Top 10 Best Flute Players in the World

By Jade Bultitude
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It goes without saying that there are so many incredible flute players out there to choose from. Some flute players are undeniably in the top 10 list, but others may vary for you depending which country you come from! Without further discussion, let’s look at the top 10 flute players! Prominent flutists. best flute players. not only classical music.

1. James Galway

Of course, at the top of our list of best flute players will be Sir James Galway. Sir James is arguably one of the most famous flute players ever, you don’t even necessirly have to be a flute player to recognise his name. James Galway is Irish, born in 1939 and has had an incredible music career.

Sir James went on to study at the Royal College of music, Guildhall and the Paris conservatoire under some of the most famous flute players around at the time- Geoffrey Gilbert, Jean Pierre Rampal and Marcel Moyse, to name but a few.

Sir James began his career in the orchestral circuit, starting in London before launching into the Berlin Philharmonic under Herbert Von Karajan in 1969. Only eight years after landing this incredibly sought after job, he decided to launch his solo career, which quickly flourished.

Famous for playing a golden flute, nicknamed ‘The Man with the Golden Flute’. Solo classical instrument. solo flutist. brought flute playing to the public. much flute music was written for him such as

2. Jean Pierre Rampal

Moving through our list we have none other than one of Sir James Galway’s teachers, Jean Pierre Rampal. Jean Pierre ram pal was burnin 1922 and is often credited with bringing back the flutes status and popularity that it had not held since the 18th century. French flutist.

Rampal was an extremely virtuosic performer who thrilled audiences and flutists alike.

He opulatised the flute as a solo instrument, recovering works from the baroque era and even encouraging popular contemporary composers to write new virtuosic flute music. One of the most famous pieces he commissioned was Poulencs’ flute sonata.

Rampal was one of the first greats who really paved the way for the next generation of flute players.

3. Theobald Böehm

We can hardly discuss the flute without mentioned Boehm. Boehm was responsible for the invention of the flute as we know it today. Boehm was born in 1794 and died in 1881.

Boehm was not a well known player but he was the reason we have the flute mechanism that we have today.

theobald Böhm

Archivio Storico Ricordi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

4. Marcel Moyse

Marcel Moyse also needs a very important mention. Moyse was a French flute player born in 1889. He studied at the Paris conservatoire under Phillipe Gaubert and Paul Taffanel. French flutist.

Moyse was an extremely talented flute player performing at an extremely high level as principal flute in many French orchestras as well as in Canada and the US where he spent most of his career.

Moyse had a very strong and flexible tone and incredibly virtuoso technique and fast vibrato.

Most flute players now will know Moyse for his great many technique books these are widely regarded as the best technique books out there.

He taught many famous flute players such as James Galway, Trevor Wye and William Bennett.

Marcel Moyse

CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

5. Emmanuel Pahud

Emanuel Pahud was born in 1970 in Switzerland. Pahud was not from s musical family but he 2was captivated by the flute from a very young age.

Pahud studied at the Paris Conservatoire like many of the greats. He then progressed to be the principal flutist with the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra in 1992 where he still is now.

Pahud is extremely versatile with his playing and has made many recordings in many different genres. He plays on a solid 14-karat Haynes flute with a painless mechanism.

6. Jasmine Choi

Jasmine Choi was born in Seoul South Korea. he studied in the US at the Juilliard school.

She has held principal flute in many orchestras, including the Vienna Symphony orchestra. Choi soon launched her solo career and recorded many records, including of her own music.

In 2016 she was named as the cultural ambassador of her home city, Daejon in Korea.

7. Jeanne Baxtresser

Jeanne Baxstresser is an American flute player and teacher. She grew up surrounded by music and started the flute at age 10.

Jeanne studied under Emil Opava from the Minnesota Orchestra.

She went to Juilliard to study under Julius Baker. First female principal flute of the New York Philharmonic. She was featured in more than fifty solos. She won the National Flute Association lifetime achievement award she is also a university professor/flute teacher at Carnegie melon.

8. Georges Barrere

Born the son of a cabinet maker and a farmers daughter. He began playing music after following the band from ecole drouet around the streets playing his penny whistle. The band encouraged him to take lessons in Paris.

Originally rejected by the Paris conservatoire he took lessons with Altes and then was accepted at 14.

At 17, he played with the orchestra Folies Bergere. Barrere also set up the modern society for wind instruments to inspire young musicians.

University of Washington, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

9. Robert Dick

Robert Dick was a prominent flute player, author, teacher and composer. He invented the glissando headjoint. Allows a flute player to mimic an electric guitar.

Studied under many prominent musicians such as Julius Baker. After school moved to Buffalo to join the creative associates. During his time here he wrote a second book to establish himself as a top tier composer. Dick writes in classical music, jazz music, contemporary jazz and free improvisation which helps to explain his glissando headjoint. custom style flute head.

He won the lifetime achievement award from the national flute association in 2014. He has produced more than twenty albums and guest starred in many others.

10. Greg Patillo

Greg Pattillo is an American flutist who is famous for his beatboxing skills and innovative style. He has been praised by The New York Times as “the best person in the world at what he does.”

He has more than 70 million views on his YouTube videos, where he performs beatbox flute arrangements of popular songs and classical pieces. He is also a member of PROJECT Trio, a chamber music ensemble that blends jazz, hip hop, and classical music.

Pattillo has a degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music and has performed as a soloist and with orchestras around the world. He is also an educator and composer who has written a beatbox flute method book and a concerto for beatbox flute.

Pattillo is a versatile and creative musician who pushes the boundaries of flute playing and connects with audiences of all ages and backgrounds.

Other notable flute players

Matt Malloy

Matt Molloy is one of the most brilliant Irish musicians and flautists, who has won the All-Ireland Flute Championship at nineteen and influenced many contemporary Irish flute players with his style that adapts piping techniques to the flute.

He was a founding member of The Bothy Band and Planxty, and joined The Chieftains in 1979. He has also collaborated with various artists and the Irish Chamber Orchestra. He owns a pub in Westport, County Mayo, where he hosts regular Irish music sessions.

Bobbi Humphrey

Bobbi Humphrey is an American jazz flautist and singer who plays jazz fusion, funk, and soul-jazz. She has recorded twelve albums and founded the jazz label Paradise Sounds Records. She was the first female instrumentalist signed by Blue Note in 1971. She has performed with Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Stevie Wonder, and other artists.

What’s next……?

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Jade is a flute player and music educator with a passion for educating the next generation of musicians. She is a Masters Graduate from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. Jade has been helping people learn music theory for more than 10 years from pre school children all the way to degree level studies.