The Consummate Flutist Faculty

318  ALBERTO ALMARZA, Associate Professor of Flute, Head of the Flute Department

Described as a virtuoso flutist by the Boston Globe, Alberto Almarza brings a unique and passionate approach to music.  His versatility and musicianship have led him to perform and record some of the most adventurous and challenging pieces from the music of today as well as works from the standard repertoire and Baroque literature on period instruments.

A native of Chile, Mr. Almarza previously held the position of Principal Flute of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Santiago.  He later came to the United States to study with Jeanne Baxtresser in New York and with Julius Baker at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he obtained his Master’s degree.  He currently serves on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon as Associate Professor of Flute and Head of the Flute Department.

His skills as a pedagogue, lecturer and recitalist have led to invitations from international festivals in the U.S., Europe, Korea and Latin America, and most recently, to perform at a TED TALK Conference.  He was a resident artist and member of the faculty at The Jeanne Baxtresser International Master Classes, and has served at the National Flute Association Advisory Board for New Music and the Career and Artistic Development Committee

Mr. Almarza has appeared as soloist with Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Memphis Symphony, BachFest Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonic, National Symphony and National Chamber Orchestras of Chile, and has collaborated with such artists as Julius Baker, Andrés Cárdenes, Alex Klein, Lionel Party, Cuarteto Latinoamericano, and the Arianna String Quartet among others.  As a leading proponent of new music for the flute, Mr. Almarza has been instrumental in expanding the repertoire with numerous commissions and premieres of works by composers from around the world. Pieces written for him include four flute concertos and dozens of solo and chamber works.

He can be heard on radio broadcasts of International Music from Carnegie Mellon throughout North and South America, on compact discs from New Albion, Elán, Albany Records and Centaur Recordings as well as on a Naxos Records compact disc of the Flute Concerto by Reza Vali with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project. Most recently he and his vast flute collection were featured on the PBS program Horizons.

Jeanne Baxtresser  JEANNE BAXTRESSER, Vira L. Heinz Professor of Flute

Jeanne Baxtresser has held principal positions with three major orchestras, culminating in her 15-year tenure as Solo Flutist of the New York Philharmonic. Making her heralded debut with the Minnesota Orchestra at age 14, Ms. Baxtresser began her professional career as Principal Flutist of the Montreal Symphony immediately following her graduation from The Juilliard School, where she studied with Julius Baker. She was subsequently appointed Principal Flute of the Toronto Symphony before being invited by Music Director Zubin Mehta to join the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Baxtresser appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic on more than fifty occasions, and has been featured as a soloist across North America and Europe.


Ms. Baxtresser was named a recipient of the National Flute Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for significant, lasting contributions to the flute world, and she was also awarded the National Medal of Arts from the Interlochen Center for the Arts. She is recognized internationally as a leading recording artist, author and lecturer.


In great demand as a teacher, many of Ms. Baxtresser’s students occupy principal and section positions in major orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. While in New York, Ms. Baxtresser served on the faculties of The Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music. In 1998, she was appointed the Vira I. Heinz Professor of Flute at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where she has attracted many outstanding flute students from around the world. Ms. Baxtresser was also named University Professor, Carnegie Mellon University’s most distinguished professorial position awarded to those individuals who have achieved exceptional international recognition.


Ms. Baxtresser’s exceptional career as a recitalist, concerto soloist and chamber musician has produced numerous recordings, including New York Legends—Jeanne Baxtresser (Cala), Jeanne Baxtresser—A Collection of My Favorites (MSR Classics), and Chamber Music for Flute (Cala), featuring her performances with principal players of the New York Philharmonic. She has recorded many of the major symphonic works with the New York Philharmonic under Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta and Kurt Masur.


Ms. Baxtresser’s acclaimed first book, Orchestral Excerpts for Flute with Piano Accompaniment (Theodore Presser), has been re-released in a new revised edition. This book and a companion CD, Orchestral Excerpts for Flute with Spoken Commentary (Summit), have become a vital part of flute pedagogy. Her subsequent book, Great Flute Duos from the Orchestral Repertoire, was named the 2004 winner of the National Flute Association’s Newly Published Music Competition.


lornaLorna McGhee (MARCH & OCTOBER)
Scottish-born Lorna McGhee was appointed principal flute of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2012. Known for her “exceptionally rich and vibrant tone” (Washington Post) Lorna has performed as guest principal with Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and has been fortunate to work with conductors such as Haitink, Gergiev, Rattle, Solti, Harnoncourt, Muti and Honeck. Before immigrating to North America in 1998, Lorna was co-principal flute of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, England.

As a soloist, she has given concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the UK and Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, and Victoria Symphony in Canada and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Symphony and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the USA. Career highlights include a performance of Penderecki’s flute concerto with the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra under the baton of the composer in 2004 and more recently, a performance of the Nielsen Flute Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony in 2014 with Maestro Tortelier.

As a chamber musician and recitalist, she has performed in Europe, North America, Australia, Singapore and Japan in such venues as London’s Wigmore Hall, Edinburgh International Festival, the Louvre, Paris, the Schubertsaal of Vienna’s Konzerthaus, Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music. Her performances have been broadcast on CBC Radio in Canada, BBC Radio, NPR (USA), Netherlands Radio and ABC (Australia). She has made chamber music recordings for EMI, Decca ASV, Naxos and Meridian. Her recording for Naxos of Bax’ Chamber Music with the group ‘mobius’ was selected as Editor’s Choice in Gramophone Magazine. Along with Duo partner Heidi Krutzen, Lorna has released two CDs on Skylark Music: “Taheke, 20th century Masterpieces for flute and harp” and “Canada, New Works for flute and harp.” As a member of Trio Verlaine (with her husband, violist David Harding and harpist, Heidi Krutzen) Lorna has recorded two CDs: “Fin de Siècle,” the music by Debussy and Ravel, and “Six Departures”, featuring works by Bax and Jolivet as well as new commissions by Schafer and Cotton. Both the Trio and Duo are committed to broadening the repertoire and have contributed eight new commissions to date. Lorna’s first flute and piano recital disc, “ The Hour of Dreaming” with pianist, Piers Lane was released on the Beep label in 2014.

Having taught at the University of Michigan and the University of British Columbia, Lorna is now a member of the flute faculty at Carnegie Mellon University. She has given master classes at universities, conservatoires and flute festivals in the UK, USA, Japan and Canada, including Julliard School and the Royal Academy of Music. She often teaches at summer schools, including the Pender Island Flute Retreat, the William Bennett International Summer School, and the Galway Flute Festival. Lorna studied with David Nicholson in Scotland, and with Michie and William Bennett at the Royal Academy of Music, London. She is an honorary “Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.”

“Her range of colors was astonishing, not only golden and silvery, but ranging from cool to edgy to filled with human warmth.”
Nielsen Concerto, Pittsburgh Symphony, (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)



Flutist Soo-Kyung Park enjoys a multi-faceted career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player, artistic director, writer and teacher.  Upon arriving in United States in 1984, Ms. Park was accepted at The Juilliard School in the Pre-College Division, where she studied with Bonnie Lichter. She continued her studies at The Juilliard School where she earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Music Performance under the tutelage of Julius Baker and Jeanne Baxtresser.

Ms. Park first won international acclaim as winner of the Promising Artist Search in her native South Korea, where she performed in recital at the Seoul Arts Center, and subsequently won first prize in the New York Flute Club Competition, performing in New York’s Cami Hall.  She has performed as soloist with the Korean Symphony at Alice Tully Hall.  Her radio credits include APR’s “Performance Today” and WQXR’s “McGraw Hill Young Artist Showcase” hosted by Bob Sherman, where she was featured performing Mozart’s Flute Concerto.  She has performed solo and chamber music concerts in the United States, and throughout Europe and Asia.

As an orchestral musician, she has performed and toured as principal flute and piccolo with orchestras in the United States, Israel and Asia, with some of the world’s most eminent conductors, including Pierre Boulez, James DePreist, Jahja Ling, Kurt Masur, Byung Hyun Rhee, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz and Hugh Wolff.  Orchestras she has performed with include the Juilliard Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Prometheus Chamber Orchestra and Shira Festival Orchestra of Israel.

Highly in demand as a teacher and coach, Ms. Park has taught master classes in the United States, Germany and Korea. In addition to her position on the faculty of New York University, she remains a faculty member of the Manhattan School of Music, Pre-College Division.

In addition to maintaining an active flute studio, she is founder and president of an educational consulting company specializing in preparing American and International students for conservatory auditions and National/International competitions. She also has produced numerous master classes featuring world renowned flutists, including Jeanne Baxtresser, Linda Chesis, Jasmine Choi, Bart Feller, Marya Martin, Judith Mendenhall, Michael Parloff, Karl-Heinz Schutz, Keith Underwood and Carol Wincenc.

As the founding member and artistic director of the Musicians of Lenox Hill, she has led the ensemble for annual performances at the Temple of Israel in NYC for over a decade.

Ms. Park has written for “Flute and Flutist” magazine in Korea, where her contributions include featured cover story interviews with Jeanne Baxtresser and Carol Wincenc. Her articles have also appeared in the Juilliard Journal.


image Marianne Gedigian, GUEST ARTIST, faculty, University of Texas at Austin

Marianne Gedigian, Professor of Flute and holder of the Butler Professorship in Music at The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music, was a regular performer with the Boston Symphony Orchestra for over a decade, including several seasons as Acting Principal Flute under Seiji Ozawa. As Principal Flute with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and Acting Principal Flute with the Boston Pops, Ms. Gedigian has been heard on dozens of recordings and Evening at Pops television broadcasts as well as the nationally broadcast Fourth of July specials. She has also been heard on several John Williams’ movie scores, including Saving Private Ryan and Schindler’s List. In the 2000 – 2001 season, Ms. Gedigian was invited by Mariss Jansons to perform as Acting Principal Flute with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Her solo performances have taken her around the world, including recitals in Japan, Australia, England, and Armenia and she has appeared as concerto soloist numerous times with the Boston Pops Orchestra and with the Armenian Philharmonic performing her own transcription of the Khachaturian Violin Concerto. She was featured with Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull fame in a performance at the Berklee College of Music in Boston. Ms. Gedigian has been a featured soloist and teacher at numerous National Flute Association conventions across the country, and is a frequent recitalist and teacher for flute clubs in the United States, Australia, Japan, and England.

Ms. Gedigian has been first prizewinner in the National Flute Association’s Young Artist Competition, and the James Pappoutsakis Memorial Flute Competition. She keeps an active schedule as a chamber musician as a founding member of the Boston-based Walden Chamber Players and was formerly a member of the Dorian Wind Quintet. Her solo recordings include Voice of the Flute and Revolution, both with pianist Rick Rowley.

Ms. Gedigian is on the summer faculty at the Brevard Music Center, and has served on the faculties of Boston University’s College of Fine Arts, The Boston Conservatory, the Round Top International Institute, and the Tanglewood Music Center. Her teachers include Leone Buyse, Doriot Anthony Dwyer, Clement Barone, and Donna Olkowski. Ms. Gedigian is a William S. Haynes Artist and performs on a handmade custom-crafted Haynes gold flute.

Marie Tachouet is Principal Flute of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and serves on the flute faculty at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts. She has performed as principal flute with the Seattle Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, Sarasota Opera, Joffrey Ballet, and Pittsburgh Opera orchestras and has also performed with the Pittsburgh and Oregon symphonies. An advocate of contemporary music, Marie has worked closely with composers including Charles Wuorinen, Elliot Carter, and John Zorn in venues such as the Library of Congress, Carnegie Hall, and the Guggenheim.  She has recently led masterclasses at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, DePaul University, University of Arkansas, and Western Illinois University.

Praised by the New York Times for her “extraordinary agile” solo playing, she has been a soloist with the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, Chicago Philharmonic, Olympia (WA) Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, Akron Symphony., and University of Michigan Symphony Band. Marie graduated summa cum laude from the University of Michigan and Carnegie Mellon University as a student of Jeanne Baxtresser, Alberto Almarza, and Amy Porter. She is the sole recipient of the 2016 Paul Boylan award, a recognition given to Michigan alumni for outstanding contributions in the field of music.

2017 The Art of Teaching Guest Lecturer

Founder of Music Minus Pain, Dr. Lea Pearson helps professional musicians who struggle with playing-related pain and injury. A Licensed Andover Educator, she enjoys making complex topics understandable and exciting for teachers and performers of all ages and levels. She presents regularly at colleges and universities, music festivals, music schools and military bands worldwide and on the internet. Author of Body Mapping for Flutists: What Every Flute Teacher Needs to Know about the Body, Dr. Pearson holds a DMA from The Ohio State University, an MA from Stanford University, and was a Fulbright Scholar. She is the former Chair of the Performance Health Care Committee of the National Flute Association.  www.musicminuspain.com

Workshop description

Does it hurt when you play?

That’s the question we need to be asking to help our students avoid pain and injury.

Join Dr. Pearson for proven strategies on how to sit, stand and hold the flute to prevent tension, discomfort, injury and stress. Learn how to determine when students are at risk, and how you can help them resolve the physical limitations that inhibit their progress. Creating a culture of body awareness in your studio is one of the most important foundational aspects of teaching.

The Consummate Flutist Staff

vahan VAHAN SARGSYAN, staff pianist

Armenian pianist Vahan Sargsyan holds graduate and post graduate degrees from Yerevan Komitas State Conservatoire (Armenia), studying with Elza Tandilyan and his father, renowned pianist Villi Sargsyan.

Mr. Sargsyan in 1991 was awarded Second Prize at the International Competition in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also was winner of the Pittsburgh Concert Society Auditions in solo piano and two chamber music categories. Mr. Sargsyan has concertized in Europe and the Americas as a soloist and collaborative pianist. His recordings can be heard on the National Radio of Armenia, on WQED-FM of Pittsburgh, and were released by Alanna and Aerophon records.

Mr. Sargsyan has performed as a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and is regularly seen at the orchestra‘s keyboards. He is a staff pianist and chamber coach at Carnegie Mellon University.


Julie Side Shot2 JULIE MCGOUGH, Executive Director

An integral part of the Pittsburgh music scene, Julie McGough enjoys a versatile career as a performer, administrator, flute teacher, and freelance musician.

As an orchestral musician she currently holds positions with the Orchestra of the Alleghenies and Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra  and is a freelance musician with the Pittsburgh Opera, Wheeling Symphony, Akron Symphony and touring shows.  Highlights from the 2013 Season included collaborations with singers Giorgia Fumanti and Clay Aiken as well as the new Allegheny City Ragtime Orchestra.  As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed at National Flute Association Conventions in Orlando, FL, Nashville, TN and Pittsburgh, PA.  In 2004 Julie premiered “9 Walks Down 7th Avenue” by Daniel Dorff, which she commissioned for her Carnegie Hall Debut Recital.

A strong advocate for the arts, Mrs. McGough has held positions as  Managing Director of the Orchestra of the Alleghenies, Executive Director of the Flute Forum and received a grant from the Greater Pittsburgh Arts Council to attend the Americans for the Arts Conference in 2013.   In addition to teaching, performing and working within arts organizations, Julie volunteers as a performer and music teacher in her local church and bible study and helps raise funds for Hekima Place through performances and CD’s.

A graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and the Manhattan School of Music, her primary teachers included Jeanne Baxtresser, Jennifer Conner, Alberto Almarza, Linda Chesis and Stephanie Mortimore.

She is a wife and mom and finds her well balanced, albeit busy, career gives her the opportunity to shape the direction of classical music in the community.  www.JulieMcGough.com