Last month, I started a piece highlighting some of who I felt were the best flute players in history. Of course, “best” is hard to back up with quantitative data, but these musicians are some of my favorites, and have been highly influential. Each of the musicians that are featured have left their mark on the fluting and music world in their own way, and are true artists in the mastery of their craft.
Lori Bell is not only an accomplished flutist, but she is also a renowned pianist and composer. A fellow New Yorker, Lori grew up in Brooklyn, and moved to California later in life. She was destined to flourish in music; her parents were both musicians who studied jazz and classical music. Lori’s flute style is known for having
“a sophisticated rhythmic sensibility and a refined sense of dynamics, along with an urge to swing” – Bill Milkowski – Downbeat March 2016
She’s also known for her impeccable improvisation skills and has a knack for creating charming, beautiful sounds with her flute.
Harry Bradley is another famed Irish flutist on my list of favorites. He didn’t start playing the flute until he was a teenager, but he was a natural talent. Drawing inspiration from other Irish greats, Harry was able to craft a unique sound for himself that still pays homage to his Irish roots.
Harry was honored for his musicianship in 2014 by being elected Musician of the Year by TG4
Jeanne Baxtresser is hands down one of the most impressive musicians I’ve come across in my time studying the flute. By the time she turned 14, Jeanne was already accepted as part of the Minnesota orchestra, and that was just her debut. Throughout her career, Ms. Baxtresser dominated, and has served as the Principal Flute in three different orchestras. She’s been the flute soloist for the New York Philharmonic over 50 times, and is asked to perform throughout North America and Europe.
She was given the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 for her contributions to the music world and her artistic excellence.