Renaissance Flute Concert by Christopher Krueger, UMass Professor of Flute
The biography of Christopher Krueger, UMass Amherst Department of Music & Dance Professor of Flute, reads like a Who’s Who in the music world. He has performed as principal flutist with the Boston Symphony, Boston Pops, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Opera Company of Boston and the Boston Ballet. And now, well into the middle of his career, he has decided to teach himself the Renaissance flute, which he will be playing in tonight's concert in the Bezanson Recital Hall.
It has only been in the past 10-15 years that instrument makers have developed a greater understanding of the complexity of the Renaissance flute. First thought of only as a member of a consort of instruments, research has shown that the flute also performed the solo line with the consort acting as the accompaniment. To that solo line, composers assumed that the performer would add divisions, figuration or ornamentation.
And that is exactly what Krueger will do in this concert with his friend and colleague lutenist Stan Charkey. Professor Krueger will perform songs, for instance, by John Dowland - he playing the singer’s line and adding his own touches, while Charkey backs him up. Other works on the program are by Claudin de Sermisy, Jacques Arcadelt, Giovanni Palestrina, Girolamo Frescobaldi, as well as Spanish & Mexican music of the Renaissance era.
The challenges of learning the Renaissance flute are many, even if it is in the same family of instruments that Krueger has already mastered. “The flexibility that I’ve gained from playing Baroque, Classical and Modern flutes helps me, but all of the instruments have different demands, fingering and embouchures.
Tickets to the concert in Bezanson Recital Hall are available online at fac.umass.edu/musicanddance or at the Fine Arts Center Box Office, 413-545-2511. Tickets are $3 for UMass Amherst students; $5 for other students, senior citizens, and children under 18 years of age; $10 for the general public.