by Anthony Kershaw
The following are my choices for the top orchestral flutists, active or retired. A pretty obscure (and somewhat silly) Top Ten, but fun for me and other flutists. Of course, all the players (and many more) are great soloists in their own right, but in the unique and very difficult job of orchestral principal, the following are brilliant. Happily, all these great artists are captured many times on your favourite records.
And, for once, the order is particular.
1. Aurèle Nicolet (Berlin Philharmonic. Ret.)
2. Jacques Zoon (Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony, Lucerne Festival)
3. Emmanuel Pahud (Berlin Philharmonic)
4. Mathieu Dufour (Chicago Symphony)
5. Wolfgang Schulz (Vienna Philharmonic. Ret.)
6. James Galway (BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic , Berlin Philharmonic. Ret.)
7. William Bennett (London Symphony. Ret.)
8. Doriot Anthony Dwyer (Boston Symphony. Ret.)
9. Walter Auer (Vienna Philharmonic)
10. Jeanne Baxtresser (Montreal Symphony, Toronto Symphony, New York Philharmonic. Ret.)
Interestingly, only four active orchestral flutists make it into this Top Ten. Lots of orchestral retireees out there that set incredibly high standards.
Passed on flutists? That’s for another time, but a special mention to Julius Baker (New York Philharmonic) who passed away in 2003 and would be at or near the top of anyone’s list, active or retired.
Joshua Smith (Cleveland Orchestra)
Jim Walker (Los Angeles Philharmonic. Ret.)
Michel Debost (Orchestre de Paris. Ret.)
Oliver Bannister (Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Ret.)
Patricia Lynden (Philharmonia Orchestra. Ret.)