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Galway Flute Festival: Concert Reviews

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Articles, August 2017, Featured, Interviews, Issues | 0 comments

Galway Flute Festival: Concert Reviews

Opening Gala Concert with Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway   The gala concert featuring Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway was the perfect opener to a week long of concerts, and it featured the "classics" such as Chaminade's Concertino, Widor's Suite, Faure's Fantasie, and Doppler's Andante and Rondo.  It is always refreshing to hear these pieces played, as they are some of the first flute pieces many of us learn, so the opportunity to hear them played by a master is very special. Pianist, Catherine Rechsteiner was the dazzling pianist who provided an elegant support to Sir James Galway's ravishing flute. Sir James' Chaminade was sparkling and energetic, and the public really enjoyed listening to his beautiful execution of the Widor Suite. Of course, seeing the couple play together as a duo is always something special. Their performance of Doppler's Andante and Rondo was beautifully flowing and perfectly in sync with each other, much like the couple in person!       --Andrea "Fluterscooter" Fisher         Juliette Hurel and Lorna McGhee Recital   Juliette Hurel  www.juliettehurel.com  concert soloist and solo flutist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra  opened the concert, accompanied by the excellent pianist Catherine Rechsteiner.  She played  two works by Saint-Saens, the Romance and the Odelette, op.162 The Odelette is new to me, a very lovely piece and Ms Hurel played it with the perfect combination of sounds-- projecting, shining and molding the music and with beautiful color and shape within the lines. The second piece on the program was the Poulenc Sonata, which she played with just the right balance between playful and serious, in perfect style for this piece.  The tempo in the 3rd movement took my breath away!! Hurel is a beautiful, imaginative player, who connects with her audience with beauty and joy. Lorna McGhee- www.lornamcghee.com Scottish born Lorna McGhee is the principal flutist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, and before immigrating to the US was the co-principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She performed (with wonderful pianist Kamelia Miladinova) a very interesting and unusual program.  The opening piece is by Dick Kattenburg, a Dutch, Jewish composer who died at age 24 in Auschwitz. To learn a bit more about him check out this article: http://www.allmusic.com/blog/post/collateral-damage-dick-kattenburg-1919-1944/ It’s a great addition to the repertoire of Entartete Musik (degenerate music). The piece is a terrific, with jazz and movie music influences, idiomatic for the flute and full of joy and good cheer. Lorna brought the work to life with her powerful sound and joyous playing. The next piece by Maurice Ravel was Sonate, Opus Posthume,  which was published posthumously but written when Ravel was 22 years old.  Ravel here seems to be just finding his voice, you can hear little buds of his later music in this lyrical piece. The final work on the program was Chaconne by Tomaso Antonio Vitali, a work for violin, transcribed for flute.  McGee brought down the house with her stellar virtuosity, beautiful, powerful sound and amazing violinistic “downbows”. The two closed the concert with a Mendelssohn duet, and it was a joy to hear these two players matching their sounds and musicianship in this quiet, lyrical work.   --Barbara Siesel   Philipp Jundt, Shengqi He, and Paolo Taballione   With the first notes of Enesco’s "Cantabile et Presto," flutist Philipp Jundt and pianist Catherine Rechsteiner...

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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...

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Galway Flute Festival: The Students

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Articles, August 2017, Blog, Featured, Interviews, Issues | 0 comments

Galway Flute Festival: The Students

  The students of the Galway Flute Festival were not only fantastic flutists, but also great personalities! We asked them about the festival, working with Sir James Galway, their goals, inspirations, and advice they would offer to younger students.      Katy Wherry 2017 Rising Star  Amy Gillen 2017 Rising Star  Audrey Emata The Flute View Young Artist Competition Winner Lucas Martins Pedro Brazil Valerie Henning Germany, Festival Translator Albert Pae Former Rising Star, Festival Team, and technical assistant Amy Pribuluck...

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Galway Flute Festival: Reflections (Viviana Guzman)

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Articles, August 2017, Blog, Featured, Issues | 0 comments

Galway Flute Festival: Reflections (Viviana Guzman)

From the moment I landed, I felt that there was something extraordinary about this festival.  The magic starts when you first set your eyes on Lake Lucerne.  Breathing the air, smelling the country fragrances, eating the marvelous salads at Stella Matutina,  are just the introduction, then it becomes even more enchanting.  After the opening concert by Sir James and Lady Jeanne, I was enthralled.  In fact, after every concert I felt myself fall deeper into the blissful spell.  Sir James and Lady Jeanne cast a magical brew that included the daily warm-up, masterclasses, workshops, interviews, more masterclasses, more interviews and nightly concerts;  combine all of this with delightful meals and short swims in the lake, and you have a perfect Fairy Tale setting for flutists. The Galway Flute Festival brings out the best of everyone, as Sir James and Lady Jeanne, the students and participants turn into a family of support and encouragement.  The evening concerts provide a delightful platform for inspiration.  The generous exhibitors donate the awards and prizes voted on by the class.  In the end, everyone feels included, supported and encouraged. This was a first-class festival from beginning to end.  Expertly run, with first-rate individuals in every post carefully selected and looked after by Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway.  You come away feeling truly touched by the generous spirit of Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway.  The Galway Flute Festival is a place of myth and magic, where Sir James and Lady Jeanne stand at the helm, waiving their magic wands (their flutes!), enlightening and touching all who gather to listen and learn. --Viviana...

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The Nuns of Stella Matutina

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

The Nuns of Stella Matutina

As equally as inspiring as the flutists of the festival, were the nuns of Stella Matutina. Nuns have always fascinated me, so I was kind of excited to get to know some of them, too. I have “nun blood” in my Catholic background, and I have often considered becoming one. Imagine a life of prayer and meditation, picking the freshest organic fruits and vegetables from the orchard, no currency, phones, or computers, and not having to worry about what to wear. I dig it. Being in an atmosphere surrounded by nuns provided feelings of calmness, tranquility, and safety, which is one of the things that made the atmosphere of the festival so open, supportive, and special. We bonded immediately, and I enjoyed sitting among them in the organ loft at the concerts in the chapel, and picking plums together in the plum grove. When I asked them to model the new Galway Gold Fluterscooter Bags, they were quite skeptical at first, and many of them declined modeling (vanity is not something nuns are really into). However, at Sister Mildred’s direction, I had 7 new models on the first night. They would often come talk to me about the bags and wanted to see the photos. I didn’t explain to them that they were famous on Facebook, as that would confuse them. One of the sisters enjoyed modeling so much, every time she saw me, she did her best Zoolander impression. By the time I left, I think they became a little more empowered and open to new ideas.  #nunlife...

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Galway Flute Festival: Reflections (Fluterscooter)

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

Galway Flute Festival: Reflections (Fluterscooter)

I did not know what to expect when Lady Jeanne Galway invited The Flute View to be a part of the festival in Weggis, but I knew what I was craving: and that was COMMUNITY. If there was one thing that I could take away from my experience, it would be the sense of community and support that I felt among everyone. Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway continue to do an outstanding job in cultivating a supportive international flute community in an environment of beauty and love, and now I see why everyone keeps coming back year after year.  The masterclasses, the fabulous guest artists and performers, the breathtaking views of Lake Lucerne, and did I mention the food?! (I still need to get the recipe for that beet salad) were all first-rate. I had the opportunity to hear flute playing that I rarely, if ever, get to hear. I'm still thinking about Kersten McCall's magnificently refined performance of the Boulez Sonatine and the delicate softness of Juliette Hurel's high register in her Poulenc Sonata. What I found interesting was that the masterclasses did not only include the students, but also some of the Guest Artists and past Rising Stars, even though they have their own successful professional careers. There is always something any flutist can learn from playing in front of Sir James Galway, and it is a good idea to check in with your flute playing by performing for a master. This also helped create a sense of the inclusive and non-competitive atmosphere I experienced among all the festival's participants. I would recommend for everyone to experience the Galway Flute Festival at least once in their flute playing life, whether a student, professional, or amateur. There is really something new to be learned for everyone. Thank you, Sir James and Lady Jeanne, for all that you do.  Until next year, Weggis... --Fluterscooter ps. Thank you for everyone who came to the booth to buy a Fluterscooter Bag!  The Galway Gold bags are still available on...

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Galway Flute Festival: The Workshops

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

Galway Flute Festival: The Workshops

At the Galway Flute Festival, there are workshops every day by the guest artists. These are a great way to learn about how the artist teaches and thinks. Here are a few take aways from the workshops I attended:   Juliette Hurel   French flutist Juliette Hurel has a beautiful approach to playing flute and teaching. She worked with several students and helped them in their thinking about sound, connecting it to both technique and musicality. She says that flute sound is like ”clay”- malleable! You use your air and ear to create a flexible sound that creates the music. Our sound is not like stone, but moldable to bring out the music in the best possible way.   Kersten McCall   Resident Artist Kersten McCall played the Boulez Sonatine on his recital. In this informative workshop he helped us understand the piece, showing us the tone row, and outlining the themes. He spoke about the history of the piece and how it relates to the other works on his recital program (Bach B minor Sonata and Strauss Sonata in B flat for violin). I really appreciate his scholarly and musical approach to this piece and found that it improved my listening experience of the Boulez.   Ernesto Fernandez   Latin Jazz flutist Ernesto Fernandez gave a wonderful workshop on Charanga Flute 101!! We learned about the history of Charanga- how it developed from the five key flute that French Haitian landowners brought to Cuba when fleeing the revolution in Haiti. The different types of orchestra’s Typical, and Charangas Francesas (18th-19th century) and it’s progression into the 20th century. I loved seeing how the Baroque music and flute morphed into something entirely new in the New World! We learned about the Clave rhythmic patterns and different types of dances including Chachacha, Pachanga, Mambo and more. Brilliantly he introduced us to Charanga flute – and the flutists who play in this style and then we all got to improvise in the style as well. A mini lesson!! Fernandez is very clear in his teaching and by the end of the hour we all felt like experts!! Attached are the slides from the class so you can learn Charanga too!   Yossi Arnheim   A wonderful workshop on improvisation! The concept is that everyone can improvise. Yossi handed out a sheet which had four lines of music. We played a line of the music together and Yossi suggested we play the notes in different orders, splitting the lines just playing a few notes at a time, all together. Next he invited one of us to improvise on the notes from the melody with the group holding one of the notes from the melody. A third of the flutists in the workshop actually improvised! I improvised and had a terrific and freeing experience, letting loose some stored up music. --Barbara...

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Galway Flute Festival: Reflections (Barbara Siesel)

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

Galway Flute Festival: Reflections (Barbara Siesel)

What a week! When I arrived in Weggis, Switzerland for the Galway Flute Festival I didn’t know what to expect, certainly not the inspiring, loving, musical and exciting week that I experienced!! Here are some of the highlights for me: It’s incredibly beautiful here – the mountains, trees and flowers, the lake, the fresh fragrant air, the birds and goats, the cats and squirrels, I knew I was in a special place. I stayed in a lovely BnB in the next town over called Vitznau with a view of the lake and mountains and a terrace for my breakfast coffee. Stella Matutina where the conference is held is a conference center run by nuns, it’s a beautiful and clearly spiritual place and I felt that energy throughout my stay. The Master Classes here are a few of the teachings that really inspired me: Sir James- “You need singing notes- don’t rush them” “Don’t forget to take the small breaths” “Flute playing, not flute blowing” “If you don’t practice nothing happens” Lady Jeanne- “avoid playing a long note and waiting for a change” “Never sacrifice your sound” “Make sure music stand is low, better yet, play memorized” The atmosphere was extremely warm, friendly and supportive people really rooted for each other. This atmosphere is fostered by Sir James and Lady Jeanne who are committed to making everyone feel welcome, with the understanding that each student is here to learn at whatever level they are. And did I tell you about the food? The nuns prepare all the meals, and include a variety of salads, veggies, chicken or fish. The fruits and veggies are all grown nearby; even on the property there are rows of green houses where you can see the tomatoes and salad greens growing! The lake- Stella Matutina is a short walk from lake Luzern and there is a special place for swimming in the clear cool water surrounded by mountains and blue sky. I felt honored to present my work with Green Golly Project and Curriculive and to also play for the students. The response was positive and supportive and I think my presentation and that of my colleagues at The Flute View added to the festival and brought a new perspective about careers to the students. I’m awake – thinking about flute playing and music in a new and refreshed way, and ready to get to work practicing the new things I learned. I also loved making new friends and hearing all the amazing guest artists who became friends and inspiration. Speaking with all the dealers who came and experiencing their genorousity as well. Gemeinhardt, Haynes, Adams European Flute Center, Lafin, Nagahara, Burkart, Powell and Eva Kingma, all exhibited and donated instruments to the festival to be awarded to the students.  In addition, Straubinger Flutes, Frost School, and Marina Piccinini Master Classes donated scholarships to the students. I’m moved and inspired that there is so much sponsorship for talented students in need of funding, and I know that the Galway's work year round to raise funds for the students. My Story: In addition to what I’ve shared so far I had a few personal, reflective moments. My parents were born nearby in a mountainous village in the western part of Germany near the French border. They are...

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Galway Flute Festival: The Masterclasses

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

Galway Flute Festival: The Masterclasses

The heart of the Galway Flute Festival are the classes by Sir James and Lady Jeanne. Every day in the mornings and afternoons they both work with their students in great depth, with intensity and enthusiasm. Each day starts with morning warm-ups with Sir James, the students, the guest artists, and The Flute View together learned from Sir James. He took us through our warm-ups using Marcel Moyse’s, “De La Sonorite”, doing the long tones, tonguing and low note exercises as well as melodies from ‘Tone Development Through Interpretation” at the end of the book. Throughout the warm-up Sir James teaches about sound, breathing and music, sharing with us his experience and brilliant expertise. This years’ theme was “singing," and each day he shared some of his favorite Carlos Bergonzi recordings and showed us how Bergonzi’s approach to singing relate to flute playing, through breathing, a focus on beautiful line and a full sound. We are singers too!! Also sharing his expertise on breathing was Dr. Victor Candia, who shared his thoughts on breathing and rib cage placement when breathing, and more, and we practiced his breathing approach in the morning warm-ups as well.  Every day we felt like we were having a private lesson with Sir James! After the morning warm-up the master classes begin. Sir James: Sir James’ class is filled with talented flutists from all over the world. They’ve come to study with him and are dedicated to learning and absorbing everything they can from the master. The students play music from the standard flute repertoire and he helps them improve their approach to the music, their technique and their connection to the music. It can become very detailed and we follow the scores which are projected on a big screen. I heard some of the next generations great flutists, some who are already teaching and performing all over the world!   The standard is extremely high, so listening to the class was like hearing a flute concert all day long! Sir James always improves their playing, getting them to hear the one thing they may have missed in their playing or preparation. It’s clear that he loves to teach, he teaches over four hours a day! And he plays for the class too – so we got to hear the master player throughout the day, as he generously showed us how he might play a particular piece. At the end of the week, Sir James shared that he learns from the students too- it’s an exchange of ideas between fellow artists and he thanked all the players in his class. Lady Jeanne: Lady Jeanne’s class is also filled with wonderful, talented flutists. She begins the day with a flute technique class where she goes over basics and technical issues with the students. In her class the students get down to the nitty gritty. She fixes a student's position, thinks with them about embouchure, and addresses anything that she sees the student isn’t understanding or finds difficult. She doesn’t miss a thing and I watched as a student started with some obvious flute problems and by the end of the lesson had solved the problem and was playing beautifully. She’s a “flute doctor,” diagnosing exactly what the difficulty is and kindly and gently helping the student learn....

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Introduction to Feldenkrais with Niall O’Rourdin

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Articles, August 2017, Featured, Health & Wellness, Issues, Lifestyle, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Introduction to Feldenkrais with Niall O’Rourdin

Niall O'Rourdin, a 2014 Galway Rising Star, attended the festival for the seventh time this year. He grew up listening to Sir James Galway, from his earliest years in Ireland when his father would look for Sir James' records every Friday from a second hand shop.  Like most of us, he listened to Galway's recordings every night for many years, his favorites being the Bach E Major Sonata and Beethoven Serenade. These days, Niall is not only an incredible professional flutist, but he is also a certified Feldenkrais instructor. I had the opportunity to take a lesson and speak to him more about Feldenkrais at the class.     Describe how you got into Feldenkrais.   Like any other musician, I struggled with some extra tensions in the body. I didn't have any pains, but I can remember my shoulders would be achy after playing, and I knew there was something I needed to open up physically in myself that would improve my playing.  I did a lot of yoga, but things weren't changing so much for me. I bought a class pass to a yoga studio in London, and I went to a lot of the Feldenkrais classes. We did a lesson where we would lie on our backs and extend our arm out to the side very gently; there were a lot of variations, but it was mostly about creating freedom in the shoulder joint. Before I did this class, I was lying on the floor and trying to stretch my arm out but never able to comfortably touch the floor.  There was a moment in one of the lessons, where suddenly my arm just landed on the floor in a new and comfortable way, and I knew that this stuff works! Then I decided to go to a lot more classes and started to do training, and it was only the second training they have ever done in London. Every lesson I did in the training kept coming back to my flute playing. There is a link between me being awarded the Rising Star and when I was doing the training. The second year I came back and played for Sir James, it was a combination of doing a lot of practice and my Feldenkrais training. Something changed with how I was relating to the instrument; I was much freer.   How can Feldenkrais benefit flutists, and what would you recommend to someone who is new to it?   Feldenkrais isn't as well-known as other methods such as Alexander Technique. Ultimately, the flute is a physical activity, and I think the main thing about playing any musical instrument is that it is very habitual. We stand in a similar position all the time and move in a certain way, so habitual patterns and movement get set up in the system. Some of them are very useful, but there is also a lot of extra effort that starts creeping into our self-use.  The Feldenkrais method provides a way of us learning about our habits and movements and having more choices, so we can let go of some of that extra effort that we use. As far as good first steps for flutists, I have recorded two series of lessons, one is called "Breath and Balance (Volume 1)" and the other is "Better Tone and Jaw Comfort." Those are good introductions because I frame it in...

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