Powell Flutes

Powell Brings Philippe Bernold to Tomar

Courtesy of Powell Flutes and its parent company, Buffet Crampon, Professor Philippe Bernold, of the Paris National Conservatory, presented classes, a seminar and a recital at the Summer Flute Academy 2018, in Tomar. 

It was a unique opportunity for all present to observe his work, play for him in classes and hear him perform a stunning recital. Bernold is a Powell Artist, performing on a Handmade 18k gold Powell flute, and along with his position at the Paris Conservatoire, gives master classes worldwide, and is extremely busy as a soloist and conductor. He is also very approachable, generous, and can simplify musical and instrumental issues brilliantly.

He also fell in love with Tomar! Portugal has many "hidden" delights, and the historic city of Tomar—gastronomy included!—is definitely high up on that list! Prof. Bernold—au revoir! See you again soon!

 Philippe Bernold in recital with pianist Jonathan Ayerst, at the Summer Flute Academy, Tomar

Philippe Bernold in recital with pianist Jonathan Ayerst, at the Summer Flute Academy, Tomar

Welcoming Paolo Taballione to the 5th Summer Flute Academy!

Courtesy of Powell Flutes, we are excited to welcome Powell Artist Paolo Taballione to the 5th Summer Flute Academy! Paolo will give a recital and work with selected students in a masterclass that promises to be a lot of fun!

I met Paolo briefly at the "Hands-On" flute festival at the University of Aveiro earlier this year, and very much enjoyed his entertaining performance, which included two works he himself arranged for flute and piano! We are waiting to see what else he has up his sleeve for us at the Academy, and look forward to his feedback to our fantastic students! Alongside his many solo performances, Paolo is Solo Flute of the Bavarian State Opera, so be prepared for a little "magic flute-ing"!

There is no cost to participants in the Academy for his (or any of the other) class—it's all included in the very accessible price of the Academy, so hurry up and sign up before places all fill up!

Many thanks to Powell Flutes in Boston, USA, for once again supporting the Academy with the presence of an outstanding flutist at our course!

 Paolo Taballione, Powell Artist

Paolo Taballione, Powell Artist

Head joint upgrades, Part 1!

Are you feeling like your flute is letting you down? Do you feel you are ready for an instrument that can do what you can imagine doing? Are you looking to upgrade to a much better instrument—and yet, you don't have the funds for a whole new flute?

We've all been in this position, and the very best advice I can give you is to UPGRADE YOUR HEAD JOINT! The head joint of a flute is like the bow for a violin or cello—and believe me, our string-player friends spend a lot of time searching for a better bow, since it is so much more affordable than a better fiddle!

As long as the body of your flute is working well—and if it isn't, you should send it to Luthier Tomás Miranda right away!—then you can definitely make a huge positive impact in your performance by upgrading to a better head joint.

Which brings me to Powell and Powell's famous head joints: famous since 1927 for their response, flexibility and projection! I have in stock a wide selection of head joints, both Signature (a more accessible line which is still totally handmade) and Custom, in materials ranging from classic Silver, Grenadilla, Aurumite and Gold. There's literally something for everyone.

If you are interested, just contact me for a no-obligation trial, or attend the 5th Summer Flute Academy, where there will be oodles of stock available to try and buy.

 Gorgeous Powell head joints, waiting for you to find yours!

Gorgeous Powell head joints, waiting for you to find yours!

ESART - Auditions Overflow with Talent!

It was an exciting, if long, day at ESART last Sunday! My wonderful colleague (and Powell player) Professor Stephanie Wagner and I listened to twenty candidates for the Bachelor's program (licenciatura) — this was a tie with last year's number, and the largest applicant group by instrument!

To the hopeful candidates performing for us, it is of course very stressful, but an important thing to know is that what any jury really wants to hear is GREAT PLAYING! We are "with you" out there on the stage, we've been there, too! Never think the jury just wants to toss people off the ship—it really is not like that!

And we were extremely pleased with the level of the young flutists! For someone who has been in Portugal for quite some time, you might say the level would have been unimaginable even 5-10 years back. Therefore, we congratulate the hard-working, dedicated teachers who have produced such fine young players!

Lastly, we thank all twenty flutists for making the effort to be there and putting out your best! Bravi tutti!!

 ESART Classe de Flauta Transversal, 2016-17 (with fun filters!)

ESART Classe de Flauta Transversal, 2016-17 (with fun filters!)

Welcome to ESART - a Dear Colleague!

This is only "news" because I was away from the blog for some time following the India tour: join me in welcoming to the Flute Faculty at ESART the wonderful and multifaceted flutist Stephanie Wagner! We will be team-teaching there, in Castelo Branco from here on out!

I am very honored that Stephanie is able to put her wide-ranging professional experience at the service of the class, with a complementary angle to mine! Together, we have already "produced" four editions of the Summer Flute Academy (which was her brainchild!) along with our terrific colleague Raquel Lima of ESMAE, so we are enjoying extending the collaboration throughout the school year!

Stephanie, a native of Lisbon, has held orchestral positions in Germany, performed piccolo with the London Symphony Orchestra, studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston, USA, and the Hochschüle in Munich, Germany. She has now been the flutist with the Remix Ensemble-Casa da Música in Porto for over ten years! You can check out all her activities on her site!

She is also a longtime Powell Flutes player, both C flute and the piccolo in the photo below! And she is the Portuguese rep for Kingma Flutes, playing the Kingma alto, bass and contrabass with Remix. We have a love for new music in common; composers should check out her "UnlimitedFlutes" project!

Anyway, this weekend we'll be doing a "flute marathon" with the ESART class—photos forthcoming!

 Powell Flutist Stephanie Wagner, with the smallest flute of her collection!

Powell Flutist Stephanie Wagner, with the smallest flute of her collection!

Back to Work!

After a day of rest, it's back to work, rehearsing for our upcoming concerts! We were grateful to the Delhi Music Society for the use of their largest room to unpack gear and rehearse for many hours. A great pleasure also to again take up preparing for the premiere of Carlos Marecos' fantastic work written for us, "7 Instantes from Rural Portugal" for flutes, recorders and piano. Marecos is famous for sensuous melodies and harmonies—effortless mastery, really—and we are sure the audience will love the work as much as we already do! Lots of other works, covering five centuries of music, on the program too, so we think there will be something, hopefully many things, on the program for everyone! 

More photos of the day! 

 Powell Flutes, unpacked and ready to go, plus a lovely Soubeyran traverso! 

Powell Flutes, unpacked and ready to go, plus a lovely Soubeyran traverso! 

 Just a few of the many recorders to be used for the program… 

Just a few of the many recorders to be used for the program… 

 A lovely Bõsendorfer piano owned by the Delhi Music Society. Ivory tops of keys nailed down due to humidity causing the glue to "melt". 

A lovely Bõsendorfer piano owned by the Delhi Music Society. Ivory tops of keys nailed down due to humidity causing the glue to "melt". 

 Masks to protect against the smoke (receding, fortunately) in Delhi—better safe than sorry.  

Masks to protect against the smoke (receding, fortunately) in Delhi—better safe than sorry.  

 Best news of the day: Hotel Concierge with our delayed luggage! Whew! 

Best news of the day: Hotel Concierge with our delayed luggage! Whew! 

Stephanie Wagner, Powell Flutist

Well, this was to have gone out on her birthday earlier this week, but I got distracted/tied up… I just thought I would kick off a series of blog entries on some of the wonderful flutists here in Portugal who are Powell players, and who better to start with than my wonderful colleague Stephanie Wagner?

Stephanie has been the flutist of the Remix Ensemble of the Casa da Música in Porto for over ten years (congratulations!!). So obviously she has a special interest in contemporary music, and as a Remix member, she has performed solo works, as soloist, and in ensemble pieces of all kinds all over Europe! You can check out some of her recordings on her website, of course!

Furthermore, Stephanie was the "driving force" behind the creation of the Summer Flute Academy (Academia de Flauta de Verão), which will celebrate it's 5th edition next July. Together with myself and the fabulous Raquel Lima (Prof. at ESMAE, Porto), Stephanie brought to fruition a dream of making a new kind of summer flute course, where students are constantly challenged, and where they spend most of the day on their feet playing, and also learning about many "lateral" aspects of being a musician. Thank you Stephanie for having so many great ideas, and for inviting us on board for the ride!

Stephanie plays on a Powell flute that she bought while she was studying at the New England Conservatory with (Powell player) Fenwick Smith (2nd Flute of the Boston Symphony), as well as a Powell Piccolo. She is also a big proponent of "low flutes" and plays and is the representative in Portugal for the alto, bass and contrabass flutes of Eva Kingma, of Holland. Talk about versatile! For more information on someone having a very interesting and creative career, see Stephanie's website as well as our revamped site of the Academy!

 Stephanie Wagner, Powell player, Remix Ensemble; Photo ©Susana Neves

Stephanie Wagner, Powell player, Remix Ensemble; Photo ©Susana Neves

POWELL DAY in LISBON - A gigantic success!

A week has passed, and I'm finally "back in the saddle" here with some news! Sorry—busy time of year!

Our first-ever POWELL DAY was a gigantic success! For the flutists who came by, nonstop all day long, there was a "feast" of flutes, piccolos and head joints to try out, two rooms and three "specialist" ears to listen attentively. Everyone had, I do believe, a blast trying out all the gear, and exploring the differences that the various head joint cuts, metals, weights, and so forth DO, IN FACT, make to the resulting sound. This permits each person to find their perfect match—so that they can become their own dream flutist!

Meanwhile, the folks from Boston, Daniel Sharp and Rebecca Eckles, were quite taken aback by the fantastic level of the flutists coming by. Yup! We're a small country on the map, but flute-wise, we are getting pretty darn BIG! It's been an exciting time and things are only getting better and better. It's always cool when "outsiders" confirm what we here feel—the BUZZ!

So I thank everyone who came by, it was a blast! And anyone who would like a follow-up session, or couldn't make it on that day, just contact me to set up a trial—there are still plenty of flutes (piccs and head joints) to try out!  

 The early risers on POWELL DAY, with Tiago Canto, Dina Hernandez, Vera Morais, Tomás Miranda, Daniel Sharp, Rebecca Eckles and a LOT of flutes!

The early risers on POWELL DAY, with Tiago Canto, Dina Hernandez, Vera Morais, Tomás Miranda, Daniel Sharp, Rebecca Eckles and a LOT of flutes!

DIA POWELL - it's already TOMORROW!

Hang on to your hats, and hope for no (more) rain! Powell Flutes is coming to Lisbon with lots of great gear for all us flutists to try out! Don't miss this first-ever opportunity to meet with Powell folks Daniel Sharp and Rebecca Eckles here in Lisbon, and have a grand time trying everything out!

The "show" runs from 11am to 6pm, come whenever you like! For more information on the location, please contact me here, or via FaceBook Messenger. You don't need to register or anything formal! 

It is reported that there might be some food (my most famous American specialty!) on hand as well! Here's how Lisbon was looking just a few minutes ago: I think it's saying "WELCOME, BOSTON!"

 Lisbon at dusk…

Lisbon at dusk…

DIA POWELL em Lisboa! Já este Domingo!

Porqué é que deves deslocar num Domingo, quando podia ficar todo o dia no sofá? :)) Porque este é uma oportunidade EXCEPCIONAL de experimentar imensas variedades de flautas fabricados pela famosa empresa Powell Flutes de Boston, Massachussetts! Não só experimentar mas com gente da Powell a ajudar e explicar e guiar e ouvir com ouvidos experientes!

Naturalmente, lá estarei também, para vos acolher e ajudar como sempre faz com quem esteja interessado em experimentar flautas. E haverá flautas de todas as gamas e materiais da Powell—diversão total!

Para receber informação sobre o local é só me contactar. O horário do dia é das 11h até às 18h. Pode até ser que, sendo em Portugal, haverá um bocado de bebes e comes para mostrar a hospitalidade portuguesa aos americanos da Powell ;)

 Daniel Sharp and myself at the Powell Factory in Boston, Massachussetts. Venham conhecer o Daniel pessoalmente em Lisbon, este Domingo!

Daniel Sharp and myself at the Powell Factory in Boston, Massachussetts. Venham conhecer o Daniel pessoalmente em Lisbon, este Domingo!