Keith Underwood: Flute Fundamentals

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I first met Keith when both he and I were studying flute with Tom Nyfenger in the late 1970s. He was one of Tom Nyfenger’s prized students and would sub for Tom on gigs, often with little upfront notice. Nyfenger recognized Keith’s tremendous technical prowess and ability to handle almost any situation without fuss or fanfare. As luck would have it, Keith and I were roommates on a Steve Reich tour in the early 1980s. It was during this tour that he shared some of his thoughts with me on breathing and developing greater resonance in the tone as a result of improving one’s breathing efficiency. His concepts have proven to be invaluable and have helped me as a performer and teacher. Keith continues to evolve in both disciplines and is always seeking new ways to improve the art of wind playing. As a result of his love for studying the great flutists and performers of other generations, he has kept alive a respect for older flutes and performance practices. He’s considered the flute “doctor” by the top pros and has taught many of our major orchestral flute players and serous woodwind doublers at one time or another. Get ready to be wowed by Keith’s passionate discussions of techniques he has learned from masters such as Baker, Rampal, Nyfenger and others.

About the Artist: Keith initially studied flute with Salvatore Amato (one of the first great flute doublers) and then with Thomas Nyfenger at the Yale School of Music. He has played with most of New York’s major ensembles, done a great deal of recording for film and television in both NY and LA, and has developed a reputation as a teacher of flute and general wind playing techniques. He teaches at the Mannes College of Music, New York University, Queens College, and at the Graduate Center of CUNY. His teaching has taken him all over the world, including extensive work in Japan, Brazil, Italy, Hawaii, and Mexico. Many great instrumentalists playing virtually every wind instrument, as well as singers, have taken lessons with Keith. He has given classes at almost every major flute conference in the U.S. and at such prestigious universities such as The Juilliard School, New England Conservatory, Cleveland Institute, and Northwestern University. He teaches week-long summer seminars at Hidden Valley Music in Carmel Valley, CA and at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts.


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