August 2006 Convention
Pittsburgh, PA

Headliner Concerts

August 10, 13, 2006

A headliner recital was presented by a featured performer in the late afternoon on each day of the convention. These recitals drew standing-room-only crowds. I attended the Thursday and Sunday afternoon headliner recitals by Amy Porter and Marianne Gedigian respectively. Much of these dynamic flutists’ full recital programs was an assembly of transcriptions or arrangements, some done by the performers themselves.

Amy Porter

Amy Porter

Porter, who is the Flute professor at the University of Michigan, began her recital with Mozart’s Violin Sonata in B flat Major K. 378, which was played with high style and grace. Throughout the program she was ably assisted by pianist Christopher Harding, whose fluid playing was showcased in this sonata as well. A new work by composer Michael Daugherty, titled Crystal, followed. Porter played alto flute and was joined by her student Yi-Chun Chen, who also sounded quite lovely. The piece employed some mild extended techniques as well as the use of wind chimes. Other transcriptions performed included recently published songs by Godard and songs by Schubert and Prokofiev. Porter’s buttery sound was as smooth as silk as she glided her way through these charming new pieces. The recital closed with the famous Carmen Fantasie by Borne. Wearing a red dress given to her by none other than Jeanne Baxtresser, Porter channeled the dramatic Carmen, as this dazzling performance was a thrill to the very end.

Marianne Gedigian

Marianne Gedigian

Marianne Gedigian and pianist Rick Rowley, both from the University of Texas at Austin, presented works from their soon-to-be-released recording. The program opened with the third movement of A Tripartite Sonata by living composer Daniel Kelley. This fast-paced movement set the tone for a high-energy performance. The Violin Sonata of Gabriel Pierne, which Gedigian stated “is a slightly more expansive work than most Romantic-era repertoire for the flute” was next on the program, followed by Four Pieces for Flute and Piano by Frank Bridge. This collection of simple yet sweeping melodies highlighted Gedigian’s beautiful use of tone colors from rich and full to pure and delicate, as she was able to create the softest of sounds. The famous Pulcinella Suite by Stravinsky was the final piece on the program. The work was performed with a fullness that made it seem as if we were listening to an entire orchestra.

Both recitals were truly a representation of the ICONS theme of this convention, representing the best that the NFA has to offer.

—Nicole Esposito