10 Famous Flute Players In History

Added by Edan Barak on Apr 10, 2019
famous flute players

The flute is such a beautiful instrument to listen to, and speaking from experience, it's a lot harder to play than it looks. Nevertheless, thousands of people around the world have mastered it, but how do you sort the best from the rest? Ultimately, it's all about personal preference, but these famous flutists make some of the most magical sounds that I've ever heard from this humble instrument. They really do make it look like child's play! So take a few minutes from your day to kick back, press play, and let their music do the talking.

If you enjoyed this list you might also be interested in reading about some of the most famous saxophone players (or saxophonists, if you will), of all time.

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Geoffrey Gilbert

Undoubtedly, Geoffrey Gilbert changed the way the world plays the flute to this day. Up until around the 1930s, most British flutists still played wooden flutes - it wasn't until Gilbert picked up a metal flute (which was popular in France) that he began to see their virtues. From then on, he had such an influence over other musicians that they all followed suit, opting for metal instead of wood. Gilbert's influence is clearly tenable, as some of his students included William Bennett and Sir James Galway, whose names also appear on this list. He only died 25 years ago, but he definitely changed the world of woodwind: his name has left an indelible mark on the history of music.

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Matt Molloy

Another talented Irish musician, Matt Molloy made a name for himself very early on - he won the All-Ireland Flute Championship aged just 17. Since then he was worked with some very big names, including the Irish Chamber Orchestra, developing his style to one which is fast and full of energy. However, the fame which he found from his flute playing hasn't gone to his head - nowadays, he owns and runs a small Irish pub named after himself, where they regularly play traditional Irish music.

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