested in how you work with other people..." What does the BBC audition process entail? Well, first of all you have to apply! Now that might seem like...

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The Glissando Flute Headjoint

How can we get further than a quarter-tone system flute? In the previous blog we discussed the benefits of the Kingma system, apart from for the performance of modern music. We concluded that tuning is aided by the quarter-tone system. However, much like a...

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Gitte Marcusson: Interview Nov, ’12

Gitte Marcusson   You have taught some of the UK's youngest and finest principal flutes, Adam Walker (London Symphony Orchestra) and Katherine Bryan (Royal Scottish National Orchestra) at Chetham’s School of Music.   Did you notice something...

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Matthew Featherstone: Interview Oct, ’12

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales Principal Flute   Matthew Featherstone! Matthew is 26 years old and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in 2009. Check out www.matthewfeatherstone.com   Hi Matthew. Thanks so much for coming...

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Michael Cox: Interview Sep, ’12

In case you missied it, here's Michael Cox' first Interview of the Month Interview with Michael Cox (Artist in Residence at Principal Chairs, Principal Flute of BBC Symphony Orchestra and Professor at the Royal Academy of Music) You have worked...

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Lev Levit – Quartertone Flute

A flute is often judged by it's credentials such as it's previous owners, serial numbers and the makers themselves. This flute seems to tick a lot of those boxes. It is unique and revolutionary; it has a Bick Brannen headjoint, a Kingma key-on-key quarter...

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