Join World Renowned Faculty JEANNE BAXTRESSER & ALBERTO ALMARZA with Guest Artists JIM WALKER, STEPHEN SCHULTZ & SOO-KYUNG PARK at the FLUTE FORUM — masterclasses for the advanced flutist.
Jeanne Baxtresser has held principal positions with three major orchestras, culminating in her 15-year tenure as Solo Flutist of the New York Philharmonic. Making her heralded debut with the Minnesota Orchestra at age 14, Ms. Baxtresser began her professional career as Principal Flutist of the Montreal Symphony immediately following her graduation from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Julius Baker. She was subsequently appointed Principal Flute of the Toronto Symphony before being invited by Music Director Zubin Mehta to join the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Baxtresser appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic on more than fifty occasions, and has been featured as a soloist across North America and Europe.
Ms. Baxtresser was named a recipient of the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for significant, lasting contributions to the flute world, and she was also awarded the National Medal of Arts from the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She is recognized internationally as a leading recording artist, author and lecturer.
In great demand as a teacher, many of Ms. Baxtresser’s students occupy principal and section positions in major orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. While in New York, Ms. Baxtresser served on the faculties of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. In 1998, she was appointed the Vira I. Heinz Professor of Flute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she has attracted many outstanding flute students from around the world. Ms. Baxtresser was also named University Professor, Carnegie Mellon University’s most distinguished professorial position awarded to those individuals who have achieved exceptional international recognition.
Ms. Baxtresser’s exceptional career as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician has produced numerous recordings, including New York Legends—Jeanne Baxtresser (Cala), Jeanne Baxtresser—A Collection of My Favorites (MSR Classics), and Chamber Music for Flute (Cala), featuring her performances with principal players of the New York Philharmonic. She has recorded many of the major symphonic works with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Kurt Masur.
Ms. Baxtresser’s acclaimed first book, Orchestral Excerpts for Flute with Piano Accompaniment (Theodore Presser), has been re-released in a new revised edition. This book and a companion CD, Orchestral Excerpts for Flute with Spoken Commentary (Summit), have become a vital part of flute pedagogy. Her subsequent book, Great Flute Duos from the Orchestral Repertoire, was named the 2004 winner of the National Flute Association’s Newly Published Music Competition.
ALBERTO ALMARZA, Associate Professor of Flute, Head of the Flute Department
Described as a virtuoso flutist by the Boston Globe, Alberto Almarza brings a unique and passionate approach to music. His versatility and musicianship have led him to perform and record some of the most adventurous and challenging pieces from the music of today as well as works from the standard repertoire and Baroque literature on period instruments.
A native of Chile, Mr. Almarza previously held the position of Principal Flute of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago. He later came to the United States to study with Jeanne Baxtresser in New York and with Julius Baker at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he obtained his Master’s degree. He currently serves on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon as Associate Professor of Flute and Head of the Flute Department.
His skills as a pedagogue, lecturer and recitalist have led to invitations from international festivals in the U.S., Europe, Korea and Latin America, and most recently, to perform at a TED TALK Conference. He was a resident artist and member of the faculty at The Jeanne Baxtresser International Master Classes, and has served at the National Flute Association Advisory Board for New Music and the Career and Artistic Development Committee
Mr. Almarza has appeared as soloist with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Memphis Symphony, BachFest Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonic, National Symphony and National Chamber Orchestras of Chile, and has collaborated with such artists as Julius Baker, Andrés Cárdenes, Alex Klein, Lionel Party, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the Arianna String Quartet among others. As a leading proponent of new music for the flute, Mr. Almarza has been instrumental in expanding the repertoire with numerous commissions and premieres of works by composers from around the world. Pieces written for him include four flute concertos and dozens of solo and chamber works.
He can be heard on radio broadcasts of International Music from Carnegie Mellon throughout North and South America, on compact discs from New Albion, Elán, Albany Records and Centaur Recordings as well as on a Naxos Records compact disc of the Flute Concerto by Reza Vali with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Most recently he and his vast flute collection were featured on the PBS program Horizons.
The Consummate Flutist
JIM WALKER, Few other flutists in history have made such indelible marks in so many musical circles. From jazz to pop to classical, television to film to the concert hall, Jim Walker has never met a crowd that didn’t love his powerful, “stand and deliver” performances. His star began to rise when Jim was named Associate Principal Flute in the Pittsburgh Symphony after a stint playing in the US Military Academy Band at West Point. He quickly gained the admiration of colleagues and audiences in Pittsburgh and set his sights on Principal Flute jobs. After eight years he won the Principal Flute position in the Los Angeles Philharmonic and never looked back.
To be Principal Flute of a major orchestra is to sit at the pinnacle of the profession. Most flutists who reach that height are content to spend the rest of their careers there, but Jim but Jim felt an eagerness and aspiration to move his music-making forward yet again. After seven successful seasons of performing, recording, and touring with the Los Angeles Philharmonic—during which time the New York Philharmonic briefly borrowed him as Principal Flute for their 1982 South American tour—Jim left the orchestra, diving off the mountaintop into the world of jazz, studio recording and a commitment to teaching.
Jazz had been Jim’s earliest musical loves, and he was inspired to get back to it by LA’s lively club scene. After a few years of avid listening in dives, gaining confidence undercover in the practice room, he organized his jazz quartet Free Flight. Flute, piano, bass, and drums playing a unique fusion of jazz and classical music, propelled Free Flight to take the music world by storm. Jim’s unique combination of vision and determination pushed the group to multiple appearances on The Tonight Show and The Today Show and brought them a number one record (Slice of Life). By the time Jean-Pierre Rampal—the granddaddy of modern classical flutists—called “Jimmy” his “favorite jazz flute player” in the 1990’s, Jim was a bona fide “jazz flute man”.
Life has been equally good for Jim Walker in LA’s famed studio scene. Until June of 2010, he was a first-call studio flutist for the better part of two decades; his bold, expressive playing can be heard on hundreds of soundtracks and commercial recordings. His playing became the gold standard from Hollywood to Carnegie Hall and unlocked the door to studio and concert collaborations with everyone from John Williams and Paul McCartney—“the thrill of a lifetime,” says Jim—to Leonard Bernstein, James Galway, and the LA Guitar Quartet.
After all the reviews have been written and the stage and studio lights dim, however, Jim has said that the one aspect of his career he could maintain to the grave is teaching. He has been filling his students’ lives with music for more than four decades, just as his own parents—Bob, a jazz clarinetist and public school band director, and Barbara, a church organist—filled his upbringing in Greenville, Kentucky, with piano and flute lessons. He went on to become a graduate and “Distinguished Alumnus” of the University of Louisville as well as the University’s first “Alumni Fellow” from the School of Music. To this day Jim credits a parade of flute teachers with helping him rise through the ranks, from Sarah Fouse and Francis Fuge in Kentucky to the Metropolitan Opera’s Harold Bennett, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s James Pellerite, and internationally renowned flutist and conductor Claude Monteux.
Jim’s gratitude to his teachers is returned to him by his students. As Professor of Practice and Coordinator of Flute Studies at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music and Instructor of Flute, Chamber Music and Music Technology, at The Colburn Conservatory of Music, Jim devotes at least twenty hours a week to steering the careers of young flutists. Before coming to Los Angeles, Jim’s teaching career included positions at Duquesne University, Carnegie-Mellon, and the University of Pittsburgh, and since arriving in Southern California he has been invited to be visiting professor at the University of North Texas, the University of Texas-Austin, and Arizona State University.
Jim has taught hundreds of flutists both privately and at these renowned institutions. Many of them have gone on to successful orchestral careers, holding Principal Flute chairs in major symphonies from Phoenix to Boston to Beijing. Still others have careers in fields as varied as gospel music and arts administration. Jim is not interested in simply training musicians; he inspires each pupil as a whole person, and students leave his tutelage feeling empowered, reaching for the stars. With such a legacy, it is no wonder that students on four continents have flocked to hear his recitals and master classes. Jim’s creativity allows him to reach not only these students but also others he never sees with his editions of flute masterworks on the Alfred Music Publications Young Artist Series. He is also completing a set of flute method books filled with unique, fun, highly instructional exercises so that future generations can continue to benefit from his wealth of knowledge and generosity.
Dynamic soloist, legendary orchestral and studio musician, celebrated jazz flutist, and an inspiration to countless students worldwide; Jim Walker is living proof that with enough creativity and determination, one can reach the stars. He is a living legend, and a true Renaissance Man of the Flute.
SOO-KYUNG PARK, Guest Artist, Recording a “Knock-Out” Preliminary CD/DVD
Flutist Soo-Kyung Park enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, artistic director, writer and teacher. Upon arriving in United States in 1984, Ms. Park was accepted at The Juilliard School in the Pre-College Division, where she studied with Bonnie Lichter. She continued her studies at The Juilliard School where she earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Performance under the tutelage of Julius Baker and Jeanne Baxtresser.
Ms. Park first won international acclaim as winner of the Promising Artist Search in her native South Korea, where she performed in recital at the Seoul Arts Center, and subsequently won first prize in the New York Flute Club Competition, performing in New York’s Cami Hall. She has performed as soloist with the Korean Symphony at Alice Tully Hall. Her radio credits include APR’s “Performance Today” and WQXR’s “McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase” hosted by Bob Sherman, where she was featured performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto. She has performed solo and chamber music concerts in the United States, and throughout Europe and Asia.
As an orchestral musician, she has performed and toured as principal flute and piccolo with orchestras in the United States, Israel and Asia, with some of the world’s most eminent conductors, including Pierre Boulez, James DePreist, Jahja Ling, Kurt Masur, Byung Hyun Rhee, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz and Hugh Wolff. Orchestras she has performed with include the Juilliard Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Prometheus Chamber Orchestra and Shira Festival Orchestra of Israel.
Highly in demand as a teacher and coach, Ms. Park has taught master classes in the United States, Germany and Korea. In addition to her position on the faculty of New York University, she remains a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music, Pre-College Division.
In addition to maintaining an active flute studio, she is founder and president of an educational consulting company specializing in preparing American and International students for conservatory auditions and National/International competitions. She also has produced numerous master classes featuring world renowned flutists, including Jeanne Baxtresser, Linda Chesis, Jasmine Choi, Bart Feller, Marya Martin, Judith Mendenhall, Michael Parloff, Karl-Heinz Schutz, Keith Underwood and Carol Wincenc.
As the founding member and artistic director of the Musicians of Lenox Hill, she has led the ensemble for annual performances at the Temple of Israel in NYC for over a decade.
Ms. Park has written for “Flute and Flutist” magazine in Korea, where her contributions include featured cover story interviews with Jeanne Baxtresser and Carol Wincenc. Her articles have also appeared in the Juilliard Journal.
Stephen Schultz, called “among the most flawless artists on the Baroque flute” by the San Jose Mercury News and “flute extraordinaire” by the New Jersey Star-Ledger, plays solo and Principal flute with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and Musica Angelica and performs with other leading Early music groups such as Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Portland Baroque Orchestra, Wiener Akademie, and Chatham Baroque. Concert tours have taken him throughout Europe and North and South America with featured appearances at the Musikverein in Vienna, Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, Royal Albert Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, Carnegie Hall, and the Library of Congress.
A graduate of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Holland, Schultz also holds several degrees from the California Institute of the Arts and the California State University of San Francisco. Currently he is an Associate Teaching Professor in Music History and Flute at Carnegie Mellon University and director of the Carnegie Mellon Baroque Orchestra. Mr. Schultz has also been a featured faculty member of the Jeanne Baxtresser International Flute Master Class at Carnegie Mellon University and has taught at the Juilliard School and the International Baroque Institute at Longy School of Music.
In 1986, Mr. Schultz founded the original instrument ensemble American Baroque. This unique group brings together some of America’s most accomplished and exciting baroque instrumentalists, with the purpose of defining a new, modern genre for historical instruments. The group’s adventurous programs combine 18th-century music with new works, composed for the group through collaborations and commissions from American composers.
As solo, chamber, and orchestral player, Schultz appears on over fifty recordings for such labels as Dorian, Naxos, Harmonia Mundi USA, Centaur, NCA, and New Albion. Schultz has produced and edited forty CDs for his colleagues and has also performed and recorded with world music groups such as D’CuCKOO and Haunted By Waters, using his electronically processed Baroque flute to develop alternative sounds that are unique to his instrument. He has been very active in commissioning new music written for his instrument and in 1998, Carolyn Yarnell wrote 10/18 for solo, processed Baroque Flute and dedicated it to Mr. Schultz. The Pittsburgh composer Nancy Galbraith wrote Traverso Mistico, which is scored for electric Baroque flute, solo cello, and chamber orchestra. It was given its world premiere at Carnegie Mellon University in April 2006 and this highly successful collaboration was followed in 2008 withGalbraith’s Night Train, Other Sun in 2009, and Effervescent Air in 2012.
Vahan Sargsyan, piano (Faculty Recital)
Armenian pianist Vahan Sargsyan graduated from Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory, under tutelage of Elza Tandilyan and his father, renowned pianist Villi Sargsyan. He became Laureate of the International Piano Competition in Rio-de-Janeiro, Brazil. Few times over the last decade he was named a winner of Pittsburgh Concert Society auditions in a solo and chamber categories. Mr. Sargsyan has concertized in Armenia, Georgia, Italy, Russia, Austria, Argentina, Brazil, USA and Canada, his recordings being released by Alanna, Aerophon and Ablaze Records. Vahan Sargsyan’s concerto performance with the Pittsburgh Symphony orchestra led to regular appearances at the Orchestra keyboards, along with his work as a collaborative pianist and chamber music coach at the Carnegie Mellon University.
JULIE MCGOUGH, Executive Director
An integral part of the Pittsburgh music scene, Julie McGough enjoys a versatile career as a performer, administrator, flute teacher, and freelance musician.
As an orchestral musician she currently holds positions with the Orchestra of the Alleghenies and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra and is a freelance musician with the Pittsburgh Opera, Wheeling Symphony, Akron Symphony and touring shows. Highlights from the 2013 Season included collaborations with singers Giorgia Fumanti and Clay Aiken as well as the new Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra. As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed at National Flute Association Conventions in Orlando, FL, Nashville, TN and Pittsburgh, PA. In 2004 Julie premiered “9 Walks Down 7th Avenue” by Daniel Dorff, which she commissioned for her Carnegie Hall Debut Recital.
A strong advocate for the arts, Mrs. McGough has held positions as Managing Director of the Orchestra of the Alleghenies, Executive Director of the Flute Forum and received a grant from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council to attend the Americans for the Arts Conference in 2013. In addition to teaching, performing and working within arts organizations, Julie volunteers as a performer and music teacher in her local church and bible study and helps raise funds for Hekima Place through performances and CD’s.
A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the Manhattan School of Music, her primary teachers included Jeanne Baxtresser, Jennifer Conner, Alberto Almarza, Linda Chesis and Stephanie Mortimore.
She is a wife and mom and finds her well balanced, albeit busy, career gives her the opportunity to shape the direction of classical music in the community. www.JulieMcGough.com