Michel BlavetMichel Blavet (1700 – 1768)
Michel Blavet was considered to be the greatest French flutist of his day, and his playing set new technical standards for the flute.  Contemporary accounts praise the brilliance and beauty of his tone and the perfection of his intonation (Quantz mentions that Blavet was a left handed player).  Blavet was credited with transforming the flute playing of his day to one more in line with the lively, virtuosic standards of the violinists of that period.   A self-taught musician, Blavet served as principal flutist of Louis XV’s private music ensemble “Le Musique du Roi” and the Paris Opera Orchestra.  Apart from several operatic stage works, he composed  exclusively for the flute.  Blavet was one of the first French composers to write in the sonata style (while still using elements from the popular “suite”).  His surviving works include :  Op.1 – Six Sonatas for 2 Flutes, pub.1728; Op2 – Six Sonatas for Flute &  Basso Continuo. pub.1732; Op.3 – Six Sonatas for Flute & Basso Continuo, pub. 1740; Concerto in a, pub.1740; Recueils de Pieces (arrangements of works by Blavet, Rameau, Couperin, Geminiani) for 2 Flutes or Violins, pub. 1744-51.

Rcordings devoted to his works:
Blavet Sonatas, Op2 on Baroque Flute
L’Insinuante – Flute Music by Michel Blavet (Baroque Flute)
Blavet:Complete Flute Sonatas – 3 CDS(Baroque Flute)

A sampling of his music & literature; 
Triosieme Livre de Sonatas pour la Flute Traversiere avec la Basse(v.1)(ed.DeReede)
Troisieme Livre de Sonatas pour la Flute Traversiere avec la Basse(v.2)(ed.deReede)
Six Sonatas(v.1)(1-3) (ed.Ruf)
Six Sonatas(v.2)(4-6) (ed.Ruf)
L’Entretien des Muses


Jules DemerssemanJules Demersseman 1833 – 1866
Born in Hondschoote, Netherlands in 1833, Demersseman was an outstanding flute virtuoso of his time.  At the age of 12 he was studying at the Paris Conservatory with Jean Louis Tulou, and won first prize in the annual competition finals.  Considered to be the leading flutist in France, Demersseman succeeded Tulou as Professor of Flute at the Paris Conservatory in 1860, but was later dismissed because of his refusal to condone the use of the Boehm system flute, which had been made compulsory at the Conservatory.
In the book “Taffanel:Genius of The Flute” by Edward BlakemanTaffanel is quoted as having made these remarks regarding a performance by Demersseman  – “Demersseman was display, and display was Demersseman…”  Despite his death at an early age from tuberculosis in 1866,  Demersseman composed a great number of works for flute. The “Sixieme Solo de Concert” (a piano reduction of the original Concerto Italien –  which Taffanel used as the Paris Conservatory Flute Concours in 1896 and 1900) remains a staple of  the flute repertoire.  He also composed works for trombone and saxophone – notably “The Carnival of Venice”, written for a student of Adolphe Sax.

Recordings devoted to his works:
Famous Opera Melodies – Woodwinds Sing Opera
The Romantic Flute (w/Janos Balint,Flute) 2 CDS
The Art of Flute
Fantastic Flute – Works for Flute w-Piano and Harp
Last Rose of Summer – Flute Music of The Romantic Era

A sampling of his music
Fantaisie Op2#1(ed.Chatoux)
Bolero Op2#2
Pastorale Op2#3(ed.Chatoux)
Air Varie Op2#4(ed.Chatoux)
Introduction et Tarantelle Op2#5 (ed.Chatoux)
Petite Fantaisie Poetique Op2#6 (ed.Chatoux)
Sonate Op24 (ed.Eppel)
Grande Fantaisie de Concert Op52 (ed.Moyse,M)


Franz & Karl DopplerFranz and Karl Doppler (1821-1883, 1825-1900)
Franz and Karl Doppler were both born in Lemberg (the modern Lvov, in Ukraine), where their Austrian father, a composer and oboist, was an Imperial regimental musician.   The brothers were taught the flute by their father and drew public notice for their rapid progress on the instrument.  After temporary stays in Warsaw and Bucharest,the family settled in Budapest in 1838 where both brothers found positions as flutists and assumed parallel careers as composers and performers.

The brothers toured the musical centers of Europe performing their compositions of virtuoso fantasias and paraphrases for two flutes to great acclaim.  The Doppler’s compositions,sometimes written together, reflect the tastes of the period. They make great use of Hungarian themes, whether in Variations sur un air hongrois or Fantaisie sur des motifs hongrois, or in the famous Fantaisie pastorale hongroise.Transcriptions and pot-pourris on melodies from operas were highly prized by the public, forms to which Liszt, Glinka and many other composers contributed.

In an excerpt of his review of  an 1855 Viennese concert by the Dopplers, critic Eduard Hanslick writes: “The flute playing of the Doppler brothers is among the most distinguished that we can remember in the field of instrumental virtuosity”.

In 1858 Franz took a post in Vienna as first ballet-conductor (and resident ballet composer ) at the Vienna Opera and as professor at the Vienna Conservatory, and Karl held various posts as principal flute and composer until 1865 where he served as Kapellmeister in Stuttgart for the next 33 years.

A sampling of their music
Op15-17 Berceuse, Mazurka & Nocturne(ed.Adorjan)
Op43 Fantaisie Sur un Motif de Beethoven(ed.Adorjan)
Op18 Concert-Paraphrase on Schubert’s “Die Verschworen”
Op38 Rigoletto Fantasy
Souvenir du Rigi Op38 (fl,hn,pf)

Recordings devoted to their works:
Franz and Karl Doppler: Works for 1-2 Flutes and Orchestra(also w-Kazunori Seo,Flute)
Doppler – Complete Works for Flute(w-Per Oien,flute) 2CDS
Doppler Works for Two Flutes and Piano(w-Dratsay)
Doppleriade (w/Adorjan,Bennett,Debost


Giulio BriccialdiGiulio Briccialdi (1818 – 1881)
Flutist / composer Giulio Briccialdi was born in Termi, in 1818.  He first studied the flute with his father, whose death caused the teenaged Briccialdi to flee to Rome in order to avoid family pressure to enter the priesthood.  In Rome he supported himself with his flute playing, while studying composition.  In 1835 Briccialdi  was teaching flute at the Academy of Santa Cecilia ,  and soon wound up in Naples as flute teacher to the royal family.  Known as “the Paganini of the flute,  Briccialdi’s virtuosic playing took him on concert tours throughout Europe .  In 1849 he had the English flute maker Rudall and Rose  add a lower key to Boehm’s improved cylindrical flute , which extended the range to B-flat.

Although his best known work today is undoubtedly the “Carnival of Venice” variation,  Briccialdi’s body of work also includes several books of etudes, woodwind quintets, and several operatic fantasies.

Recordings devoted to his works:
Music In The Royal Conservatory of Lisbon
Paul Lustig Dunkel, Live In Recital
Il Carnavale di Venezia – Works for 2 Flutes & Piano
Verdi Opera Fantasy – Fantasies from Verdi Operas
Music For My Friends
Piccolo Carnival

A sampling of his music
La Petite Anglaise Op74 (ed.Beaumadier) (P,pf)
Mazurka Op88 (ed.Beaumadier) (P,pf)
Carnival of Venice(ed.Wilkins) (fl,band)
Lohengrin – Fantasie (ed.Delius)
Potpourri Fantastico (sc&pts)


Francoise DevienneFrancoise Devienne (1759 – 1803)
Born in Joinville (Haute-Marne) France, the 14th son of a saddlemaker, Devienne received his early musical training as a church choirboy. At age 20 (1779) he was performing in Paris as a soloist and with various orchestras and ensembles on both flute and bassoon. Devienne joined the Paris Opera orchestra as a bassoonist in 1779. In the 1780’s his compostitions had begun to be performed in various venues, including the Concert Spirituel, but it was after the Revolution that Devienne gained fame as a composer. His opera comique “Les Visitandines” was written in 1792 and performed throughout the 19th century. As a member of the National Guard military band, Devienne taught at it’s music school, which later became the Paris Conservatoire in 1795. He remained there as a sergeant in charge of administration and as professor of flute. Among Devienne’s contributions was an important flute method of the day, Methode de Flute Theoretique et Practique.

Dubbed “the French Mozart”, Devienne’s legacy of over 300 instrumental compositions includes 10 concertos for flute; flute sonatas, and flute duos and trios.

Recordings devoted to his works:
Terzett: Works for Flute Trio
Hommage A Rampal: Devienne, Cimarosa
Devienne Flute Concertos
Devienne Flute Quartets (Baroque Flute)

A sampling of his music:
Six Sonatas (v.1)
Six Sonatas (v.2)
Six Sonates I (score form)
Six Sonates II (score form)
Six Trios Op.19 (v.1) (2fl,vc) (pts)
Six Trios Op19 (v.2) (2fl,vc) (pts)


Philippe GaubertPhilippe Gaubert (1879-1941)
Philippe Gaubert is best known by flutists today as the successor to Paul Taffanel and the “modern French School”of flute-playing , and co-author of the Methode Complete de Flute. Although not generally well known as a composer, (his body of work includes 18 orchestral works; 6 stage pieces; 30 vocal works, 19 chamber works and 15 works for flute), his works are among the staples of the flute repertoire.
Born in Cahors, France in 1879, the young Gaubert began studying the flute in Paris with Paul Taffanel (after beginning studies with Taffanel’s father) and entered the Paris Conservatory at age 13 in 1893 – at the same time Taffanel was appointed as flute professor at the Conservatory.
At age 15 Gaubert won the Conservatory’s Premier Prix in flute for his performance of the Langer Concerto. By 1897 he was playing in the orchestras of the Societe des Concerts and Paris Opera, and was in demand as a chamber music player and soloist. In 1904 Gaubert had become interested in composition and conducting – he was appointed assistant conductor of the Societe des Concerts, and won the Prix de Rome “grand prize” in composition. In 1919 Gaubert was appointed professor of flute at the Paris Conservatory, principal conductor of the Paris Opera, and principal conductor of the Societe des Concerts.
After 1923 Gaubert rarely performed in public, but continued to teach and conduct. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1941.

Suggested Works by Gaubert:
Suite (fl, pf) 01H060031013
Sonatine (fl, pf) 01M320000001
Tarantelle (fl, ob, pf) 24M3100M3032
Piece Romantique (fl,vc, pf) 25M3100M3959
Trois Aquarelles (fl, vc, pf) 25M3100M3875
Soir Paien (fl, med. voice, pf) 34E090006904

Suggested Recordings:
Philippe Gaubert: Philippe Gaubert: Les Chants de la Mer – Historic Recordings from 1927 – 1940
Susan Milan: Gaubert – Complete Works for Flute and Piano (2CDS)
Fenwick Smith: Gaubert – Complete Works for Flute, Vol.1Gaubert – Complete Works for Flute, Vol.2Gaubert – Complete Works for Flute,Vol.3
Kathryn Thomas: Gaubert – Pieces Romantiques for Flute and Piano


Katherine HooverKatherine Hoover (b.1937)
Flutist and composer Katherine Hoover has been the recipient of many award, including a National Endowment Composer’s Fellowship, an Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Composition. Four of her works have won the National Flute Associaton’s Newly Published Music Competition – including “Kokopeli” for solo flute in 1990, which is considered by many to be a “staple” of contemporary flute repertoire. Hoover holds a B.M. in Music Theory and a Performer’s Certificate in Flute from the Eastman School of Music and a M.M. in Music Theory from the Manhattan School of Music, where she taught for many years. A student of Joseph Mariano and William Kincaid, Hoover has performed and recorded solo and chamber music and has played with major opera and ballet companies in New York.

Selected Recordings
Katherine Hoover: Kokopeli -Katherine Hoover PlaysWomen Composers – The Lost Tradition Found
Wendall Dobbs: Flute and Company – The Music of Katherine Hoover

Selected Works:
Peace is the Way (5C, 2A) 10P100000003
Three for Eight (7C, A) 10P100000001
Concertante “Dragon Court” (Solo P/C, 2 Solo C, Solo A,{4C tutti, A tutti, B tutti, Opt CB})  10P1000PP178
Lyric Trio (fl, vc, pf) 25P100000001
Two for Two (Alto/Bass flute, pf) 37P1000PH175


Jacques Ibert (1890-1962)

Click for biography

Suggested Recordings:
Sue Ann Kahn: Jacques Around the Clock
Toke Lund Christiansen: Jacques Ibert-Complete Chamber Music with Flute
Sharon Bezaly: Bridge Accross the Pyrenees

Suggested Works:
Aria (fl, pf) 01L01AL18024
Concerto (fl, pf) 01L01AL18761
Entracte (fl, hp) 15L01AL21397
Jeux (fl, pf) 01L01AL16789
Two Interludes (fl, vln, pf/hp) 25L01AL20630


Jean-Louis Tulou 1786 – 1865
Arguably a virtuoso flutist of his time, Tulou was a flutist at the Paris Opera, a prolific composer of flute music, and professor of flute at the Paris Conservatoire from 1829 – 1859. A vociferous opponent of the new Boehm-system flute, Tulou was largely responsible for the Conservatoire failing to adopt the new flute in 1840. Tulou firmly believed that the tone of the flute should closely resemble the human voice, and he argued that the new Boehm flute did not retain the “traditional sound” of the flute, as it should. Tulou’s 1850 “Methode de Flute”, which was written for the “old” flute, and dismissive of the Boehm system, was adopted by the Conservatoire as the official flute instruction book. Tulou resigned from his position at the Conservatoire as the Boehm flute was finally about to become the official flute of the Paris Conservatoire in 1860.