The National Flute Orchestra is a UK-based ensemble, formed in 2008 by Margaret Lowe and Kenneth Bell, with support from the Birmingham Flute Commission.
Margaret, a highly respected, local professional flautist and teacher for many years, since 1990 has devoted her professional life to being an ambassador for increasing awareness of the larger sizes of flutes, and their musical possibilities when played in a large, ‘orchestral’ ensemble – a Flute Orchestra. She is well known both in the Uk, and in flute-playing circles in the USA.
In 1995, she set up the former ‘Birmingham Flute Commission’ in partnership with the Conservatoire, through which new works for this type of ensemble were written. The NFO was founded later, to promote and develop public awareness of this type of music, and also to provide professionally-trained flautists with an opportunity to maintain their high standard of performance. It plays a wide range of music, but still specialises in performing new, contemporary music written for the genre. It showcases the full range of instruments within the flute family (piccolos, concert flutes, alto flutes, bass flutes, contra-alto, contrabass and sub-contrabass flutes), giving the ensemble the same pitch range as a traditional symphony orchestra.
All members of the National Flute Orchestra play the standard concert flute and piccolo. Most members also possess at least one of the larger instruments, so that between us, we have, and play, all the instruments except the sub-contra alto. This means the ensemble is a versatile group that can adapt to the needs of any score.
The orchestra is currently conducted by Tony Bridgewater, composer, pianist and former Director of Music at Old Swinford Hospital School
For information on the present repertoire of the Orchestra and Examples of the orchestra playing select the appropriate link
The March 3rd Programme will include the following musical items:
Amos: Hampton Court Palace Suite;
Handel: Arrival of the Queen of Sheba;
Tchaikovsky: Little Overture;
Bizet: La Garde Montante (Carmen);
Elgar: Chansonde Matin;
Rainford: Lady Radnor’s Suite;
Anderson: Atlantic Air;
Verdi: Agnus Dei (Requiem);
Haydn: London Symphony #4.