Every summer finds a crowded schedule of flute conventions, master classes, flute camps, etc. throughout Europe, North America and, more and more, in Asia. One such annual event has quietly appeared on the scene with a remarkably fresh approach and some highly talented instructors.
It takes place in the village of Grolloo in the Netherlands, which is also the home of renowned flute maker Eva Kingma’s workshop. See: http://www.kingmaflutes.com
With her emphasis on low flutes, it was natural for Eva to work with leading European low flute exponents, such as Carla Reese in the UK and Matthias Ziegler in Switzerland. In fact, the idea for the flute sessions arose from discussions between Eva and Matthias. (www.matthias-ziegler.ch/) They brought in two like-minded artists to act as coaches. Wissam Boustany (www.wissamboustany.com/) is known for his passionate musicality and improvisatory flair, which he applies in equal measure to performance, composition and teaching. Ian Clarke (www.ianclarke.net/) is also known for his mastery of contemporary flute techniques, in performance but especially as they appear in his very popular compositions.
With the enthusiastic support of the good citizens of Grolloo, who help to provide facilities for teaching and accommodation, the first Grolloo session was born in 2015. Aimed at the more advanced flutist, the course’s timing during late summer allows students and professionals to get back in shape ahead of the new musical season. As described by the course leaders on their website www.grollooflute.com/ “Participants will be discussing and experimenting many performance and practice issues in fully interactive discussions and workshops.”
The website contains further information about the classes and the coaches, along with pictures and a 12.5 minute video featuring both teachers and students. For the most part, this is aimed at promoting the next session, Grolloo 3, which will be held from August 23 to 27th, 2017. While I have not attended the previous sessions myself, my knowledge of the artists involved tells me a great deal about both the content and the quality to expect from these sessions.
Flute Journal always recommends anything that will expand flutist’s horizons, so I myself intend to attend Grolloo3 as an auditor if at all possible. However, the main benefits will belong to the active participants and there will be room for just 20 of them. So, if this is of interest to you I would recommend that you look into it as soon as possible.
Peter Westbrook is editor-in-chief of Flute Journal
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