Words of greeting

MICHAEL BECKER
Director Tonhalle Düsseldorf / Düsseldorfer Symphoniker

Dear Flautando, are you that old already? When did you begin — aged five? It’s a joy to see how for 20 years now, you have escaped the routine with such ease, always reinventing yourselves, and bringing such pleasure both to the eyes and ears. Many colleagues envy you and also of course your instruments (though they don’t say so readily). 500 years of music, played completely authentically yet wonderfully alive. Many congratulations. <

ANKA ZINK
Comedian

Flautando… presents recorder music in a way which is a real joy to hear and see. Sensuous, rich, many-coloured and surprising. You forget all prejudice about the recorder after a Flautando concert, as you can just happily enjoy great music. Many congratulations, Flautando! Flautando! <

PROF. PETER HOLTSLAG
Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hamburg

Twenty years of Flautando Köln… how many concerts, how many recordings, how many courses, how many initiatives… everything that I’ve heard in concert springs from their musical energy. Each of the four women have their own personality, which they combine to form a creative volcano. Although I took part in about half of their training, there’s no apparent remaining damage! The cultural landscape should pride itself on having this Quartet right in its middle. May this long be the case! <

CLEMENS BIRNBAUM
Director / Manager Händel-Festspiele

I’d like to congratulate Flautando Köln heartily for their 20 years. I’ve experienced this wonderful ensemble in different ways, either through the Berliner Tage für Alte Musik, at the Dresden Music Festival or recently at the Kurt Weill Festival in Dessau. I remember especially their teamwork and openness in forging new artistic paths together, as for instance at the concert with the Meissen Porcelain Organ or with their newly created arrangements. I hope that Flautando Köln continues to be so open, so courageous and so musically fresh as I have thus far been privileged to experience. So with this in mind, “Happy Birthday to the recorder players!” <

DR. RICHARD LORBER
WDR 3-Producer for Early Music

One of the most astonishing and gratifying events which I have seen in musical life is how one of the most renowned world-wide specialist ensembles for early music (and not only for that) developed from a pre-Christmas recorder class at a German music college. Flautando Köln nowadays not only stands for consort-playing excellence, but also genre-crossing programmes, discoveries, music promotion and the ability to reach out to a young audience. The specialist repertoire for a recorder quartet is naturally limited, but the ensemble members have thoroughly illuminated this music with their resourceful musicological research and have brought astonishing things to light. Their unconventional and exciting programming ideas continue to win over the discerning editorial Department for Early Music at the WDR. Numerous such recordings have appeared in the last few years with the WDR, the last one being - the only one to my knowledge - an exploration of recorder consort music in England for the court of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I (one should know that the English king owned a collection of 147 recorders; Flautando Köln have over the last 20 years already collected over 50. There’s still the chance to trump the king.) The four sensitive musicians are completely engaging in concert and in workshop, both in themselves and through their art. They have reaped not only enthusiastic reviews, but they also act almost as cultural ambassadors for the nation, through their training of music teachers and students in Nicaragua and elsewhere, where they teach the recorder with an enthusiasm for an instrument which in the past 20 years has clearly seen a huge revival. <

HENNING UND LUISE SCHERF
Board of Pan y Arte, Bremen

We have known and loved the Flautando women now for a long time. Our affection grows every time we hear them in concert: they have complete mastery of their instruments and captivate us with their art. They play music from the Renaissance to the contemporary period stylistically and wonderfully, and we love their intelligent and beautifully put together programmes.
What particularly connects us with them is their work in Nicaragua. Since 1997, they have been regularly going out there, helping children in Managua to learn the recorder with “Musica en los Barrios” (music in the poor areas) and tutoring teacher in playing technique, music instruction and history. In the tropical heat, one of them would sit down in the shade in a poor schoolyard and practise a specific technique with three or four teachers, while the others a few metres away would give individual lessons - without any acoustic separation between the two groups, but with the utmost concentration and consideration for each other. The Flautando women do all this for no fee - only the travel costs are paid. Our friendship was formed out of love for this superb cultural project, which is funded by the resident association Pan y Arte in Münster, and out of enthusiasm for working with these musical children, hungry for knowledge in this very poor land. We would like to thank Flautando very much for their untiring commitment and wish them every success for the future and all the very best. <

JÜRG BAUR
Composer (died January 2010)

To my dear honoured colleagues!
Here’s to Flautando Köln and 20 years of always accelerando, never ritardando and may this continue more and more! Many congratulations on your anniversary, and I wish you many more successful concerts, and much joy from good early music and interesting new music! You have been connected for a long time now with the ancient composers, but you have also often performed my opus “Tre studi per Quattro” in concert and in radio programmes with great success.
[...]
My dear colleagues, don’t forget old Baur completely [...]
Once again, many best wishes and warmest regards from your recorder composer. <

JAN ROKYTA
Musician and Composer, Czech Republic

Simply the feeling of being together... Rarely in my life have I met an ensemble, in which all the members are clearly looking in the same direction... I’ve known Flautando Köln more personally now for a year. From our meeting through my compositions, a few things struck me about these four women which have stayed in my memory: their passion and joy with making music together, their enthusiasm and hunger for things new and unknown, and also their natural joy at simply being together - and that one doesn’t see so often! That is Flautando’s key to success, that is the main reason for creating an ensemble together, which lives through the music and wants to be together! Flautando shows that through mutual compromise (and this ensemble is very happy to give and take, I think...), they can support and even strengthen their individual personalities. Because of this, Flautando Köln is so much more than 4x1... My dear ladies, I wish you many congratulations for your 20th anniversary! I wish you all the best for the following years. May your musical inspiration continue and may you stay together with joy, both yours and mine! <

LOUWRENS LANGEVOORT
Director Kölner Philharmonie

Dear friends and members of Flautando Köln, as director of the Kölner Philharmonie, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on your ensemble’s 20 years. I warmly thank you for your concerts with us here, and also for our earlier Philharmonie-Veedel concerts, in which you have always captivated us with the colourful diversity and sheer joy of your playing. It’s ensembles just like yours which are essential for Köln’s musical life. Your concerts draw in inquisitive audiences, which are soon enthused by your vibrant playing and unconventional programming. People leave your concerts uplifted, then become interested followers and eventually find their way into the Kölner Philharmonie. I look forward to many more concerts with Flautando Köln and a fruitful collaboration in the future. <

KLAUS L NEUMANN
Former WDR 3-Producer for Early Music

About 20 years ago, when four young musicians, within a short space of time left Prof. Günther Höller’s class at the College of Music in Köln, one could see and hear from their first-class exam excerpts, that one was dealing with very talented, technically advanced recorder players. But the founding and development of Flautando Köln then exceeded all artistic expectations. For 20 years Flautando Köln has been creating initiatives, the effects of which still resonate far away in Central America. In addition, thank you for many exciting hours in concerts, thank you for many fantastically crafted programmes, and moreover thank you to Flautando and others, for your community work. Thanks to the initiatives of Flautando, we listeners have been challenged and enriched, which is what good ensemble work is all about. Here’s to many years. <