December 2 – Winter Spirits by Katherine Hoover

Katherine Hoover, born on this day in 1937, is an American composer and flutist living in New York. Winter Spirits is influenced by the sounds of Native American music, specifically the Hopi tribe of the American Southwest. An accomplished flutist herself, Hoover’s music capitalizes on the unique characteristics of the instrument, weaving together themes that are at times playful and at other times soaring.

Performed by Dorion Burkett

December 16 – Allegro and Menuett by Beethoven

Happy Birthday to Ludwig van Beethoven, born on this day in 1770! It was supposedly written as a souvenir to his friend, J.M. Degenhart, on the occasion of Beethoven’s departure from his hometown in Bonn. This piece, written in 1792, is a charming display of young Beethoven’s early classical style.

Jennifer Parker-Harley is the Associate Professor of Flute at the University of South Carolina and enjoys a versatile career as a teacher and performer. Philip Snyder is completing a DMA in Flute Performance at the University of South Carolina.

December 22 – Density 21.5 by Edgard Varèse

Flutists are lucky to have solo works written by some of the leading 20th-century composers including Edgard Varèse, born on this day in 1883. The composer’s affinity for electronic sounds is reflected in the sharp dynamic changes of Density 21.5 that make it exciting to practice and perform. The extremes of range throughout the piece push the possibilities of the instrument and were likely meant to show off the capabilities of Georges Barrère’s newly-minted platinum flute, to which the composition is dedicated. We who play simpler, silver flutes still find joy in exploring the possibilities of our instruments by performing this work.