Christopher Steward studied the flute at Trinity College of Music with Jane Alderson and Geoffrey Gilbert, and later with William Bennett. He held permanent positions in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra (now the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra), and free-lanced in numerous orchestras. He now teaches at the Birmingham Conservatoire as well as privately and in schools.Photograph by Liu YuContact Christopher Steward: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Early recordings of the fluteBy Christopher StewardWhen I started to play the flute at school I became aware that my wooden instrument sounded somewhat different from my friends’ metal ones. I also found that the sounds and styles of the professional players that I heard varied very noticeably. When, some time later, I started to acquire recordings from the first half of the twentieth century I discovered that this variety was even more pronounced, and fascination with different personal and national styles has remained with me ever since.This is part of a series of web pages on which I present some examples of early recordings. All the recordings were originally released on 78 RPM discs except for the recordings of Gareth Morris and Julius Baker.A technical note: I have used a number of computer programs to reduce the distraction of clicks and crackles from the recordings, including the remarkable ClickRepair by Brian Davies (www.clickrepair.net). The music and the recordings themselves are all in the public domain in Europe. For anybody wishing to investigate the wealth of flute recordings made during that period I can do no better than recommend Susan Nelson’s discography The Flute on Record: The 78 RPM Era [Lanham: Scarecrow Press, 2006]. https://rowman.com/ISBN/9780810852938
These pages contain recordings of some of the world’s finest flute players of the past century, including some of the very earliest recordings made. Most of these recordings are from Christopher Steward’s own collection. They have been processed to remove the worst of their clicks and scratches.This collection will be added to over time. There will be a page per player, including a brief biography and a photograph if one is available.