Flutastique! Festival Introduction

The BFS London Flute Festival
19-21 August 2016
St John’s Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HA
Flutastique! - a fantastic celebration of British playing with a French twist

The British Flute Society warmly invites you to its summer BFS London Flute Festival to be held at St John’s Smith Square, London, from 19-21 August 2016.

Festival Artistic Director, Edward Blakeman, has combined his experience as a musical curator and programme commissioner with his extensive specialist knowledge of the flute and the French Flute School, to put together a truly memorable festival of flute playing, celebrating British Flute playing and its historic links to France.

The ambition for the Festival is to celebrate the richness and variety of UK flute playing. In a series of gala concerts and recitals across the weekend, eminent British players will feature their favourite pieces of British and French flute music, alongside other works from the repertoire. There will also be a flute choir, a trade showcase and workshops with the artists. This is a great chance to get connected and become immersed in today’s vibrant world of the flute.

The first day of the Festival is all about listening, learning and doing – and you can do any or all of those! garida.net Come and take part, or come and just watch as Katherine Bryan (Royal National Scottish Orchestra) launches the Festival with a session on ‘warming up’ and a short recital. This is followed by a recital by Juliette Bausor who has just gained the principal flute chair in the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Afterwards, the Festival Flute Choir rehearsal begins with the inimitable Atarah Ben-Tovim  MBE in charge!

After lunch we move on to an afternoon of workshops, full of hints, tips and experience.  Flautists including Clare Southworth, Lisa Beznosiuk, Philippa Davies, Sarah Newbold and Patricia Morris share their expertise in playing and teaching with subjects like Flute Reboot ('rediscover the joy of the flute'), Posture and Balance, Baroque Articulation and Ornamentation, Contemporary Techniques, Practising, and Notes from the Piccolo Chair: How to enjoy the “little flute”.  Come and be inspired!  There is then a break to explore the showcase tables before the first Gala Concert in the evening, featuring Sam Coles, Karen Jones, Thomas Hancox, Charli Ashton with Anthony Pike (clarinet), Lucy Wakeford (harp), Sarah Oates (violin), Helena Roques (violin), Nick Bootiman (viola) and Timothy Walden (cello).

Saturday is a musical feast of celebrity recitals – with Denis Bouriakov (Los Angeles Philharmonic), Lorna McGhee (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra), Rachel Brown (historical flute specialist), Michael Cox (BBC Symphony Orchestra) and Stewart McIlwham (London Philharmonic Orchestra) - plus some of the newest young talents: the prize winners of the 2015 and 2016 BFS School Performer Class B and BFS Young Artist competitions. 

The day reaches a climax with a very special Gala Concert in the evening.  This is an extravaganza with postland.net William Bennett OBE and Friends celebrating his 80th birthday and many glorious years of flute playing.  Not to be missed!  It is kindly sponsored by Mr Wu Hsieh - Altus Flutes.

Sunday morning features a concert with the Festival Flute Choir with Harry Winstanley taking the solo part in the Concertino by Chaminade. Three more celebrity recitals immediately follow given by Adam Walker (London Symphony Orchestra), Emily Beynon (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra) and William Bennett.  Finally, after the lunch break and a last chance to browse and buy, the final Gala Concert starts with 16th-17th century ayres, dances and diminutions for Renaissance flutes performed by Zephyrus Flutes: Nancy Hadden, Geneviève Blanchard, Isabelle Sainte-Marie David Hatcher with Jacob Heringman, lute; and in the second half, two of Britain’s young principal players Joshua Batty (RTE Concert Orchestra, Dublin) and Claire Wickes (ENO), will perform.

Malcolm Pollock, Chair of the BFS says “I am delighted that the BFS is hosting a major showcase of contemporary British flute playing in the heart of London. We are particularly proud to be able to celebrate the achievement of one of our greatest players, William Bennett. This festival is a must for all those who love the flute and flute playing.”

If you can only be there for part of the time, separate day tickets, and tickets for each of the Friday, Saturday and Sunday Gala Concerts are available. For further information about the event including the programme, artist biographies and general information visit www.bfs.org.uk. To book visit www.sjss.org.uk   Box office  Tel: 020 7222 1061