Flutes by the Sea Masterclass Q & A

by Viviana Guzman

Q: How did the Flutes by the Sea Masterclass get its start?

A: The San Francisco Flute Festival was born in 2012. We started offering summer masterclasses in 2013 in the beautiful oceanside village of Half Moon Bay here in the San Francisco Bay area.

Q: What is one of your favorite memories from the class?

A: Our guest artists through the years have included Carol Wincenc, Amy Porter, Jill Felber, Julien Beaudiment, Alice K. Dade, Erika Boysen, Fluterscooter, Maxim Rubtsov, Jose Valentino, Jane Rutter and founder, Viviana Guzmán.

One year we were invited to participate in the filming of a piano music documentary. The entire flute class headed out to the ocean and played Bach Gounod Ave Maria on a cliff with our class pianist. The director of the film had perched a piano on a cliff overlooking an enchanted waterfront. It was magical to be surrounded by colleagues and students alongside the breathtaking Pacific Ocean playing such ethereal music. The video can now be seen on our Youtube Channel. The main goal of Flutes by the Sea Masterclasses is to provide an inspiring location to practice and share musical ideas.

Q: What are you looking forward to most this year?

A: The Virtual Flutes by the Sea Masterclass Series has given us the opportunity to increase the number of Master Flutists from abroad as well as increase the number of participants. This year, we have invited Irina Stachinskaya from Russia, Adriana Ferreria from Portugal (currently living in Rome), Mario Caroli from Italy (currently living in Freiburg, Germany) as well as Dr. Terri Sánchez (Ohio) and Viviana Guzman (San Francisco). The beauty of an online class is that technology allows us to record and make the class available to view at any moment in the future, so helpful tips and insights can be captured forever. It is much more cost effective, as well, as there is no need to pay for air, hotel or meal tickets. At our first Virtual Competition last year, not only did we quadruple the number of applicants, we received applicants from literally all over: New Zealand, Russia, Argentina, Vietnam, South Africa, etc.

Q: What makes this year different from previous years?

A: Last year we had to cancel our Masterclass, but we did offer the Virtual Flute Competition. This year, we decided to offer both the Masterclass and the Competition online. It is much easier to organize. And it is so wonderful to have students and teachers from all over the world exchanging and sharing on our virtual platform. Our remote style of teaching now has opened our platform to include flutists across all continents.

Q: What are your goals for the class?

A: Our goal is to inspire and to share knowledge as well as to provide a stage to perform. By sharing our various schools of Flute Artistry, we all improve as a whole, and this is so important. Healthy competition keeps us practicing and striving for excellence. Sharing helpful tips and interesting concepts grants us all the steps towards achieving excellence both individually and as a group. Once we are able to safely hold our masterclass in person, we look forward to hearing more energizing concerts in person, as this is our ultimate intention.

San Francisco Flute Society now offering Virtual Masterclasses and Competitions

The San Francisco Flute Society is currently in it’s 9th season presenting masterclasses taught by some of the premier flutists in the world with the latest edition of its popular Flutes by the Sea Masterclass series. Instructors include SF Flute Society Director Viviana Guzman (University of California, Santa Cruz); Irina Stachinskaya(former co-Principal Flute, Moscow Philharmonic); Adriana Ferreira (Principal Flute, Santa Cecilia, Rome); Mario Caroli (Hochschule für MUSIK Freiburg, Germany); and Terri Sanchez (Bowling Green State University). Masterclasses are being held virtually via videoconference, each Sunday from July 18, 2021 through August 22, 2021, with instructors each teaching one date, in the above order. The costs are: $20 per class to audit, or $65 to audit all 5 classes; and $45 to perform in one of the classes.

The SF Flute Society is also conducting Virtual Adult and Youth Competitions sponsored by Flute Specialists with $2,000 to be awarded in prizes. Participation in the Competitions for adults is $20 and $10 for Junior Division (which is divided into three age groups), plus the one-time $45 SF Flute Society membership fee. Details at www.flutesbythesea.com

Described by the New York Times as “an imaginative artist,” Chilean-born multi-genre flutist, Viviana Guzman, performs over 50 concerts a year throughout the world. Her most recent recording “Traveling Sonata” received a GRAMMY Nomination. She gave a very successful TEDxBerkeley Talk, presenting just before Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple, Inc. She has been featured on programs for PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, Good Morning America and NPR, seen on the cover of Latina Style Magazine, and in COSMOPOLITAN en Español. She has performed in 131 countries, and in all 7 continents including South Africa, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Bali, India, Peru, Japan, China, Argentina, Greece, Antarctica, etc, often featuring flutes from her collection of over 100 gathered from concert tours. Her music video was aired on UNIVISION in 30 countries. She has performed as soloist with 265 ensembles including orchestras in Russia, Chile, Brazil, Vermont, New York, Wisconsin, California, Texas, Montana, Philippines, Vietnam, in such halls as in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, and other prominent stages with such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Placido Domingo, and Glenn Close. Her YouTube channel boasts over 2.5 million views. Viviana teaches at the University of California Santa Cruz, and is the Founder of the San Francisco Flute Society, Flutes by the Sea Masterclasses & Competitions, and Co-Founder of The Flute View Magazine.