“Playing on a 14K Yamaha with a wooden Mancke headjoint, he literally sculpted phrases”

Never a dull moment!

I have just returned from a flute festival in Hamar in Norway. About an hour north by car from Oslo airport, Hamar is a small town next to Norway’s largest lake, so the scenery and the invigorating fresh air are wonderful. Considering I have a mild allergy to flute festivals and conventions (why would any of us actively wish to play/perform to a large group of people who do the same things as ourselves?), this one was truly pleasant! About 160 people were on site for the duration of the festival and the atmosphere was cordial and constructive, with a long list of activities taking place throughout the day. Of particular note was the Saturday evening performance by Mathieu Dufour, the recently appointed solo flute of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra (joining Emmanuel Pahud for a formidable line up). Playing on a 14K Yamaha with a wooden Mancke headjoint, he literally sculpted phrases and took the audience on a journey that few, if any could match. I have always been a fan, but this event has confirmed Mathieu as one of the greatest flute talents of our time. Yes, he has a ridiculously solid technique, but there is nothing showy or flippant in his delivery.  We were all spellbound! At this time of year, Norway barely has a night time. It is light enough to be able to read a book outside 24 hours of the day. The lack of darkness didn’t bother me, as it did some. However, sitting outside in bright sunlight after the concert, drinking a glass of wine and chatting, we were all completely unaware that it was three o’clock in the morning!

Today’s video goes back a few weeks to my trip to the Adams European Flute Festival this Spring. It is just a short film to show you the layout of the Adams shop and to give you a few ‘amuse bouche’, that might make you consider joining the fun next year. Once again, the atmosphere is highly friendly and constructive. As I gaze out of my London window, all I can see is low grey cloud. Considering everything we hear about how the weather is changing, this seems like a very typical British summer to me! Thank goodness the days are now getting shorter again! We British are only truly happy if we have something to grumble about.

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