Georges Barrère and the Flute in America

Georges Barrère and the Flute in America

Georges Barrère and the Flute in America

An exhibition at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
November 1994 - February 1995

Georges Barrère (1876-1944), who founded the New York Flute Club in 1920, holds a preeminent place in the history of American flute playing. In 1994, in honor of the fiftieth anniversary of Barrère's death and of its own seventy-fifth anniversary, the Club sponsored this exhibition at the New York Public Library, which also houses the Club's archives.

A student of Altès and Taffanel, Barrère was the most prominent early exemplar of the Paris Conservatoire tradition in the United States and set a new standard for American woodwind playing. He came to the United States in 1905 to become first flutist of the New York Symphony, and he taught for thirty-nine years at Juilliard, where his students included William Kincaid, Meredith Willson, Frances Blaisdell, Arthur Lora, Samuel Baron, and Bernard Goldberg. Barrère played a pivotal role in the universal adoption of the silver flute in the United States and owned the first platinum flute in this country. As a soloist, recitalist, and member of numerous chamber ensembles, Georges Barrère inspired major additions to the flute's solo and chamber repertoire, most notably Charles Tomlinson Griffes's Poem and Edgard Varèse's Density 21.5. His many premiere performances include the Hindemith Sonata and the Roussel Trio for flute, cello, and harp.

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