Flute Day 2020
November 14, 2020
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. Together with Jeanne Baxtresser, he is the co-founder of the Carnegie Mellon Flute Forum, and The Consummate Flutist summer master class.
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.
Wissam Boustany’s passionate musicality has helped him forge a unique reputation as an international flute soloist. His charismatic stage presence brings tremendous power and subtlety to a wide range of musical genres ranging from baroque, classical, romantic, contemporary and jazz settings. Imaginative programming often mixes the innovative with the traditional, captivating audiences with an engaging style that combines an improvisatory flair with a wide emotional and expressive range, and an acute sense of tone color and nuance.
Wissam regularly performs and teaches in a variety of contexts, facilitating the growth of young talent. He has created his own teaching method titled “A Method Called Love”, which has spread internationally, focusing on improvisation, memory, self-reliance and the development of the concept of Love as a powerful motivator, facilitator and teacher. He has been a long-standing flute professor at Trinity Laban, London, and the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester.
More recently, Wissam has ventured into composing. Audiences around the world have responded enthusiastically to the transparent textures he weaves into a profoundly instinctive Middle Eastern tonality.
Born in Lebanon, Wissam Boustany began his musical studies in Beirut with his stepfather. He moved to Britain in 1977, where he studied at Chetham's School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music. During these years Wissam received numerous awards, notably the Silver Medal in the 1982 Madeira International Flute Competition and (in the same year) the woodwind prize in the Royal Overseas League Competition. He was also the Silver Medalist in the Shell/LSO Competition and won the 2nd prize in the woodwind section of the first 'BBC Young Musician of the Year'. During his early professional career, Wissam was associated with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in the early 1980s, with whom he appeared as soloist on the award winning Deutsche Grammophon recording of 'Il Viaggio a Rheims'. In more recent years he has free-lanced with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Palestine National Orchestra.
Wissam’s experiences of the war in Lebanon have greatly influenced his outlook on both Life and Music, crystalizing into a burning intensity, commitment, deep sadness, and spirituality that find their wings in the sound of his flute. In 1995, he founded Towards Humanity, a multi-decade international initiative working with musicians and charities, helping communities who suffer from the tragedies of war. This project was inaugurated in February 1995 at the Royal Albert Hall, London; this was followed in 1997 by a knighthood by the Lebanese government (Chevalier de l’Ordre du Cèdre) in recognition of his music and peace work, and in 1998, he was presented with the Crystal Award at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Brazilian flutist Dr. Carlos Feller has performed as flute soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States and abroad. His international appearances as a recitalist and clinician include Brazil, Mexico, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica, France, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan. Feller holds a b.m. from the Paraná State University in Brazil, and a m.m. in flute performance from The University of Southern Mississippi and received his Doctor of Music degree from the Florida State University.
He was prizewinner in competitions such as the William T. Gower Concerto Competition, Music Teacher National Association, and the Flute Society of Kentucky Young Artist competition. Carlos Feller is a member of the ensemble Traverso Colore, a chamber group dedicated to historically informed performances of baroque music on period instruments.
Also an enthusiast of new music for flute, he has performed at the International Computer Music Conference in New Orleans, at the International Michel Debost Composition Competition in Curitiba-Brazil, and at the XV Biennial Festival of New Music at Florida State University. Dr. Feller is the director of the Hot Springs Flute Ensemble, teaches at the International Flute Workshop in Roccasecca-Italy, and is on faculty at Ouachita Baptist University.