Saturday, July 21, 2007

Denis Bouriakov might just blow your tiny mind!

Dear Flutists,
I recently received an email from a fellow flute teacher which contained this innocent, helpful sentence:

"Jen, You may like to check out D. Bouriakov's playing. I really like it."

Well thanks for the it just about blew my excellent tiny mind!

See if you all agree. (video)

Hear more:
Denis Bouriakov's website

You will be amazed to find that this 26 yr. old has just broken a new world's flute record for brilliance!

I for one, downloaded all the tracks, and burned them to a CD for repeated listenings.
I also ordered the transcription of the BWV 1004 by Bach (for flute) and the violin work by Saint Saens (which Bouriakov plays in the original key using octave transpositions where required.)
He also plays Schubert, Mozart and Jolivet. All for free download.

Yes, our minds will never be the same.
Please leave your comments below.

Feb 2018 update:

In the comments we were discussing Bouriakov's unique offset embouchure and whether or not he uses the much maligned "smile muscles". Jury is still out. Check out these amazing close ups in the videos on note bending below.

Note Bending part 1 (video)

Note Bending part 2 (video)

Amazingly idiosyncratic embouchure.
Jen :>)
Comments (32)
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for this info!
This is really phantastic flute playing.
I also make 2 CDs of his playing, while hearing it...
Beautiful. Thank you Jen, and thank you Mr. Bouriakov for making this available for free ...

R.L. from Cologne, Germany.

Sunday, July 22, 2007 8:22:00 AM

Blogger Floot said...

How did you download the MP3s??? I can open them but not download... *confused*

Sunday, July 22, 2007 8:24:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Thanks for the comment R.L. :>)
I looked up an old email where Galway states that he uses the Donjon cadenzas for Mozart D Major Concerto. So I'm guessing at least the first cadenza of Bouriakov is Donjon. Jen

Sunday, July 22, 2007 8:48:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Hi Sarah,
I found the same problem. One cannot right-click on the sound files, but has to re-record them using a recording software as they play. So I used the freeware programme we have called AUDACITY (from Soundforge) and set it to "Wave-out-mix" and pressed record. Then I played the file to check the recording levels (level 1-2; very low levels to prevent peaking), and then I let it run until each piece finished, and saved the Audacity sound file as an mp3. If anyone else has an easier way to do it, let me know.
I burned the CD by selecting the mp3s. Took some time, but totally worth it to hear the CDs over and over for some of that flash technique! Jen :>)

Sunday, July 22, 2007 8:51:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jen,
the longer I hear him, the more I can understand your opinion.
He is a flute magician.

Dear Sarah,
yes yes downloading is tricky:
his flashsite is for computer professionals, hahaha!
The first (!) file is mp3 and opens in Quiktime (how awful!) and then you can download by right click and save as ... then you have to go back.
The other files "work" much better, they are *.wma and download easily just by clicking on them.
And, please, do NOT use Firefox here, Internet Explorer works (at least for me, hahahaha!),

Cologne, Germany.

Sunday, July 22, 2007 9:03:00 AM

Blogger Sheila said...

Ooooh! My first remark? Very shiny...I like!!!!!!

I may have to download Audacity (been meaning to anyway), and do that. Too pretty. Thank you so very much! I'm just listening to the Bach Chaconne right now, and I will continue listening to these. The sound is so clear and pure and simply lovely. I can't say thank you enough! :D


Sunday, July 22, 2007 1:10:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Sheila wrote:
JenCluff - You make me laugh! Jen's lighthearted flutey wisdom imparted through her blog is so much fun to read, and I always learn something new. Her words inspire me to aim high in my musical studies, and to try these new things on the flute. Be it a new flute player, whose notes ring clear in the air, or another flutish warm-up, it's always worth reading. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration, Jen!

And Jen writes:
THANKYOU Sheila!! :>D

Sunday, July 29, 2007 4:13:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the subject of saving the audio files, if you get them to open up in windows media player, go to file, then save as...
The Chant de linos took my breath away!!!!!!

Friday, August 03, 2007 3:04:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Hello to the person who just suggested a Windows Media Player saving method: There is no tab called FILE on my WMP.
There is Rip, Sync, Library and none of them actually save the mp3.
How do I get a Wind.Mediaplayer that has FILE on it?

Friday, August 03, 2007 10:05:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jen, You need to right click in a blank area in line with the sync/rip/burn etc and you should get a file-->save as

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 6:28:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Okay, thanks for the tip.
I'll keep trying.
Best, Jen :>)

Thursday, August 16, 2007 12:42:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there, dont know where i am,dont know where to write, buti have a questione. Is it possible to put the flute not in the center(i really like the sound..)about Denis: we are from the same country, soyou know why here are misstakes...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 6:12:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Hi to the Russian flutist who just wrote about lining up the flute.
The article on how to line up your flute headjoint (and why it does not have to be in the center)is here:

Good luck,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 11:16:00 AM

Blogger Itakian said...

I knew him since he held the infamous Bouriakov free sheets site (now down since months ago)...when I discovered he's one of the most talentuos flutists over the world, I were amazed.
And his Chant de Linos...the best I ever heard.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:31:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jen,

While browsing through your marvelous site, I ran into the link to Bouriakov mp3. I have discovered him 3 months ago, while looking through a list of competitors at the Jean-Pierre Rampal competition, to see what became of them after. I really fell in love with his playing so, in the end, I just want to say that I respect you and the work you did with this site so much. It trully is a place to find quality flute links and articles.
All the best,

Victor from Romania

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 9:40:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Thankyou Victor. What a kind and lovely comment. I appreciate your taking the time to write.
All the best, Jen :>)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 10:47:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now he just won the position of one of the principal flutists of The Met

Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:21:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Yes, The Metropolitan Opera orchestra; two new co-principal flutists. Good job Denis!


Sunday, December 14, 2008 5:42:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone know what flute he plays on??

Saturday, February 21, 2009 11:14:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Bouriakov can be asked what kind of flute he plays on. His email address is on his website:


Saturday, February 21, 2009 11:41:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Bouriakov plays an Altus :]

Thursday, May 14, 2009 10:53:00 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

Yes he plays a straight Altus 1707 in line open G# (pure silver with soldered tone holes model)

Monday, November 23, 2009 9:00:00 PM

Blogger Bonaventure said...

Dear Jen,
May I ask where you ordered the transcriptions of the chaconne from?

Sunday, April 04, 2010 6:40:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Dear Daniel,

I ordered from but unfortunately, even with a D minor transcription, a whole lot of work is needed to transpose workably into G minor.
Hours and hours of work transposing.

Hopefully Bouriakov will make his version available at some point.

Sunday, April 04, 2010 10:21:00 AM

Anonymous Duck said...

If anyone is interested, I found a transcription of this on the imslp site here -,_BWV_1001-1006_(Bach,_Johann_Sebastian)
(ctrl + f and search for kamioka to find it)

Apparently it's released under creative commons by the arranger himself, so shouldn't be any copyright problems.

I've been playing it for a while and it seems to be very similar to the version Bouriakov plays and doesn't need transposing.

Saturday, April 17, 2010 1:58:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He has Galway's expressiveness coupled with a Rampal-like sweetness. Charming flute playing, for sure.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 9:15:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He's such an incredible flutist! I find his embouchure fascinating, as it goes against all of the usual advice. It's as far off to the left side as I've ever seen...but we know a lot of good flutists play off to that side (I don't think I've seen anyone with an embouchure off to the right side). His flute is often not parallel with his lips, but droops downward. And he also plays with a marked smile (which you can see in his youtube videos on note bending and in action here: But he's so good that it's obvious these things work for him. I'm thinking I might adopt a more "if it works, don't fix it" attitude.

Sunday, February 11, 2018 7:52:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

I know! Thanks for bringing this up, Anonymous!
I've always wondered if it's the arrangement of teeth that causes someone to choose offset to the left. As described in Mather's books, offset to the right causes arm discomfort, so few try it. But if anyone can ask Denis about this, I'd love to know. Does he have a crowded bottom row of teeth that precludes centering. Curious.
Best, Jen

Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:46:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Hello again Anonyous from Feb 11th 2018!
I watched the video and added it above, to the blog.
Close ups from right side only don't show the side of the mouth one needs to see. :>)

I don't agree that the side of his mouth we can see is necessarily in a "smile".
I'm comparing it to the Gilbert photos in "The Gilbert Legacy". The corners are not pulled upward, but are parallel to the chin line.

And arms are not too too too droopy. I've seen droopier. hahhahaa.
I'll search for smiling photos. Meanwhile, someone please ask Denis about offset embouchure and report back! :>) He's in L.A. !

Sunday, February 11, 2018 8:59:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

pps. Just embedded another video, above, and you are right! It does indeed look like he uses "smile", but not in the typical way because of the extreme offset. Teeth look straight. Strangest embouchure that works I've ever seen. You got that right. Thanks. Interesting stuff. Jen

Sunday, February 11, 2018 9:16:00 AM

Blogger Unknown said...

When we hear his playing and see his embouchure we should remind ourselves that the function of the embouchure is simply to direct size speed and direction of air stream in a way which is efficient and soes not hinder the efficient use of the the tongue. There is more than one solution to this. Those of us who take a fairly orthodox route have it easy because the trail has been laid for us. But there is nothing to stop anyone taking other routes as long as the end result is the same. But if we do choose a different route e can expect a lot of criticism until it works.No one in their right mind can criticise the technique or artistry and humanity of Mr Bouriakos playing.

Monday, August 22, 2022 10:38:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Excellent point! Well stated! Jen

Tuesday, August 23, 2022 7:07:00 AM


Post a Comment