It's the time of year when “The Magic Flute” opera is often performed, but what about the man who seems to make magic with his flute, Sir James Galway. NY1’s Stephanie Simon spent time with one of the most popular and acclaimed flutists of all time.
It seems Sir James Galway is always smiling, even his music seems to smile, so I was shocked when he shared this important insight with me.
“Nobody teaches you how to blow the flute, they all say smile and that’s the wrong thing because we have absolute concrete evidence that smiling doesn’t work,” Galway said.
In fact, he insists it's more like a frown.
“A little bit down on the side like this,” he said as he started to play.
This is just some of Galway teaches in his new online flute program called "First Flute,” which he introduced at Merkin Concert Hall on the Upper West Side.
The cost is $99 for the first year.
“I think it's amazing because everybody looks up to sir James Galway so I think having a resource to find him more accessible, to learn from him, is brilliant,” said a young musician.
“He's very passionate, wonderful technique, beautiful player,” said another.
Wife and fellow flute player Lady Jeanne Galway understands their excitement.
“This is, you know the Mick Jagger of the flute over here,” Galways said, laughing.
Galway is a bit of a rock star. He's played with Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and on the soundtrack to the Lord of the Ring trilogy.
But the The 74-year-old says anyone can learn. Even someone like me who tried and failed back in the fourth grade. Galway insists the very basic like everything scales are very often taught improperly.
When we started the interview I stood on your right side, that was a rookie mistake. Tell
everyone why that was a rookie mistake.
“Well the flute goes right this way and I didn’t want to get the flute stuck in your ear,” he said, laughing.
Just be prepared to have the sounds of the flute stuck in your head.
For more information on Galway’s program, go to www.firstflute.com and www.kaufmanmusiccenter.org.