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Body Mapping Workshop and Mini-Recital

IMG_0133Boston Flute Academy enjoyed another fun-filled and educational weekend! This weekend, BFA hosted a body mapping workshop by flute faculty member at the Longy School of Music and body mapping specialist, Vanessa Breault Mulvey, and a mini-recital by graduate student of Paula Robison at the New England Conservatory and finalist of the 33rd Annual James Pappoutsakis Flute Competition, Alicia Mielke.

Vanessa Mulvey’s body mapping workshop began with an introductory presentation of body mapping basics.  Body mapping assists the mind’s map of the structure of one’s body. BFA students learned concepts such as inclusive spatial awareness, the path of weight delivery, and the actual location of important physical joints necessary to aid in proper structural body alignment. Ms. Mulvey kept everyone engaged with full class participation!

Following her presentation, Ms. Mulvey analyzed several BFA students (Ned Martenis, Issac Alter, Gretchen Herdrich, and Yumi Lee) while they performed short musical selections. She then suggested various tools and advice, taken directly from her workshop, to help each student with proper alignment and balance as they played. Audible and visual improvements where noticed immediately by the students as well as those in attendance!

After Vanessa Mulvey’s enlightening presentation, BFA students attended a mini-recital by Alicia Mielke.  Alicia performed repertoire from her up-coming NEC graduate recital program including Reverie et Petite Valse by A. Caplet, and Violin Sonata No. 1 by G. Fauré with pianist Dr. Christina Wright-Ivanova. During her spoken program notes, Alicia shared that she felt that the violin part of the Fauré Sonata is so comfortably transferrable to the flute that she could read directly from the original score!

For more information about Vanessa Breault Mulvey, please visit You can visit Alicia Mielke’s website at

As always, photos from this weekend’s events can be found on the Boston Flute Academy website at

Written by Christopher A. Petre

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Highlights from Masterclass and Recital with Nina Assimakopoulos


The Boston Flute Academy (BFA) has kicked off its spring term in modern style. The first guest artist of the term was acclaimed interpreter of contemporary flute repertoire and Professor of Flute at West Virginia University, Nina Assimakopoulos.

Assimakopoulos’ residence at BFA included a recital and masterclass on Saturday, February 2nd, 2013. Her recital of music for flute alone was masterfully performed and educational. The program included popular works from the modern flute repertoire including Syrinx, by Debussy’s and Zoom Tube, by Ian Clarke. Assimakopoulos also performed Reflections by Maggie Payne and a piece written for her, Spirit Man by Margaret Fairlie-Kennedy, which began with a short, yet powerful, reading of the poetry  that inspired the composition.

Immediately following Assimakopoulos’ recital, BFA students and ensembles took the stage beginning with members from the Conservatory Ensemble and Young Artist program: Hyo Jin Jamie Park (BFA Conservatory Ensemble) performed Concerto for flute and orchestra, by Ibert; Amy Lipman (BFA Conservatory Ensemble) performed Concerto for flute and orchestra, by Gordeli; Elizabeth Sperry (BFA Young Artist) performed Sicilienne et Burlesque, by Casella. Following the soloists, the Maliotis Chamber Players – the BFA’s newest ensemble of adult performers – gave a beautiful performance of Mayflower Suite, by Catherine McMichael, a composition commissioned expressly by and for BFA. The Advanced Repertory Ensemble concluded the program with Monochrome V, an entrancing and exhilarating piece by Peter Schikele (aka P.D.Q. Bach).

Following the recital, BFA students performed for Assimakopoulos in a masterclass, where she proved to be an adept teacher as she is as a performing artist. The following students performed for Assimakopoulos in Saturday’s masterclass:

  • You Hyun Cho (11th grade) – Mozart Concerto in G Major: Mvt. I, Exposition
  • Hyo Jin Jamie Park (12th grade) – Ibert Concerto: Mvt. I
  • Isaac Alter (college) – J.S. Bach Sonata in e minor: Mvt. III
  • Oliver Villanueva (college) – Nielsen Concerto: Mvt. I
  • Amy Lipman (10th grade) – Gordeli Concerto

For more information about the Boston Flute Academy, please visit our website at

Written by Christopher A. Petre

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Highlights from Leone Buyse Masterclass

Leone Buyse (right) and six of the BFA student performers

On Friday, March 23rd, the BFA hosted flute performer and educator Leone Buyse for a special masterclass.  It was also a reunion for old friends and colleagues from the Boston flute community — Ms. Buyse had been BFA director Judy Grant’s teacher, and had played in the Boston Symphony Orchestra alongside BFA faculty members Fenwick Smith and Geralyn Coticone!  Currently, Ms. Buyse is on the music faculty at Rice University.

The masterclass featured performances by students in the BFA’s accelerated Conservatory and Young Artist Programs, who meet weekly as members of the BFA Studio Class.  See below for the program listings.  The BFA congratulates all of the performers on their excellent work.

Following the masterclass, Ms. Buyse led a Q&A session, sharing her years of experience and insights on the field of flute performance and education.  Thank you to Ms. Buyse for such a wonderful visit and an energetic, inspiring masterclass!

Program Listings:

Three Preludes for Unaccompanied Flute, by Muczynski

Elizabeth Sperry, BFA Young Artist

Sonata in g minor, Mvt. 3, by Bach

Alexandra Conza, BFA Conservatory Program

Orchestral excerpts by Brahms and Debussy

Nicholas Fitton, BFA Young Artist (Collegiate Division)

Quatre Pieces for Solo Flute, Mvt. 2, by Feld

Jinji Zhang, BFA Conservatory Program

Concerto in D Major, Mvts. 1 and 2, by Mozart

Brendan Dooley, BFA Young Artist

Nocturne et Allegro Scherzando, by Gaubert

Jamie Park, BFA Conservatory Program

Fantaisie, by Faure

Emma Huelskamp, BFA Young Artist

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Highlights from Masterclass with Marina Piccinini

Marina Piccinini (center) with BFA student performers

On Sunday, March 11th, 2012, the BFA was thrilled to host international star Marina Piccinini for a special masterclass.  Ms. Piccinini has not only been acclaimed worldwide for her virtuosity as a performer, but is also an incredible educator and a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD, so this masterclass was a special treat for the BFA community!

The class featured performances by six BFA students who take private lessons in the accelerated studies program.  See below for program details.  The BFA thanks Ms. Piccinini for sharing her insights and experience with the performers and audience, and for leading a superb masterclass!

Concerto for Flute, Mvt. 1, by Ibert

Brendan Dooley, BFA Young Artist

Fantaisie, by Faure

Alexandra Conza, BFA Conservatory Program

Sonata in D Major, Mvt. 4, by Prokofiev

Elizabeth Sperry, BFA Young Artist

Night Soliloquy, by Kennan

Michelle Peters, BFA Private Studies

Concerto for Flute, Mvt. 1, by Nielsen

Jinji Zhang, BFA Conservatory Program

Sonata in e minor, Mvts. 2 and 3, by Bach

Nicholas Fitton, BFA Young Artist (Collegiate Division)

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Highlights from Masterclass with Elizabeth Rowe

Elizabeth Rowe with BFA student Alexandra Conza, one of the performers

On Sunday, January 8, 2012, the BFA was delighted to host a masterclass with BSO principal flutist Elizabeth Rowe!   It was a wonderful opportunity for the BFA community to hear Ms. Rowe teach and play up close, in a small, intimate setting.  The masterclass featured performances by the BFA Young Artists and Conservatory students from the Sunday Studio Class.  Ms. Rowe concluded the class performing Gluck’s Dance of the Blessed Spirits.  Her playing was stunning, and a special treat for everyone who attended!

The BFA congratulates all of the performers.  A special thanks to Ms. Rowe for conducting such an inspiring class!

Masterclass program:

  • Brendan Dooley (Young Artist): Concerto in D Major (Mvt. 1, Exposition), Mozart
  • Alexandra Conza (Conservatory Program): Bolero, Ravel
  • Elizabeth Sperry (Conservatory Program): Peter and the Wolf, Prokofiev
  • Jinji Zhang (Conservatory Program): Symphonic Metamorphosis, Hindemith
  • Jamie Park (Conservatory Program): “Domine Deus” from Mass in B Minor, J. S. Bach
  • Nicholas Fitton (Young Artist): Concerto in G Major (Mvt. 1 Exposition), Mozart
  • Elizabeth Rowe: Dance of the Blessed Spirits, Gluck
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Highlights from Conservatory Masterclass with Fenwick Smith

From left to right: Amy Lipman, Natalya Tausanovitch, Fenwick Smith, Elizabeth Sperry, and Alexandra Conza

On Saturday, December 4, 2011, retired BSO flutist and BFA faculty member Fenwick Smith coached a masterclass for the Conservatory Ensemble & Seminar class.  Student performances featured Amy Lipman playing Bloch’s Suite Modale (Mvts. 1 and 3), Natalya Tausanovitch playing Doppler’s Hungarian Pastorale Hongroise, Elizabeth Sperry playing Taffanel’s Andante Pastorale & Scherzettino, and Alexandra Conza playing J. S. Bach’s Sonata in G Minor.

Many thanks to Fenwick Smith and our BFA performers for a wonderful class!

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Guest Artist Elizabeth Rowe at BFA – March 27, 2011

Elizabeth Rowe
Elizabeth Rowe

BFA presented a private masterclass with Elizabeth Rowe, principal flute of the BSO, to a packed crowd on Sunday, March 27, 2011.  Ms. Rowe was absolutely brilliant!  Boston is lucky to have such a phenomenal, engaging teacher and flutist.

Students from the BFA Young Artist and Conservatory programs performed orchestral excerpts for Ms. Rowe.  The performers were Madeline Aiken, Brendan Dooley, Emma Huelskamp, Catherine Jones, Heather Pulkowski, Jiweon Ryu, Elizabeth Sperry, and Jinji Zhang.  All students enrolled in BFA classes, ensembles, and lessons were invited to attend.  It was both fun and educational for everyone, audience and performers alike–an inspiration!

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BFA Masterclass with Paula Robison

Paula Robison
Paula Robison

The BFA hosted world-famous flutist Paula Robison on Sunday, January 23, 2011 in a private “Masterclass and Conversation” for all BFA students.  Young Artists and Conservatory Program students in 11th and 12th grade played music by Copland, Reinecke, Taffanel, and Faure for Ms. Robison.  The six performers were Mayuko Akimoto, Brendan Dooley, Emma Huelskamp, Catherine Jones, Jiweon Ryu, and Jinji Zhang, all accompanied by Deborah DeWolf Emery on piano.

Following the masterclass, BFA students of all ages had the opportunity to engage in an open conversation with Ms. Robison.  It was an educational, inspirational, and memorable experience for everyone who attended!

Paula is a star.  She is a complete artist in every sense, and an inspired teacher.  What a memorable few hours.  I was riveted.  And Debbie is a gem on the piano.  How lucky we were to have this opportunity.  Thank you.  It was a sensational event, and so well organized from A to Z.  Go BFA.  You are following Paula’s words at the end of the class, to make the world a better place.

Betsy Foote, flutist in BFA Chamber Music Program