Summer Flute Academy

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

Pedro de Alcantara @ 5th Summer Flute Academy!!

Consider yourself invited to attend our 5th (!) Summer Flute Academy— it promises to be the biggest, craziest and most fun EVER! Don't come to sit there watching, you'll be there to play, play, play, and also do a little listening and lots of trying out of new ideas!

There is really TOO MUCH planned to list it all in one go, so I'll just start in with one hot-off-the press bit of news: Pedro de Alcantara, one of the world's best-known teachers of the Alexander Technique and a wildly creative person, will be present! I'm very excited to announce this as it is not easy to get Pedro, based in Paris, "down" to Portugal, not for lack of interest, but only because he's often busy working in exotic places such as Australia or Japan! 

Pedro is Brazilian, trained in the US and the UK as a cellist, and has lived and worked in Paris for quite some time. He is the author of "Indirect Procedures", a book about the Alexander Technique for musicians published by Oxford University Press, has released several CDs, including improvisations, and is also a writer of novels. Check out his site and blog!

But mostly, he is a wonderful, insightful and unique person, who will bring his own ideas on music-making to all of us at the Academy! Thank you, Pedro, for fitting us into your schedule! "Expect nothing, anticipate anything."

Pedro de Alcantara, musician, writer, thinker, healer, creativity expert

Pedro de Alcantara, musician, writer, thinker, healer, creativity expert

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!

DEAR COMPOSERS: 4th Competition underway!

Dear cherished composers: we are pleased to announce (again, better a little late than never) that the 4th Composition Competition of the Summer Flute Academy is underway! 

Our two categories this year are: 1) SOLO WORK for "low flute"—alto, bass or contrabass; and 2) QUINTET for a flexible group of five flutists. The competition is open to composers of all ages and nationalities. We are excited to see, play and hear what you send in, so set your imaginations free!

First prizes include a premier performance at the 5th Summer Flute Academy, recorded in video and audio, publication of the work by Scherzo Editions, and cash prizes. We are proud to be sponsored by Verne Q. Powell Flutes, USA, and Kingma Flutes in Holland, and supported by ESMAE and Scherzo Editions—thank you all!

All details can be found on the Summer Flute Academy (Academia de Flauta de Verão) site. Deadline for entries is March 20th, 2017. SPREAD THE WORD!

Information available online in both English and Portuguese

Information available online in both English and Portuguese

Congratulations, Aldo Baerten!

Great news from the fabulous flutist Aldo Baerten, our guest teacher at the 4th Summer Flute Academy:

Aldo Baerten will leave the Münster Musikhochschule and replace Professor Marina Piccinini at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Median in Hannover, Germany. He will keep his positions as Principal Flute with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and at the Music Universities in Antwerp and Utrecht.

As we saw during his recital and master class at the Academy, Aldo is a wonderful musician, flutist and teacher, inspiring and warm, so the Hannover Hochschule is very lucky to get him! Aldo, a Powell Flute Artist, was sponsored at the Academy by the generosity of Powell Flutes in Boston. BRAVO, Aldo, from your fans in Portugal!

Professor Aldo Baerten working with Constantino Dykiy at the 4th Summer Flute Academy.

Professor Aldo Baerten working with Constantino Dykiy at the 4th Summer Flute Academy.

Gabrieli for flutes!

Here's the link to another video from the Summer Flute Academy, with the most incredibly beautiful music by Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612). It is rare to find pre-baroque music on a flute program, but the loss is definitely ours!

This "Canzon" in 8 voices features two groups of 4 players, facing each other from opposing sides of the room in this performance. Had we had the luck to "beam ourselves" to St. Mark's Cathedral in Venice, Italy, where Gabrieli was the chief composer, the design of the church with its opposing choir lofts would have amplified the antiphonal effect. Gabrieli was famous for using the spectacular acoustics of St. Mark's to the benefit of his compositions. These influenced early Baroque composers such as Schütz and indirectly Bach, bringing the Italian style into the German high-Baroque. More globalization!

Congratulations to the Academy students who performed—it was a joy to hear live, and a joy to hear again through the magic of YouTube!

Master Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli, with lute

Master Italian composer Giovanni Gabrieli, with lute

Winning Composition Premier now on YouTube!

My magnificent Summer Flute Academy colleague Stephanie Wagner is back from holiday, and thus the recordings from the concerts at the Academy are going online! (She's the IT whiz amongst us). They are on the Academy site, FaceBook page or YouTube.

The first one I'd like to draw your attention to is the fabulous performance by André Cameira (flute) and Patrícia Pires (alto flute) of Ricardo Matosinho's work "Traveling". It is extremely well-written and fun to listen to—bravo to the performers and the composer, who received First Prize in the Academy's 3rd Composition Competition for Works for Flutes

As soon as the work is available—it will be published by Scherzo Editions before the end of the year—I'll let everyone know. Until then, enjoy listening, and to the composer: keep writing for flutes, please!

Composer Ricardo Matosinhos, Patrícia Pires and André Cameira. Photo © Susana Neves /AFV

Composer Ricardo Matosinhos, Patrícia Pires and André Cameira. Photo ©Susana Neves/AFV

Low Flutes: Purcell Redux

For the Professors' Recital on the first day of the Summer Flute Academy, I got a chance to perform a contrabass flute duo with Stephanie Wagner, and Jonathan Ayerst on piano. This was a sort of second baptism of my new Eva Kingma Contrabass Flute, which is as fun to play as it is cool to look at! (At the 1st Summer Flute Academy I played 3 notes on Stephanie's Contra and it was love…what can I say?)

We played an adaptation I wrote for contrabass flute duo and piano of the famous aria "Dido's Lament" from Purcell's opera "Dido and Aeneas". Gloriously noble, sad music. I thank Stephanie for playing the harder part, and Jon for being the top-notch "backup band". Soon I hope we'll have all our Academy videos online—I'll let you know here as soon as they're up—but for now here's a photo! 

Two Kingma Contrabass Flutes at the 4th Summer Flute Academy

Two Kingma Contrabass Flutes at the 4th Summer Flute Academy

Luthier Tomás Miranda at the Summer Flute Academy

One of our hallowed traditions at the Summer Flute Academy is to bring the wonderful luthier Tomás Miranda up from Lisbon for a day, to show us a bit about the inner workings of our flutes! What to do and what NOT to do, in order to reduce mechanical problems, and when to send the flute in to him for professional treatment! 

As the official repairman for Powell Flutes here in Portugal, Tomás was able to visit the Powell factory and touch base with the masters of flute-building there—fotos of that visit on another blog entry! I think it was luthier-heaven for him, not counting the New England winter weather!

At the 4th Summer Flute Academy Tomás removed and replaced the mechanism of  a Yamaha for instructive purposes, and then sat at his table patiently "treating" students' flutes with small problems of leaks and wobbles and so forth. Tomás is a gem of a person, and has that amazing calmness of spirit necessary for this kind of work—he's our "artist behind the artists onstage"! Photo ©Susana Neves/AFV.

Tomás Miranda, at work at the 4th Summer Flute Academy. Photo ©Susana Neves/AFV

Tomás Miranda, at work at the 4th Summer Flute Academy. Photo ©Susana Neves/AFV