Saturday, September 09, 2023

Lyrical Championship; Galways to judge

Dear Flutelovers,

 Two blog posts in three days from me, whoa nellie, eh? But this one is time sensitive if you want to participate, and I think it sounds amazing! A chance for adult amateurs and students to play for the Galways for one thing! :>)

There's a Flute Championship being held online with Sir James and Lady Galway as judges, as well as Ulla Miilmann, Viviana Guzmán and Joshua Batty. 

Yesterday the author, Karen North, officially announced The 3rd “Lyrical Flute International Championship”. She wrote: "This  is a virtual competition, so entrants submit a video of playing one of the set pieces; entry is FREE and there are great PRIZES to be won thanks to our generous sponsors. The set list includes many recently commissioned works, which I have published in “Lyrical Flute Encores” and “Lyrical Flute Legends”, in addition to other music. If you know of any students or amateur adult flutists who might be interested, further information is here about the championship. 

Entries close Oct. 31st 2023.(prize information & rules). And you are welcome to send an email if you have questions about the Championship to Karen North:  karen(at)THEYOUNGFLUTEPLAYER(dot)COM "


Jen adds: Note that all sheetmusic and backing tracks are available by digital download  (and of course in print copies of the book too), and it is so beautifully presented. Here is the introductory video for the newest "Encores" book so you can hear and see some of the sheetmusic (video) composed by commission.

 I checked out all the information, and it says that you can use a live pianist or a backing track for your video entry. All backing tracks are here in playlists on youtube. You can also purchase mp3 backing tracks for under $10 if you prefer to download them. Entry form and "how to upload a video" links  are on this page. For the championship's third year, here is the repertoire list. It allows the performer to select from several of Karen North's publications for flute, some of which they may have already purchased.

And here are the newly published "Lyrical" sheetmusic books from which you are to play ONE selection for the championship:

Lyrical Flute Legends - Purchase the book. (digital download available)

Listen to all the works in the book: (youtube playlist).

Lyrical Flute EncoresPurchase(digital download available)

Listen to all the works in the book: (youtubeplaylist).

Jen writes: This is a brilliant idea to spread the word about these beautiful new lyrical pieces, written especially for this publication and to offer interpretive diversity to the number of recordings available for these very "hot off the presses" lovely lyrical flute pieces. So much helpful information is given at her website.

And I can't wait to hear the winners! It just adds to the many possible sensitive and dramatic ways to interpret these new works.

Thanks to Karen North for her foresight and enjoy all these beautiful new works for flute and piano. This was SO needed in the repertoire. Congrats on a job well done Karen, and can't wait for more. Fabulouso!! :>D

Best, Jen

Thursday, September 07, 2023

Argentinian music for Flute & Piano

 Dear Flutelovers,

Well here's a marvelous musical discovery; music for flute by Argentinian composers Paulina Fain (flute) and Exequiel Mantega (piano). And so much of their flute/piano sheetmusic is free at their Tango Education website.

Have a listen to the optimism, fun and playfulness of this first one. I truly want to play the flute again just to play pieces exactly like this piece!!

Viste de Mi (You Saw Me): (video

Paulina Fain flute, Exequiel Mantega piano

I love that title: You Saw Me. How apt that is for what it sounds like!

And here's another favourite one:

Un dia de noviembre (One day in November): (audio)

These two pieces will be my goal to restart playing again. I'm rehearsing them with a jazz pianist in Oct/Nov. so there's a reason to prepare. What a joy to start with some music that is so invigorating and fresh to the ear.

If you're lovin' these sounds, take a listen to the rest of the free music at the site:

Tal vez sera su voz (Maybe it will be your voice): (video)

Milonga Camarga (piccolo): (video)

El choclo (the Corn): (video)

La Deschissiada: (video)

Milonga Gris: (video)

Their website has free scores for all instruments. When you arrive, make sure you're in ENGLISH, then scroll down to find all the above pieces for flute & piano, and even flute ensemble music, which I have not listened to yet. You sign up and check out and all the pdfs are yours:

Paulina Fain has also written a "how to learn authentic Tango on flute" book which has online sound samples of techniques, rhythms and five original pieces for flute and piano. The online CD-1, CD-2 audios that go with the book gives you a clear idea of what the book will contain before you order it.

This is just so incredibly marvelloosey, I'm thrilled.

Maybe I will finally learn to Tango!!
Best, Tango Jen

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Playing the Recorder

 Dear Flutelovers,

How many of us started the flute by starting the recorder first? Please comment if you have a story on this.  I started in grade 3 and the only song I remember is "Go From My Window (Go...go...)". But what a song that is! :>)

When I switched to flute at age 11 I couldn't believe how much I loved the sound quality, and how much easier it was to learn after learning the recorder first. So I too would be alarmed if the schools didn't each such child-friendly instruments in the early grades anymore. There was an article about that this week in the UK news, from which comes this quote:


  “It’s a vastly complex instrument,” says Sarah Jeffery. “It’s even a little bit dangerous”, she adds with a smile, “because every little move you make can be heard.” My first encounter with Jeffery, a classically-trained recorder player and educator, was via her YouTube channel Team Recorder, a platform where she publishes weekly tutorials on all aspects of playing and music-making. Started in 2016, and triggered by a frustration that “there was no information about the recorder online at all,” Jeffery filmed her first video sitting on her bed, and it immediately took off.

“I try and keep it real,” she says. “One week I’ll be talking about French baroque ornamentation, and then I’ll do a tutorial on Taylor Swift because that’s what I’m listening to,” she laughs. The channel now boasts 191,000 subscribers, and has brought her into contact with passionate communities from all over the world. “Music should be fun,” she emphasises. But her YouTube channel is also there to inform. Where there is indifference, there is also ignorance.

Sarah Jeffery online recorder tutorials are here.


Of course this led to listening to some amazing recorder playing on youtube this morning (we're in a heatwave here) which brought back memories of recorder players I've known and worked with and some of the great techniques they use. These are some of the best videos I found today below, played by Lucie Horsch . Naturally, as we get closer to September I'll be talking flute again. That's for sure. Enjoy! And comment if you remember the great recorder!! :>)

Best, Jen

Vivaldi Concerto ‘Per Flautino’ performed by Lucie Horsch, recorder (video)

Les Folies d'Espagne - Marais performed by Lucie Horsch, recorder, Thomas Dunford, lute (video)

Libertango - Piazzola performed by Lucie Horsch, recorder (video)

Comment button below!! Happy August (and no heat waves!)

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Live-Stream Tchaikovsky competition

Update June 29:

The competition's third round is complete and you can scroll down here to see the Winners!!  Videos of all of the performances are  archived for later viewing on the competition's website.

When searching the video archive, look for the woodwind photo on the title page of each video to find the flutists. There are multiple woodwind players in each four hr. video.

 The three flutists who had been selected to proceed to Round 3 had finished playing and it is fantastic stuff! Check out the videos. My fave is Sofia Viland!!!

Yesung Kim, South Korea

Sofia Viland, Russia

Anna Kamarova, Russia

See these three artists on youtube:

 YeSung Kim,  Sofia Viland, (interview with Sofia),  Anna Komarova.

The second round participant who was eliminated was: Ksenia Arsenova (see bios of contestants here.) I watched the performance again I think it was a case of intonation issues caused by the flute leaning backward (weight of the rods causing the flute to roll inward) in the hands, as well as uncontrolled pitch during forte dynamics. It was also interesting to note that this is a rare "offset to the right" embouchure found in Arsenova's fluteplaying.

Woodwind videos in archive so far:

Round 1: (wooden flute for Bach work)


Round 2:

Round 3:


I Prize and gold Medal — Viland Sofia (Russia)

II Prize and silver Medal — Osver Fyodor (Russia) and Komarova Anna (Russia)

III Prize and bronze Medal — Kim Ye Sung (South Korea), Palumbo Augusto Velio (Italy), Zhuravskiy Lev (Russia)

IV Prize and Diploma —

V Prize and Diploma - Ning Yuening (China)

VI Prize and Diploma - Xie Zonglin (China)

Best, Jen

Sunday, June 18, 2023

The Tchaikovsky Competition

 Dear Flutelovers,

Well how thrilling! The famous Tchaikovsky Competition is on again from June 21-30th. The Russian contestants abound and the repertoire list looks interesting. The performances culminate with the final mvmt. of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto arranged for flute by Denis Bouriakov as well as CPE Bach Concerti both played with orchestra. Yay!

This is only the second time the contest has included woodwinds and it is only held every four years, so I'll look forward to hearing fine players as well as flute, as their artistry and the instrumental timbres are so invigorating.

Online Streaming information will appear on their website under "News". 

And I'll put streaming info here too as it comes up.

See a list of the contestants here and the repertoire list for the fluteplayers is below. Enjoy imagining what YOU would have prepared for each round.

And as a featured arranger, here's Denis Bouriakov performing his own arrangement of Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (video). Thrill ride!! :>D

3rd mvmt 

(1st mvmt. 2nd mvmt videos).

Thanks to Dianne Winsor for keeping us all up to date on what's happening with International flute competitions. :>)

Best, Jen



Round I:

Solo program, consisting of the following pieces

J.S. Bach. Partita in a minor for solo flute

V. Tsybin. Concert Allegro No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 for flute and piano.

(this used to read: Mozart Concerto in G for some reason and has now been corrected on the official website.)


Round II:

Solo program, consisting of the following pieces:

Р. Tchaikovsky. Serenade Mélancolique, op. 26 (arr. in F minor by D. Bouriakov, or any other arrangement, including candidate’s own. In case of candidates own arrangement, must provide a matching piano part)     

One of the following pieces:

- E. Denisov. Sonata for flute and piano

- Y. Nagovitsyn. Sonata for flute and piano

- S. Prokofiev. Sonata for solo flute, op. 115 (originally for violin solo) - any arrangement (for example, -G. L. Petrucci), including one of the candidate’s own

- Y. Kornakov. Sonata no. 1 or sonata no. 2 for flute and piano and

One of the following pieces:

- N. Paganini. La Campanella (arr. by D. Bouriakov, J. Balint or any other arrangement, including candidate’s own)

- C. Saint-Saens. Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (arr. by D. Bouriakov, or any other arrangement, including candidate’s own)

- T. Boehm. Grande Polonaise and

One of the following pieces:

- L. Berio. Sequenza I, for solo flute

- E. Carte. Scrivo in Vento

- T. Ichiyanagi. “In a Living Memory” for solo flute

- T. Takemitsu. Voice

- I. Yun. Etude no 5 for solo flute.


Round III: Performance with orchestra. Program consisting of these pieces (to be performed by memory):

One of the following concertos:

- C.P.E. Bach: Concerto for flute and orchestra in A major, Wq. 168 (H.438)

- C.P.E. Bach: Concerto for flute and orchestra in A minor, Wq. 166 (H.430)

- C.P.E. Bach: Concerto for flute and orchestra in D minor, Wq. 22 (H.425)

- C.P.E. Bach: Concerto for flute and orchestra in G major, Wq. 169 (H.445).


P. Tchaikovsky - L. Auer. Lensky's aria from the opera Eugene Onegin (arranged by Andrey Rubtsov).


P. Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto in D Major, arranged for flute in F major by D. Bouriakov III mov. Finale: Allegro vivacissimo.



Lensky's Aria (video) (Bouriakov arr. re: not the Rubtsov)

Sunday, May 07, 2023

Just love it when this happens

 Dear Flutelovers,

I just love it when this happens:

Denis Bouriakov's Encore (video)

Talk about a sophisticated and tuned-in audience!


I'd love to hear comments and springtime flutey questions!

Use the comment button below to ask anything.

Happy May!

Best, Jen

Monday, April 03, 2023

Insights into playing a great second flute

Hello Flutelovers and happy spring!

While I get my new season of house and self together (I spent most of March working on the homefront, but not fluting), please enjoy this very informative interview of insights into playing second. Sarah Newbold of Academy of St. Martins-in-the-Fields talks to Michael Cox, Principal, about what it takes to play great second flute (video)

Topics covered such as: Intonation; Matching sounds; Ego; Leading; Breathing; Sixth sense; Playing piccolo;  Style and flexibility and more. Very informative and helpful. Love these kinds of insider's interviews and wish there were more.

Comments are welcome (button below).

Best, Jen