Friday, March 23 , 2018, 9:01 am | Fair 47º


UCSB Music Department Does Its Very Own ‘Flute Thing’

Pair of free recitals highlight of week of intensive 'Flute Focus.'

When I first started writing about classical music in Santa Barbara, I admit that I had never paid very much attention to the flute as a featured or solo instrument. Then, as I made the rounds of the concert halls and sampled the performances of our many excellent music organizations, the conviction grew on me that I had stumbled into hotbed of flute virtuosi. I became convinced that Santa Barbara is the flute capitol of the United States.

UCSB music professor Jill Felber plays a magical flute.

Starting Wednesday, as if to make it official, the UCSB Department of Music will present “Flute Focus,” a four-day seminar of recitals and master classes dedicated to this sublime instrument. The event will proceed under the direction of professor Jill Felber, a compelling evangelist for her instrument, and Marianne Gedigian, professor of flute at the University of Texas and former principal flute of the Boston Symphony. Also on hand, as indispensable collaborators, will be Dianne Frazer, pianist with the Columbus Symphony, and UCSB faculty clarinetist Paul Bambach.

The part of the “Focus” that will probably be of greatest interest to the general music lover are two free recitals. One features the peerless Felber teaming up with Bambach and Frazer to perform works by Derek Bermel (Twin Trio, a commissioned work), Rhonda Larson (“Be Still My Soul”), and others; the other presents Gedigian with the collaboration of Frazer performing the “Poem for Flute and Orchestra (piano)” by Charles Tomlinson Griffes, Four Pieces for Flute and Piano (“Meditation,” “Spring Song,” “Lullaby,” “Country Dance,”) — transcribed from Four Short Pieces for violin, piano, H.104 (1912) — by Frank Bridge, and the Sonata for Flute and Piano, H. 304 (1945) by Bohuslav Martinu. Felber’s recital will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Gedigian’s at 8 p.m. Thursday, both in Karl Geiringer Hall.

There will also be, for the connoisseurs, a considerable series of master classes, featuring a specially selected group of “Young Artists,” 25 outstanding young students and professionals from around the United States. All the master classes will be held in Karl Geiringer Hall, from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 3:30-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2:30-5 p.m. Saturday. The public may attend and observe these master classes, but they are not free: $50 fee for each session, or $75 per day, with tickets at the door only.

“Flute Focus” will run Wednesday-Saturday in UCSB’s Karl Geiringer Hall (Music Room 1250). Click here for more information or call 805.893.8608.

Noozhawk contributor Gerald Carpenter can be reached at [email protected]

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