Featured in the March 2018 edition of New on NAXOS for her recording of Michael Daugherty’s Trail of Tears with the Albany Symphony Orchestra, flutist Amy Porter has been praised by critics for her exceptional musical talent and passion for scholarship. This captivating performer was described by Carl Cunningham in the Houston Post as having “succeeded in avoiding all the overdone playing styles of the most famous flutists today.” In American Record Guide, flutist Christopher Chaffee wrote, “If you have not heard her playing, you should.” Ms. Porter “played with graceful poise,” noted Allan Kozinn in The New York Times. And Geraldine Freedman, writing in the Albany Gazette, commented, “Amy Porter showed that she’s not only very versatile but that she can do everything well. She chose a program that tested every aspect of her playing from a Baroque sensibility to using the instrument as a vehicle of sound effects, and she met each challenge with passion, skill and much musicality.”
Ms. Porter has been a featured soloist with the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and with the Atlanta, Houston, Omaha, Delaware, Albany, Flint, Billings, Battle Creek, Arkansas, and Elgin symphony orchestras. She has twice appeared in recital at the National Concert Hall in Taipei, as well as at Skidmore College’s Arthur Zankel Music Center. Her collaborators have included such distinguished conductors as Nicholas McGegan, Ransom Wilson, David Alan Miller, Yoel Levi, Thomas Wilkins, José-Luis Gomez, Enrique Diemecke, David Amado, Anne Harrigan, and Arie Lipsky. She has given premieres of works by Michael Daugherty, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Joel Puckett, Christopher Caliendo, Katherine Hoover, and Frank Ticheli, among others.
Winner of the 3rd Kobe International Flute Competition and the Paris/Ville d’Avray International Flute Competition, Ms. Porter has served on international juries around the world, including the 6th Kobe International Flute Competition. She has been heard in recital on National Public Radio; highlighted on PBS’s Live From Lincoln Center; and featured on the covers and as a writer for the magazines Flute Talk in the USA and The Flute in Japan.
In 2006 Ms. Porter became the first performing artist to be awarded the University of Michigan’s Henry Russel Award for distinguished scholarship and conspicuous ability as a teacher. Her popular study guide on the German composer Sigfrid Karg-Elert elicited the following comment from Spanish Flute Society: “Strength, beauty, a captivating and seductive force, sensitivity, perfection and a sense of humor characterize the impressive American flautist Amy Porter.”
She has won praise both as a recording artist and as a chamber musician. Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, in her New York Times review of the CD In Translation: Selections from J.S. Bach’s Cello Suites on the Equilibrium label, applauded Ms. Porter for her “gleaming, lyrical reading” of those works. As a member of Trio Virado with violist Juan-Miguel Hernandez and guitarist João Luiz, she recorded Mangabeira, a CD featuring works by Piazzolla, Brouwer, Hand, Assad and Luiz, about which Ken Keaton wrote in American Record Guide: “First let me say that these are fine musicians, and they present a set of performances that are unfailingly strong, expressive, and imaginative.”
Formerly a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Ms. Porter was recently appointed Principal Flute of North Carolina’s Brevard Music Center, where she will perform as soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player.
Highlights of Ms. Porter’s 2019-20 season include a tour of Missouri with Trio Virado and appearances at the Brevard Music Center as Principal Flute, The University of Kansas, and MidSouth Flute Festival. She will also perform Daugherty's "Trail of Tears" with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Recent study guide releases include her latest “THE GAUBERT CYCLE: The Complete Works for Flute and Piano by Philippe Gaubert” with guests Tim Carey and Penelope Fischer. The printed edition, Philippe Gaubert Treasures for Flute and Piano, is published by Carl Fischer.
Born in Wilmington, Delaware, Ms. Porter graduated from The Juilliard School and pursued further studies at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg. She plays a 14K white gold flute with rose gold engraved keys made for her by the Wm. S. Haynes Co.
Label: Equilibrium Item Number: EQ124 Format: 2-CD Set Year Recorded: 2013
"In the title, the flutist Amy Porter likens the act of transcribing Bach’s Cello Suites to a translation. But her gleaming, lyrical reading of these profoundly personal works feels more like a distillation that concentrates and heightens their melodic structure." -NEW YORK TIMES
"In the title, the flutist Amy Porter likens the act of transcribing Bach’s Cello Suites to a translation.
But her gleaming, lyrical reading of these profoundly personal works feels more like a distillation that concentrates and heightens their melodic structure."
-NEW YORK TIMES
(Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim)
"ONE OF THE STRONGEST FLAUTISTS IN THE CURRENT MUSICAL WORLD"
-The Spanish Flute Society
CARTER BREY, NY PHIL. PRINCIPAL CELLIST WRITES:
"Who knew that the Bach cello suites would translate so beautifully to the treble clef? In Amy Porter's hands the light
sonority of the flute illuminates the contours of the music in a novel and refreshing way."
THE JUILLIARD JOURNAL WRITES:
"The Fourth Suite shows, as well as anything else here, how successful these transcriptions can be in the right hands.
Porter’s adaptation seems completely natural, as if Bach had originally written it for flute."
AMY PORTER RECITAL REVIEW
By GERALDINE FREEDMAN
SARATOGA SPRINGS: Flutist Amy Porter gave a superb recital Saturday night at Skidmore Collegeís Zankel Music Center and showed that she's not only very versatile but that she can do everything well.
She chose a program that tested every aspect of her playing from a Baroque sensibility to using the instrument as a vehicle of sound effects, and she met each challenge with passion, skill and much musicality. The concert was also stream lived, which allowed her many students and two of the composers whose work she played to "listen in."
Porter, who teaches at the University of Michigan's School of Music, played with a big colorful sound, a very fleet, smooth technique, fabulously light double tonguing, effortless breath control and a forthright style of musicianship that was open, direct and had its own kind of exciting brio.
Her pianist, Katie Leung, who was once a Porter flute student, provided exceptionally sympathetic support, matching nuances and excellent balances.
They began with Poulenc's Sonata (1957), one of the most familiar works of the repertoire for its lyricism and line. The first movement was well nuanced with strong colors and a judicious use of vibrato. The slow second had a thrilling depth of expression with finished phrases and the finale was brilliant and playful.
Porter's arrangement of Bach's Prelude from his solo Cello Suite No. 5 in C minor was done with great passion. Flutists don't have this type of piece in their libraries, so this arrangement is a welcome addition. It's very challenging and dramatic, but satisfying to perform.
Christopher Caliendo has written several sonatas for Porter. "The Western Sonata" (2010) is vivacious, jaunty, jazzy and brilliantly conceived. Porter was at home with its shifting moods and technical and offbeat demands.
Skidmore flute professor Jan Vinci joined Porter and Leung for Ian Clarke's "Maya" (2000). Working in close harmonies, they interwove and blended in a pretty piece that often sounded like a rippling stream.
Heinz Holliger's "Sonate (In)solit(air)e" (1996) for solo flute is a tour-de-force for a flutist to make all kinds of sound effects over a three-octave range including multiphonics, whistles, blasts of sound, and key slaps. Despite the weirdness, the seven movements had continuity and a hip coolness that made the crowd smile. Porter played all this stuff so well.
Porter and Leung finished with Daniel Dorff's "Sonata (Three Lakes)" (2014). The three movements had long flowing arched melodies in sunny colors, a light and spare piano part, and rippling technical passages. The duo played with great energy and finesse and got a standing ovation.