Michael Faust header1 Michael Faust
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  NFA-article by Franzisca Nabb, Kearney  25.08.2010 - 01:03
  As every year, the National Flute Association held its annual conference 2010 in a beautiful, exciting location. This time it was in Anaheim, CA, adjacent to Disney World. A trace of ocean in the air, palm trees everywhere did their best to lure the attendees into a holiday mood. For most, it was a vacation. A vacation from teaching and playing, however, it was also a time for learning and expanding one’s horizon. For some, it was work, but work they loved to do.
One of the main participants was Michael Faust, solo flutist of the West German Radio Symphony in Cologne and professor of flute at the Robert Schumann Institute of Music in Düsseldorf, Germany. After the invitation of Cynthia Ellis, NFA program chair and principal flutist of the Orange-County-Orchestra, Professor Faust arrived on Aug. 11, 2010, in Anaheim to judge one of the many competitions. In the following days, he also lead one of the “warm-up” sessions, gave a masterclass for selected university students and played the U.S. premier of Peteris Vasks’ Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in the Gala Concerto Concert, and in the final concert, on Aug. 15, German composer York Höller’s Scan, another U.S. premier.
Relishing in his ability to communicate his deep love for music in good English and stunning performances that brought tears and goose bumps to the listeners, Michael Faust brought the German way of flute playing, of perceiving tone, to the U.S.A. A flute tone that is incredibly warm and rich, and at the same time so powerful that even the softest pianissimo carried easily through the auditorium. Unmistaken, the performance of the Vasks’ concerto was the climax of the conference. The audience exploded in applause and “bravo” calls, and a standing ovation. But the honor was not alone for the superb player and the orchestra but also for the work. Vasks’ melodies, especially in the outer movements, went right to the heart of the players and listeners. Vasks himself described them as prayers; Michael Faust played them as prayers; prayers to connect the human being to the Earth as well as the Spirit. And they invited, and even demanded, reflection and contemplation and – silence.
As always, the NFA conference inspired deeply, and many of those who traveled far to be there are looking forward to another breathtaking meeting next year in Charlotte, NC, Aug. 11-14, 2011.