Concert Reviews

Nicole Esposito: Concert Review

Posted by on May 2, 2018 in Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, May 2018, Reviews | 0 comments

Nicole Esposito: Concert Review

As the Flute Professor at the University of Iowa, the artistic and personal success of my students is always my first priority.  However, I find it also extremely important and do my best to set the best professional standard for them and I work hard to maintain my own playing at the highest level.  Professors are tasked with many things other than teaching and particularly the spring semester is heavy on both student and faculty committee work. It would be quite easy to let my performing ambitions fall by the wayside, however each semester I aim to learn a new recital program to perform at the university.  I try to learn completely new pieces that I have not previously performed as I do not want to rely on the comforts of playing overly familiar repertoire.  Often they may be pieces I have loved for a long time and have not had the chance to program, but I also try to perform new compositions, written in the 21st century.  The Sonata for Flute and Piano by Mel Bonis was perhaps the most standard piece on the program that I just have not had the chance to play until now.  I recently heard the quite substantial Sonata by Max Meyer-Olbersleben and thought it would be both a challenge and reward to perform.  The Sonata for Flute and Piano by Mario Pilati I have also wanted to play since I heard it a few years ago and it fit nicely on this program.  The Rire de Saraï by Connesson is a brilliant piece which was suggested to me by French flutist Julien Beaudiment.  I feel that it is definitely a piece that suits me well, with it's hauntingly lyrical lines and fiery rhythmic drive.  --Nicole Esposito, flute professor, University of Iowa. On April 4, at the University of Iowa, I had the pleasure of listening to an entire program of flute music that I had never heard before.  While it looked like it was only 4 pieces, these works contained many movements, often with no time to breathe, however flutist Nicole Esposito pulled it off with flying colors.  Her always expressive tone shimmered through each of these relatively unknown gems for flute and piano, and pianist Aydin Arslan was equally proficient on the technically demanding piano accompaniment. The recital started off with Mel(anie) Bonis (1858-1937) Sonata, which was the most frequently played piece on the program.  Next was the Mario Pilati (1903-1938) Sonata.  I enjoyed hearing the influences of Debussy and Respighi in this beautiful watercolor of a piece.  While flutists wish we had more Romantic repertoire, Max Meyer-Olbersleben  (1850-1927) composed a sonata for flute and piano that fits right into the violin and piano dominated Romantic period.  Lastly, Rire de Sarai by Guillaume Connesson (b. 1970), was a piece that I think should be played much more!  It was fun, lyrical, technical, and rhythmic, all of which elements were all perfectly executed in Esposito's playing.  ...

read more

Concert Review: Gonjiam Flute Festival (Hurel, Koyama, Wiese)

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in April 2018, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Concert Review: Gonjiam Flute Festival (Hurel, Koyama, Wiese)

The evening concert on February 21, 2018, at the Gonjiam Festival was enchanting. Juliette Hurel opened the performance with Takemitsu’s haunting, “Voice” followed by “Afternoon of a Faun." Hurel’s exquisitely voluptuous tone provided a beautiful landscape for the the flowing melodies, transporting the audience into the mythical world as painted in Debussy’s deft imagination.  Her evocative musicality and nimble fingers gave the Ropartz Sonate an electrifying finish to her portion of the program.       Yuki Koyama presented a Leclair's Sonata in E minor with grace and elegance, followed by Taffanel’s Fantasy on “Der Freischultz." Koyama’s impressive technique and ravishing sound left the audience dazzled by his performance.  A very impressive performance by Japanese flutist, Yuki Koyama.      Henrik Wiese played the Schubert Variations “Trockene Blumen” with exceptional sensitivity and with a dynamic spectrum of colors.  Wiese’s phrases were both gossamer delicate, as well as raging with power; each line placed with careful, and thoughtful insight.  Wiese presented the Prokofiev Sonata with a completely different palette, transforming with each movement, leaving the audience in suspense, and with a hunger for more.  Henrik Wiese is a consummate musician whose breathtaking colors, thrilling technique, and thorough musical analysis, make for a magnificent performer. --Viviana...

read more

Demarre McGill plays Kevin Puts Concerto: Concert Review

Posted by on Apr 2, 2018 in April 2018, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Demarre McGill plays Kevin Puts Concerto: Concert Review

Shortly after returning from East Asia, I heard Demarre McGill perform Kevin Puts' Flute Concerto (2013) at Carnegie Hall with the New York Youth Symphony. McGill is Principal flute of the Seattle Symphony and acting assistant professor at CCM. He has performed as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, and Buffalo Philharmonic, and received an Avery Fisher career grant. I loved this performance. McGill gave a beautiful, refined rendition, full of delightful surprises, with complete understanding of the composers ideas, most especially in the 2nd and 3rd movement. In the 2nd, which Puts says, “was written during a period in which I was rather obsessed with the second movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto K.467.”  Puts quotes themes of the piece fully and piecemeal in the movement and McGill helped us feel the humor in the choice! In the 3rd movement, I loved the way McGill had an energetic conversation with the winds, brass and percussion, exposing the terrific timbre that was created between the instruments. The orchestra is made up of young, very accomplished players between the ages of 12 and 22, and they played extremely well, with energy as well as great sound and interpretation, led by their excellent young conductor, Michael Repper for whom they played enthusiastically. The large audience gave Demarre a resounding ovation for his beautiful, stellar performance. --Barbara...

read more

Zara Lawler and The Flute on its Feet: Concert Review

Posted by on Feb 1, 2018 in Concert Reviews, Featured, February 2018, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Zara Lawler and The Flute on its Feet: Concert Review

On Sunday December 3rd, interdisciplinary flutist extraordinaire Zara Lawler welcomed us to her workshop/concert presented by the NY Flute Club at Mannes College's Glass Box performance space in NYC. Lawler’s mission is to explore and celebrate the interconnectedness of life and human experience through her performances that integrate music, dance, theater, and storytelling. She offered this workshop/concert as a way to reveal the craft behind her style and to bring us into the process along the way. The concert introduced us to a new work in progress by composer Jessica Meyer, to Fadoul and Lawler’s Dust Jacket, based on the blurbs inside flaps of books and their hilarious take on modern consumer culture as well as collaborative works with choreographer Neil Parsons – TimeFrame, and Berio’s Sequenza and Fantasies take on Telemann Fantasia’s. The performances were amazing- opening us up to new ideas, and stretching our conception of classical and new music performance; they are virtuosic and they also make us laugh. Often flute concerts have a vaguely repetitious feeling...I mean, how many times can we hear the same repertoire over and over?—(a lot I’m guessing). But, in “The Flute on its Feet,” Lawler shows us another approach to standard repertoire and new music, one that expands the possibilities of performance and communication if we are willing to try. And so, in the workshop section of the event, we got to try too. We paired off with our neighbors and experienced the trust needed to lean into each other (and then play the flute), and we created riffs based on physical movements- like Zara does in a number of pieces. We were asked to stretch ourselves a bit beyond our comfort zones, and for some it was a challenging but also fun request! As always, Zara played beautifully, even as she moved strenuously. It was a virtuosic and inspiring performance in so many ways.  If you have a chance, try and see her soon. The Flute on its Feet with Zara Lawler   A workshop/concert featuring: Zara Lawler, flute Paul Fadoul, percussion Jessica Meyer, composer Choreography by Neil Parsons and Melissa Riker www.zaralawler.com --Barbara...

read more

Yubeen Kim: Concert Review. By TAMUC Flute Studio

Posted by on Nov 1, 2017 in Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, November 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

Yubeen Kim: Concert Review. By TAMUC Flute Studio

  On Sunday, October 1st, 2017, the Texas A&M University-Commerce Flute Studio, directed by Dr. Julee Kim Walker, hosted International Flutist Yubeen Kim, in one of two US Debut Recitals. His performance was held in Jack and Lou Finney Concert Hall on the campus of Texas A&M University-Commerce in Commerce, TX, with pianist Anastasia Markina. Yubeen’s performance was nothing short of true artistry and passion, and spoke from the heart. Together with Anastasia, they created a magical evening of colorful, powerful music. Here are some of the impressions from the students: “He filled up every single area of the concert hall with a tremendously clear and beautiful sound, regardless of the dynamic!” -Daria Smetana, Senior “His tapers were the best that I've ever heard. There were many moments where I could not tell if he was still playing or if it was the piano!” -Lenora Willman, Sophomore “The fluidity of his double tonguing was something I strive to be able to do!” -Katie Petty, Senior “I throughly enjoyed listening to the expert musicality on his lyrical pieces and his clean, clear, defined technique on his faster pieces. It is everything I strive to be as a musician.” -Hannah VanDover, Freshman “Hearing such a young flutist execute difficult passages inspires me to never leave the practice room! His precision in fast articulation patterns but gracefulness and connectivity in the slower lines exhibits a great variety in style and a phenomenal sense of professional technique.” -Harley Smith, Freshman “After listening to his performance, it was incredibly difficult for me to believe that he is only 20 years old! His level of professionalism and his technique are way beyond his years. That was a truly inspiring performance.” -Nataly Ruan, Freshman “Everything about him was absolutely amazing. He is so young which has inspired me to never give up on my dreams. The different colors in tone were absolutely beautiful and his double tonguing was so clear and phenomenal. If he made a mistake, up I could not tell at all! His memorization was breathtaking.” -Leslie Corona, Freshman “After listening to him play three pieces I have spent time with myself, I was completely blown away by the ease that he played them. His releases were remarkable and the quality of pianos and fortes were the mark of a true artist! I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation and performance!” -Shannon Peterson, Senior “Everything about his performance was so inspiring and it was truly such a great recital. His tone was flawless and his articulation was even more so. The fact that he is so young made all of it so much more amazing and I am so proud to say that I had the chance to witness the playing of such a great artist!” -Erin Walton, Freshman “The concert was much more than just playing flute! He has clearly thrown all of himself into his art. The mood of each piece was depicted aurally and visually as he let the emotions of the music show in his performance.” -Taylor Hennig, Senior “I was in awe the skill that was displayed to me! This man has clearly dedicated a countless amount of hours to becoming an astounding musician, and it definitely showed in the performance that I witnessed. His double tonguing was phenomenal, his memorization...

read more

Galway Flute Festival: The Guest Artists

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in August 2017, Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, Reviews | 0 comments

Galway Flute Festival: The Guest Artists

  The Guest Artists of the Galway Flute Festival gave incredible masterclasses and concerts and came from all over the world. We asked them about their experiences at the festival, their flute stories, and advice they would offer to young students.      Kersten McCall Artist in Residence Philipp Jundt Switzerland/Korea Nicola Mazzanti Italy Irina Stachinskaya Russia Juliette Hurel France Stephen Clark Scotland Barbara Kortmann Germany Ernesto Fernandez USA Andrea Griminelli Italy and of course, Sir James Galway Thank you for everything!   THANK YOU from The Flute View...

read more

Righteous Girls: Concert Review

Posted by on Jun 1, 2017 in Concert Reviews, Featured, Issues, June 2017, Reviews | 0 comments

Righteous Girls: Concert Review

Righteous Girls, a duo of Gina Izzo (flute) and Erika Dohi (piano), is not your typical flute and piano duo.  I wasn't really sure what to expect when attending their Lincoln Center debut sponsored by Chamber Music New York, but I was impressed and entranced throughout their entire program of music composed after the year 2000. What was unique about Righteous Girls was their use of live electronics and looping, adding many more layers to the traditional flute and piano ensemble, giving a full spectrum of sound that one does not usually hear.  All the music was very contemporary but nothing too atonal and all sonically pleasing, much of it with minimalist influences.  The repertoire was unique and fresh, unknown (yet) to the flute community, but I see their music having its place there soon.  It was quite refreshing for me to hear a program of flute and piano pieces I have never heard before.  Their program was virtually seamless, with each piece flowing into the next. Righteous Girls also composes some of their music, using reverb, delay, and some live processed effects.  My favorite piece, and the standout of the evening, was their arrangement of Andy Ahiko's 21 (originally for cello and steel pan drum).  I was amazed by the various looping, pedals, and even addition of a bass drum.  The piece was lively, rhythmic, visually interesting, and I kept wanting to hear more! On Andy Akiho’s 21, I was using three different foot pedals to navigate my way through the piece. The first one was a pedal for my iPad page turn, as there are not many (if any) points throughout the piece where I can focus on removing my hands from the flute to turn the page. Ideally in the future, this will be memorized to have one less ‘thing’ to focus on! The second pedal is a loop pedal. The piece opens with two lines that we then loop throughout the entire work; plucking of piano strings as well as mallets hitting inside the piano on its beams. Throughout the piece I am faced with the task of triggering these two loops on cue. The third pedal arranged into the flute part was a kick drum (Erika was managing the tambourine kick). At many points throughout the piece, I would be playing both the notated flute part, kick drum, loop pedal, and page turn at the same time! Kinda like driving a car...Gina Izzo Righteous Girls has a very bright future ahead of them, and I look forward to hearing more of their music and music they commission.  Righteous Girls is the future of the flute and piano duo.   -Fluterscooter...

read more

PROJECT Trio and LA Chamber Orchestra Concert Review

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Concert Reviews, December 2016, Featured | 0 comments

PROJECT Trio and LA Chamber Orchestra Concert Review

PROJECT Trio members Greg Pattillo, Eric Stephenson and Peter Seymour met at the Cleveland Institute of Music, where they received the 2013 CIM Alumni Achievement Award. Forged with a desire to draw new and diverse audiences through high energy, top quality music, the Trio got its big break in 2006 when Pattillo’s Beatboxing Flute video went viral, receiving millions of views in its first week. Now based in Brooklyn, PROJECT Trio has its own YouTube channel with over 80 million views and 100,000 subscribers, making them one of the most watched instrumental ensembles on the internet.   I've only heard PROJECT Trio as a flute/cello/bass trio, but to hear them with orchestra for the first time was on a different level. They gave the West Coast premiere of Adam Schoenberg's (b. 1980) Scatter for trio and orchestra on November 12-13, 2016 with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Scatter was written specifically for the trio, and the piece showcased the trio both collectively and individually. The piece is written as one movement and broken down into 3 distinct sections with electronic backing. The electronics were subtle and fit nicely into the piece.     The unique and fun energy of PROJECT Trio shined throughout the piece, from the jaunty rhythms to the lyrical phrasing. I especially enjoyed hearing Greg Pattillo play more lyrical lines; since we are mostly used to his beatboxing, we often don't hear his more "classical" tone and technique, and he performs at the level or better than any of today's flute soloists! The cohesiveness and playfulness of PROJECT Trio is something that can't be imitated. With cellist Eric Stephenson and bassist Peter Seymour, the group's energy is at always 1000%, and with orchestra, their energy was amplified even more. The LA Chamber Orchestra played the piece very well, too!" --Fluterscooter...

read more

French Flute Convention Review by Fluterscooter

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Concert Reviews, Featured, November 2016 | 0 comments

French Flute Convention Review by Fluterscooter

The French Flute Convention happens only once every four years, so when it happens, it is quite a show.  I don’t usually do European shows, but French bakeries!   This year’s convention, themed “Flute Spirit,” featured flute legends Maxence Larrieu, Patrick Gallois, Pierre Yves-Artaud, and Philippe Bernold, as well as many of today’s leading flutists such as Jasmine Choi and Julien Beaudiment.    Did I mention I met Yubeen Kim?     As an exhibitor, it is always difficult to get to concerts, and this convention was no different.  The exhibit hall was bustling all 4 days, and I was very pleased with all the Fluterscooter bag booth traffic, especially the great feedback for the new “French Bag” that I designed for Julien Beaudiment.  For me, it is always interesting to see what flutists in different countries like to wear.  I was fortunate enough to catch the closing concert, which featured a full sized flute orchestra from Japan, conducted by Philippe Bernold. Has anyone ever seen the Japanese flute orchestras?  #flutefashion to the extreme!  They wore an array of pastel evening gowns and sparkly jewelry that made them shine on stage. I wish every flute orchestra could be that aesthetically pleasing.     They performed the European premiere of Yuko Uebayashi’s Les trois bouquets pour l’orchestre de flutes, which was a lovely three movement piece with nods to Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe. Then, fittingly, performed an arrangement of Daphnis, with the solo played exquisitely by Ikuko Sunamori.  Lastly, Maxence Larrieu was the soloist for Mozart’s G Major Flute Concerto. This is particularly interesting, because I wasn’t sure how the full orchestra score could be realized by only flutes, but they pulled it off effortlessly. I was quite impressed with the power and intonation of the low flutes.  It is always a treat to hear a legend like Msr. Larrieu, and Philippe Bernold commanded the podium with grace.  I look forward to the next convention in 4...

read more

NFA Highlights by Viviana Guzman

Posted by on Sep 1, 2016 in Articles, Concert Reviews, Featured, September 2016 | 0 comments

NFA Highlights by Viviana Guzman

NFA Overview Usually all of us at The Flute View Magazine write a little summary of the various concerts we attend at the National Flute Association Convention.  This year, Fluterscooter and I were the only ones able to go to NFA in San Diego, and since she was kept busy in her Fluterscooter booth, I was the only one who was able to listen to some concerts. Please keep in mind that this is only a very small sampling of what was available in the program book. I was working as the NFA Public Relations Chair, so I had certain duties to fulfill and I had to go in and out of various performances, so I was unable to attend complete performances.     Following are some highlight performances: Thursday Afternoon Concert A Thursday afternoon delight was listening to ZAWA’s splendid concert with Jill Felber, Claudia Anderson and Dianne Frazer followed by Amy Porter’s spectacular performance of the Prokofiev Sonata with pianist Katie Leung…. exquisitely executed…. MEMORIZED!  Listen to a clip from The Flute View Instagram feed here.  What a terrific way to start off the convention. Friday Afternoon Tribute to Katherine Hoover  Denis Bouriakov’s performance of “Spirit Flight” by Katherine Hoover was sublime, delicate and profound, appropriately reflecting the piece’s title. Zara Lawler spun her unique saga on “Serenade from Canyon Echoes” by Katherine Hoover with Dustin Donahue (vibraphone and marimba) and Barbie Diewald (choreographer).  Bringing movement into her selection, Lawler’s interpretation of Hoover’s work was creative, original and innovative, transporting the work into new interpretive heights.  Lawler was a delight to witness. Another thrilling collaboration, was “The Word in Flower” by Katherine Hoover performed by Bonita Boyd,  (flute), Anna Belaya, (soprano), Daniel Nistico (guitar).  Listening to the contrasting sonorities of each movement was like tasting the varying courses within a meal.  Boyd’s thoughtful luminosity rang together gracefully with Belaya’s robust and resonant voice while Nistico’s guitar provided a resonant bed for the ethereal singing lines.     “Dream Dances” for piano solo by Katherine Hoover performed by Dianne Frazer was the perfect palette cleanser of the recital, brilliantly executed with Frazer’s technical prowess and solitary flair. Another visionary favorite was “Kokopelli” by Katherine Hoover as performed by Laurel Zucker.  Choosing to perform the work, from the audience rather than from the stage, Zucker brought a haunting sheen to this popular work.  Technically brilliant and with a ravishing sound, Zucker placed her bewitching stamp on this alluring and favored solo work for flute. Finishing off this remarkable concert, was Denis Bouriakov and Dianne Frazer performing “Mountain and Mesa” by Katherine Hoover.  Spinning their enchanting collaboration, Bouriakov and Frazer performed a spellbinding rendition of this most entrancing and lesser known gem. Listen to short performance clips that I posted from the NFA Instagram feed here.     Friday Night GALA The Friday Night Gala commenced with Handel’s Sonata in E Minor, Fantasy on Benyovzky by Pfeiffer and Romanian Folk Dances by Bartok as performed by the brilliant Hungarian flutist, Gergely Ittzes (flute) and the always excellent Margaret McDonald (piano) The Chaconne by Bach and Fantaisie-Impromptu by Chopin are very known works of the violin and piano world respectively.  Denis Bouriakov (flute) and Margaret McDonald (piano) performed these works with dazzling, majestic and breathtaking ease.  Bouriakov’s arrangements of these jewels, are sure to...

read more