Annual Flute Festival
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the SFS Board has determined
that the 2021 Flute Festival will be presented online.
Check back in a few months for a more detailed schedule of events.
2021 Seattle Flute Festival
with Valerie Coleman
Saturday & Sunday, April 10 & 11, 2021
Presented via SFS Online
Recitals, Workshops, and Presentations, including the 9th Annual Young Artist Competition, Weeping Willow Grant Presentation, and the world premiere
of Ken Benshoof’s BitterSweet featuring flutist Paul Taub
Our 2021 Flute Festival Guest Artitist is the Grammy®-nominated flutist, composer, and musical entrepreneur Valerie Coleman. Founder of the performer-composer trio Umama Womama and the acclaimed Imani Winds, Coleman was recently named to the faculty of the University of Miami's Frost School of Music. Her multi-faceted career has included performances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Boston Symphony Orchestra Tanglewood Learning Institute (TLI), Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, to name a few.
Coleman’s passion for chamber music performance is what guided her to become a top advocate, mentor and specialist of the field, with an extensive performance history of premieres and collaborations at festivals and chamber music societies across the United States, with esteemed artists such as Dover Quartet, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Yo-Yo Ma, David Shifrin, Gil Kalish, members of the LA Chamber Orchestra, and jazz legends Paquito D’Rivera, Stefon Harris, and Jason Moran, among many others. She has given countless flute and chamber music masterclasses at institutions in 49 states and over 5 continents, including The Eastman School of Music, The Juilliard School, Curtis Institute, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, Yale University, University of Colorado-Boulder, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon, New England Conservatory, Oberlin College, and Beijing Conservatory.
Her work as a composer has garnered multiple awards and critical acclaim, and her work UMOJA was listed by the Chamber Music America as one of the “Top 101 Great American Ensemble Works." Alongside recent commissions from American Composers Orchestra, Carnegie Hall and The National Flute Association, she has enjoyed commissions and premieres from Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, The Library of Congress, The Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Chamber Orchestra, Hartford Symphony Orchestra, and The Universities of Chicago, South Carolina, Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth, Hawaii Manoa and Ohio State.
Advocacy and mentorship of artists and emerging ensembles is important to Valerie: in 2011, she created the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, a summer mentorship program that has welcomed musicians from over 100 institutions both nationally and abroad. She has also served on the as an adjudicator for National Flute Association’s High School Artist Competition, Concert Artist Guild, APAP’s Young Performing Concert Artists fellowship, ASCAP’s Morton Gould Award, MapFund Award and the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition. She is on the board of advisors for Composers Now, MacDowell Colony, and Sphinx LEAD, and has previously served on the APAP’s Classical Connections Committee, National Flute Association’s New Music Advisory Committee and Board Nomination Committee.
Valerie studied flute with Julius Baker, Judith Mendenhall, Doriot Dwyer, Leone Buyse and Alan Weiss; composition with Martin Amlin and Randy Wolfe. She is published by Theodore Presser, International Opus and has her own company, V Coleman Music.
More information can be found at https://www.vcolemanmusic.com/
In celebration of the Seattle Flute Society's 40th Season, we commissioned a work, BitterSweet for Flute and Piano, from Seattle composer Ken Benshoof. It will be premiered by Paul Taub at the 2021 Flute Festival. Ken Benshoof's music is familiar to the Seattle flute community; he has previously written acclaimed works for the piccolo which were premiered by Seattle's own Zart Dombourian-Eby and Alicia Suarez.
Composer/pianist Ken Benshoof was born in 1933 on a Nebraska farm. He went through high school in Fairbanks Alaska. Studies at Pacific Lutheran University and the Spokane Conservatory were followed by a two year stint in the U.S. Army, a bachelors degree from the University of Washington, a Masters at San Francisco State University, and studies in London at the Guildhall School of Music as a Fulbright Scholar. His most influential teachers were Volfgangs Darzins, John Verrall, Roger Nixon, George Frederick McKay, and Afred Neiman.
Primarily a composer of chamber pieces, Benshoof has received commissions from a wide variety of sources, most notably the Kronos String Quartet for whom he has produced eight works. He also served as resident composer at San Diego's Old Globe Theater over several seasons and at the Seattle Repertory Theater for a number of years.
More information can be found at https://kenbenshoof.com/