My first post: I won $25,000!

Hi, I thought it would be fun to enter the world of blogging and share with people a little bit about who I am and what I do as a professional flutist. I guess my first post is pretty big news - I’m betting later posts won’t be nearly as dramatic - in that I was recently chosen to receive my second McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians. The McKnight Foundation is very generous in its support of the arts here in Minnesota, and it’s programs like this one that certainly make me happy I’m an artist living in Minneapolis!

This prize, which is for $25,000, is administered by the MacPhail Center for Music and is awarded based on performance excellence. From 120 applications, nine musicians were selected to perform in a live final audition (no pressure there!), and of those nine, four were chosen to receive awards. Besides me, the winners were: Gao Hong, an internationally known Chinese pipa soloist; Sarah Kwak, First Associate Concertmaster, Minnesota Orchestra; and Arek Tesarczyk, Cellist, Minnesota Orchestra.

Since everyone’s been asking me how I will use my windfall, first, I’ll be finishing up and promoting my CD of American music (John Jensen, my stellar accompanist in the final round, is my pianist on the CD). I hope to have a fun and free CD release party sometime in the fall in the Twin Cities. I’ve been really fortunate to receive a number of grants to help with the production and promotion of my CD: I’ve also received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the American Composers Forum.

I’m really excited about my CD, even while in the midst of the tedious work of editing the thing; the pieces on it are really wonderful works written for flute. The CD includes Lowell Liebermann’s sonata, Edie Hill’s “This Floating World” for solo flute, Aaron Copland’s “Duo for Flute and Piano,” Roberto Sierra’s new sonata (I believe this is also the recording premiere, which is very cool), and two lovely pieces by Paul Schoenfield: “Achat Sha’alti” and “Ufaratsta.” “Achat Sha’alti” is one of my favorite pieces, and it was great to record it. (I’m also looking forward to playing it at the National Flute Association Convention in August down in Kansas City.)

The only thing I’m really stuck on with the CD is a good title - it’s hard to come up with a good title! “American Flute Music” sounds a bit run-of-the-mill, if accurately descriptive, as does “Linda Chatterton - Flute” - so if anyone has any clever suggestions, please send ‘em my way!

Maybe I’ll write a future post about all the interesting things that flit through your mind in the week before you have thirty minutes to convince a panel of judges that you are indeed deserving of a enormous sum of money. (I do these presentations on performance anxiety called “It Sounded Better at Home!” and find it’s very interesting to check out my own thoughts while going through the same issues I sympathize with in everybody else.) But when all is said and done, I had a great time playing in the final round, was extraordinarily pleased that I won, and had a fantastic time celebrating with my very supportive sweetie that night by indulging in the nine-course Chef’s Tasting Menu (complete with matching wine flight) at the exquisite La Belle Vie.