• Shraddha Patnala

Great Flute Players of Our Time (part 2)

And we’re back! We couldn’t limit the list of the Great Flute Players of Our Time to just five phenomenal flautists - not when there are scores of dedicated, talented, and delightful musicians like who we’ve got lined up for you!

Without further ado, we present the Great Flute Players of Our Time, part two. (You might recognise a few names from part one!)

Denis Viktorovich Bouriakov, born in 1981, is a Ukrainian-Russian-American musician who, while looking to learn the oboe, found the flute more natural instead. He studied flute from age 11 at the Moscow Central Special Music School. He continued his music training at the Royal Academy of Music in London, and went on to join and perform with renowned orchestras around the world, such as the Finnish Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra and the Barcelona Symphony and Catalonia National Orchestra. Bouriakov now plays as the principal flautist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the United States of America. You can watch his exemplary performances here:

  • ‘Saint-Saens’ by Bouraikov and the Tokyo Wind Symphony Orchestra, playing the Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso:

  • Bach:

Marcel Moyse was renowned for his controlled and rapid vibrato complemented by his clear, precise tone. Born in 1889 in St Amour, France, Moyse (pronounced moh-EEZ) began studying the flute at age 15. His uncle, a professional cellist at the time, encouraged Moyse’s interests and led him to pursue the flute. With steady practice and strategic guidance, Moyse was accepted into the Conservatoire in Paris. By 1906 he was performing at major venues and cities as a professional flautist, and when he was not recording or performing, he would be composing over a dozen publications to support students of classical music. Today, Moyse is remembered and honoured as a virtuoso in the classical flute community, having contributed to the French style of flute playing.

You can watch his masterful performances here:

  • Video excerpt -

  • Carmen en’tracte -

  • Master class -

Marina Piccinini is a celebrated flautist and music teacher. The path to her illustrious career began when she began playing the flute at age 10 in Toronto, Canada. As a young student she pursued a more structured training under mentors such as Jeanne Baxtresser. Piccinini went on to train as a professional classical flautist at the Julliard School, and is globally recognised for her excellent recordings and performances. She has ties to, lived in, and performed throughout the world, and brings her rich and multicultural heritage to her profession as a visionary flautist.

Her technical prowess and her expressive stage presence can be enjoyed here:

  • Syrinx -

  • Faure -

William Bennett, OBE, is an illustrious British flautist, known for his Baroque, classical, and contemporary style of playing. Bennett began playing the recorder at age eight, and then proceeded to learn the flute at age 12. He studied in London with Geoffrey Gilbert (same teacher at James Galway!) and continued his training in France under Jean-Pierre Rampal and Marcel Moyse. Bennett joined the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra at age 22 and went on to perform as a soloist, record numerous albums, and collaborate with great artists of the century such as Jimi Hendrix. Bennett was also highly regarded for his interest in pairing the flute with other instruments in delightful, colourful ways.

You can explore a few of his masterful performances here:

  • Bonis Sonate:

  • Concerto Nº1 for flute and orchestra by Raimundo Pineda:

Not one with a conventional range, our final flautist-singer-composer-guitarist-saxophonist virtuoso in this post is Ian Anderson. Anderson, born in 1947, didn’t begin playing the flute as one would naturally assume. He began with the harmonica and progressed to the electric guitar, which he then traded in for a flute in the 1960s. His first flute recording can be heard on his album ‘This Was’ (1968) when he was just a few months into playing the instrument!

Also known to stand on one leg during his flute performances - a habit from his harmonica days - Anderson made this a recurring physical expression in his performances.

Anderson noticed much later in his career - when his daughter took up flute lessons - that his fingering was incorrect. He then moved on to pick up on further flute techniques and favoured flute-heavy pieces for recordings and performances as you can see in ‘Divinities: Twelve Dances With God’.

You can listen to his energetic, lyrical, musical compositions here:

Aqualung -

Bourree -

Thick as a brick -

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