August 2018 Convention
Orlando, FL

350 Years of Flute: Historical Flutes in Concert

I was delighted to be involved in a concert dedicated to 350 Years of historical flutes. I began the concert on a Renaissance flute made by Puglisi, playing “Amarilli mia Bella” by Van Eyck from Der Fluyten Lustof, c. 1644. The harmonic mode suits the flute well.

Elizabeth Walker

The next flutes in the concert were reproductions of Palanca and Grenser flutes c.1765 and 1796 respectively. Leela Breithaupt, Barbara Hoskins, and Nancy Schneeloch-Bingham performed suites by Joseph Bodin de Boismortier and Michel de la Barre.

All the flutes in the next stage of the concert were originals not reproductions. The first, a boxwood flute with four lever keys made by Asa Hopkins in Litchfield, Connecticut, c.1830, was played by Barbara Hopkins. She performed “Hancock Light Infantry Quick Step,” published in the Boston Weekly in 1841, and “Gallop” and “Waltz” by John L. Downe.

Kelly Nivison performed on a 13-keyed Romantic flute by Heinrich Friedrich Meyer (1814–97) c. 1880. Nivison’s flute has an ivory head, which produced a particularly rich, warm, and expressive tone. She played Divertissement no. 4 by Charles Keller.

Wendell Dobbs and Júlio Ribeiro Alves

Wendell Dobbs then treated us to a Rossini song arranged by Tulou and Carulli for flute and guitar. Júlio Ribeiro Alves played on an original guitar from 1849; Dobbs matched on a Tulou system “flûte perfectionnée” by Jacques Nonon, c. 1855.

I ended the concert with Johannes Donjon’s Elégie-Etude, which I played on a Böhm system, Louis Lot flute no. 435 made in 1859.

Where are we heading in the next 350 years?

—Elizabeth Walker

photos by Elizabeth Walker