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Review to the International Flute Festival 2023

The International Flute Festival 2023 of the German Flute Society was an impressive musical event! The board of the DGfF hosted flute enthusiasts from all over Europe from 29 September to 1 October 2023. The festival was dedicated to the long-standing Freiburg flute professor Aurèle Nicolet, whose work was particularly emphasised. The festival offered three days and nights of great concerts, workshops, exhibitions, cultural politics and a youth programme with almost 200 participants.

Concerts around the clock: grandiose worlds of sound

High-calibre master concerts were presented around the clock in the large concert hall of the Freiburg University of Music. An impressive range of styles was on offer: from classical flute music to jazz and contemporary avant-garde, the flute and its world of sound were celebrated. Special flute highlights were the performances by flute stars Denis Bouriakov, Sophie Cherrier, Ian Clarke, Henrik Wiese, Wissam Boustany, Walter Auer, Juliette Hurel, Mario Caroli, Silvia Careddu, Robert Aitken, Felix Renggli, Peter-Lukas Graf and András Adorján with Thomas Jensen, accompanied by Madoka Ueno, Katharina Kegler, Michael Baumann and Yoko Takahashi on the piano.

Composer in Residence: Doina Rotaru

The Romanian composer Doina Rotaru (1951) has written outstanding contemporary works for flute. She has been invited to the festival as Composer in Residence. In close collaboration with Freiburg flute professor Mario Caroli, many of her works were presented during the festival.

Ukraine: a special friendship

Since the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, the German Flute Society has cultivated a special friendship with its flute colleagues in Kiev. Anton Kushnir, professor of flute at the Kiev Academy of Music, and his wife, pianist Maria Pukhlianko, were guests of honour at the DGfF and presented Ukrainian works for flute and piano in a remarkable recital. The DGfF board received a special honour as a token of gratitude for the international collegial solidarity: the rector of the Academy of Music in Kiev presented them with a certificate of honour and a medal. 


Honorary memberships: Maria Kalesnikava and Jörg-Rainer Lafin

The German Flute Society has awarded Belarusian flutist, teacher and civil rights activist Maria Kalesnikava an honorary membership at a festive ceremony. The award centres on recognition of her commitment to freedom and democracy. The ceremony was framed by the trio vis-à-vis and a video message from Maria's sister, Tatsiana Khomich, who appealed for support for Maria with moving words. The laudatory speech was given by Ruth Wentorf, 1st Chairwoman of the DGfF and Board Member Britta Bauer. By awarding her honorary membership, the German Flute Society is honouring the courage and political stance of a flautist who has already become a legend in her home country. The video of the ceremony can be seen here ›››

Another honorary membership was awarded to the flutist and flute maker Jörg-Rainer Lafin in recognition of his decades of service to the development of flute sound. With a passion for the craft and the flute, he has made a name for himself worldwide with his flute heads and has characterised a special sound aesthetic. DGfF President András Adorján gave the laudatory speech.

Cultural politics: DMR Secretary General Prof Christian Höppner as a guest

The German Flute Society welcomed high-ranking members of the German Cultural Council to the panel discussion «Music culture in Germany – quo vadis?», including the Secretary General of the German Music Council, Prof Christian Höppner. Current focal points of cultural policy were discussed.


There was a special programme for young flautists: the Fluteenie Festival. Stephanie Wagner and Britta Bauer put together a programme that provided insights into Blues, Looping, new playing techniques and ensemble playing. The Fluteenie series will also be continued in the Flöte aktuell magazine.

European co-operation: International Flute Societies

European neighbours as guests! The DGfF was delighted to welcome representatives of neighbouring European flute societies to the festival in Freiburg: Nederlands Fluit Genootschapt (NFG), represented by Peter Verhoyen; British Flute Society (BFS) represented by Wissam Boustany; Österreichische Flötengesellschaft (ÖFG), represented by Matthias Schulz; L'Association Française de la Flûte «La Traversière» represented by Sophie Dufeutrelle. 

Workshops, masterclasses, exhibitions

In addition to the concerts and flute and sheet music exhibitions, there were also workshops and masterclasses where flautists had the opportunity to learn from renowned professionals. This educational element of the festival contributed to the promotion of young musicians and strengthened enthusiasm for the flute as an instrument.


Competition: prizewinners' concert

The DGfF sees its annual and very successful «Competition for Young Flutists» as another way of promoting young talent. The DGfF presented this year's laureates in a separate concert. The competition will be organised again in 2024. 

The DGfF Flute Festival was a complete success! With its mix of first-class performances, educational opportunities and the chance to explore the world of the flute, this festival, which is the largest flute festival in Europe, remains a must for music lovers and flute enthusiasts. We are already looking forward to the next festival organised by the German Flute Society.

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What was there to see & hear in Freiburg in 2023?

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