August 2009 Convention
New York, NY

Highlights of European Presenters (and more)

Kate Clark

Kate Clark

The number of flute players from outside the U.S. performed in New York than had played in recent conventions. It’s great to know that we Europeans are welcome at NFA conventions—and visa versa!

The Belgian flute player Peter Verhoyen has become a fine piccolo specialist and premiered two pieces by Belgian composers that he recorded this year on his CD The Birds. Aldo Baerten, also in the jury at the High School Soloist Competition, performed very well with his accompanist Stefan De Schepper the Sonata by Joseph Jongen, lesser known in America than in Europe. It is a long, late romantic, singing piece.

The NFA’s Historical Flutes committee has started a more active program seeking to investigate if and how performance of period flutes can be promoted more at NFA conventions. A great initiative; there was a time when ancient instruments were treated as pre-historic animals!

Stephen Preston

Stephen Preston

The 2009 convention included many historical flute sessions. Kate Clark presented a lecture/concert about the Renaissance flute that was very well received. This subject is quite new for an NFA convention, and people clearly appreciated it. Rachel Brown impressed completely again with her Quantz sonates, and Stephen Preston presented a wonderfully contrasting program with ancient and modern pieces on his baroque flute. Poulenc, Thow, and Koechlin on traverso—Preston still is the pionier who continues to develop himself.

For the Telemannathon—which lasted from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.—two flute players were ‘tied to each other’ every 15 minutes to perform sets of three duets by Telemann. Some players performed on baroque flutes, complete with beautiful embellishments; others played on their Böhm flutes.

—Mia Dreese

photo of Kate Clark by Brian Covington