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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.
  
[222545 Comments]

  NFA-convention  15.08.2010 - 04:43
  Hello flutists!
I am here at the NFA-convention in Anaheim - near Los Angeles - known for the first Disney-World-Park.
It's a great convention thanks to Cindy Ellis, who is doing a great job! Putting all this huge program together, having contact to all these many international flutists, always being ready to talk to, always open to everybody: you are making it to be a wonderful time for all of us, Cindy!!
I am here as the only German (professional) flutist, even being in the 'spot of the action': as jury, giving masterclass and being part of two concerts, which one is the great Gala-Concerto, where I am invited to perform the American Premiere of the great concerto by Peteris Vasks. During the other concert - the final - I will play the American Premiere of the Flute-Solo-Piece by York Höller "SCAN".
There are so many interesting concerts and other things going on, that it is overwhelming! The many people - dear old friends or new 'contacts' - I am meeting are taking my breath: it is so wonderful! I havent been in the States for many years, but still there are many who remember me from former conventions I participated: in Phoenix and Dallas, or who have bought a CD of mine and come up to me for an authograph. It's been wonderful!
Thanks to the orchestra and the chef Steven Byess: you are a wondeful group! Great musicians, professional, quick and very musical.
Tomorrow the convention is over and all the over 2.000 flutists and flute-friends will go home.
Good journey!
Thanks again to Cindy Ellis!
I will make a tour, with my daughter, around the West in a RV-camper: we are all excited!

  Welcome!!  28.09.2003 - 00:00
  Welcome to my website! Here there are interesting things for everyone to discover ? old things, new things and others of interest: I?ve presented my life so far (at least my musical life) which includes my past as well as my plans for the future. Please feel free to offer feedback. I welcome your comments.

The first new thing, newsworthy enough to be reported on the first page, is a huge surprise for the flute world ? in fact for the whole world of ?new music?. No one less than Mauricio Kagel himself has written a flute concerto at my suggestion! He?ll call it simply ?The Concerto?. It is the first work of this kind from his pen! The world premiere ? and this is the next surprise ? was on October 2, 2003, in the opera house Duisburg, within the framework of the ?Ruhr-Triennale?: There were four instrumental works performed and staged in a Kagel-like manner, by Stage Manager Christoph Nel. For performance dates of that piece, that I will play several times during this and the coming season, please visit my ?schedule? page. Perhaps there you?ll see that you will be in the vicinity for one of the concerts ? if not Duisburg-Dusseldorf, perhaps Hamburg or Berlin.
Or perhaps you?d like to go to the concert at the Concertgebow in Amsertdam in Mai, 2004, where I?ll play Gunther Schuller?s flute concerto with the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest Holland, Hilversum.

Another news is a new piece by the composer York Höller, that he called "Scan". He wrote it finally, after I had pleaged for years for a piece of his - and I am very proud, that he dedicated this work for flute alone to me. First performance will be January 27th 2004 in the Philharmonie Köln.

But before that, there was something else new: the ?Zaubernacht? by Kurt Weill was performed in Dessau (3/7/03) and Dusseldorf (3/9/03) with the great pantomime artist Milan Sladek, and the Ensemble Contrasts Koln, conducted by Celso Antunes. I am proud to have both taken part and been responsible for the development and organization of that event, and it was wonderful to see Milan Sladek and the five actors at their work.

For all of you who are interested in my pedagogical work, I?ll refer you to my seminars/study page. There you?ll find my Dusseldorf teaching page and offered courses.

Have fun surfing!

  Mauricio Kagel, DAS KONZERT  27.09.2003 - 00:00
  Mauricio Kagel: DAS KONZERT
for flute, harp, percussion and strings (2001/2)

World premiere: 2nd October 2003 Duisburger Theater, Duisburger Philharmoniker,
cond.: Mauricio Kagel,
soloist: Michael Faust

DAS KONZERT is Mauricio Kagel's very first ?concerto? of that kind for a solo instrument plus orchestra.

When I spoke to Kagel in 1997 about the idea of commissioning some work of his, I asked him whether he would write a piece for flute and strings for me, perhaps also with one or two other instruments. His answer revealed his basic attitude: he had indeed already written a ?concertpiece? for timpani and orchestra, however he had refused to compose a concerto up to the present day. Shortly after this talk though the chance came up to make one of Kagel?s dreams come true: some of his concertpieces were to be set up on stage.

Kagel?s composition DAS KONZERT, which is his first real concerto, was finished as early as May 2001 although the world premiere had been fixed for October 2003. He likes to have his work done in time so as to give the musician enough time for practice. Still that was extremely early, probably due to the singularity of this theatrical concerto project, and Kagel sent me a copy of his score. When I first paged through the sheetmusic I noticed both the particularity of the composition and the difficulties of playing it on the flute. There was hardly anything written beyond the middle of the third octave.
When we first met up in January 2003 in order to play and listen I was deeply impressed with Kagel?s openness towards some of my suggestions being the flautist. From these sessions of playing the solopart to him or later from the rehearsals first with piano, then orchestra, a close cooperation developed in a warm atmosphere, which I found quite extraordinary in its mixture of humour and seriousness.

DAS KONZERT is a composition with no breaks lasting about 27 minutes. The soloist is to change flutes several times, from the C-Flute to the Alto flute and finally even to the piccolo. Apart from a considerable degree of virtuosity the piece requires the highest possible variety of sounds produced by the different flutes and in fact the human voice is also asked for while playing.
What I find particularly attractive is the ensemble playing of flute, harp and percussion. Often the three instruments are lead parallelly, so the effect is like a concertino in chamber music.
It appears to me that Kagel?s treatment of the stringorchestra reveals his aim to let different sounds develop on their own without asking for special techniques or hardly any. One of the
idiosyncracies of this soloconcerto is that there is no cadenza in the classical sense. Instead there seem to be two ?anti-cadenzas?, typical of Kagel?s use of irony. He does keep to this ironical streak in the end and stays Mauricio Kagel with his formerly critical attitude towards the genre ?soloconcerto?.

The dates of my solo performances are:

2.10.2003, 19:30 in Duisburg (Theater)
5.10.2003, 15:00 in Duisburg (Theater)

On October 8 at 18.00 we will perform DAS KONZERT with moderatian and explanation in a youth concert- without staging but with a radio recording by WDR.

26.10.2003, 19:30 in Düsseldorf (Opera)
31.10.2003, 19:30 in Düsseldorf (Opera)
2.11.2003, 15:00 in Düsseldorf (Opera)
9.11.2003, 19:30 in Düsseldorf (Opera)