Monday, October 27, 2008

What makes a true artist?

Watch the video to hear my thoughts on this issue, and then click the links below to hear what these great flutists...I mean, ARTISTS have to say, and learn from their pearls of wisdom. Then feel free to leave your comments below.

Click here for some interesting additional thoughts by Leone Buyse.

Friday, August 1, 2008

For Roland Lietzenmayer

For Roland

April 13, 1961-March 21, 2008

Roland was one of the first flutists I met through my REAL FLUTE project on youtube. He was a regular contributor the Galway Flute Chat and often posted youtube video performances of flute duets with his lovely young daughter.  His positive energy and enthusiasm made him a cherished friend to flutists worldwide.   To read a message from Roland’s sister following his death, click here. I performed the Astor Piazzolla Tango Etude No. 4 in Roland's memory as a tribute to his sprit and to thank him for the support he gave me as I began my REAL FLUTE project.

Following Roland’s death, flutist Catherine LeGrand commissioned composer Rick Arnest to write a flute quartet to be played at Roland’s memorial service. Le Tombeau de Roland: per aspera ad astra is a lovely piece and I recently had the pleasure to give the work’s North American premiere at Trinity Episcopal Church in Covington, Kentucky. You can hear a recording of the performance by Dr. Nina Perlove, Ashley Steffen, JoAnne Loftus, and Dr. Rodney Hill by clicking here.

You can get the score by clicking here.

You can get composer’s notes by clicking here.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My new flute!

I have a new flute!!!
And it makes me want to practice everything!
It is a Sankyo K14-3 ST
14K Gold head, body and foot
sterling silver keys and mechanism
RT1 headjoint cut
C# trill
offset G
open hole
B foot
d# roller
NEL mechanism
Watch the video to hear me practicing it.
In case you are wondering, here is what I am practicing:
Excerpts from:
JS Bach                         Partita in a minor
Taffanel and Gaubert     Daily Exercises #4
James Galway               LongtonesReichert                         Scales

Telemann                       Fantasy in Bb

Berbiguier                     Study No. 1
Taffanel and Gaubert     Daily Exercises #4
Telemann                       Fantasy in Bb
Koehler                         Op. 33 Etude No. 1
Donjon                          Etudes de Salon No. 1
Hindemith                      Eight Pieces No. 1
Dvorak                          Symphony No. 8
Hindemith                      Eight Pieces No. 2
Prokofiev                       Peter and the Wolf
Jolivet                           Chant de Linos
Traditional                     Twinkle Twinkle (Ah je dirai vous maman)
Jolivet                           Chant de Linos
Mendelssohn                 Midsummer Night’s Dream
Jolivet                           Chant de Linos
CPE Bach                      Sonata in a minor

Thursday, May 8, 2008

How do I articulate this passage with pickup sixteenths?

I received this question by email today from Luciano Cassia:
dear Ms Perlove,
I follow with great interest your lessons on Youtube. I have a doubt about staccato in a piece of Moyse (25 Melodious Studies with variations Moderately difficult) NR 16 first variation,. I scan the page and I put three different solutions. Would you please tell me the right one ?
Thank you for your help

Nina’s Answer
The second choice is the best because you will always have a T (tongue) stroke landing ON the beat, and the K stroke for the pickup, while maintaining a nice double tongue for clarity (never having two tongue strokes next to each other). I hope that helps, Luciano!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Upon Listening to the Flute: Korean Impressions for Flute and Orchestra


On May 5, 2008 at 7:30 pm I will be playing  the world Premiere of Philip Koplow’s “Upon Listening to the Flute: Korean Impressions for Flute and Orchestra” with the Greater Miami Youth Orchestra, Director Paul Stanbery.  Phil approached me in the summer of 2007 with the interest of writing a work for me with orchestra, and I was intrigued by his desire to incorporate Korean poetry and lullabyes into the work.  I hope you will join me for the concert at Garfield Middle School, 250 Fair Ave., in Hamilton, Ohio.  Free to the Public.
Here is an excerpt from Linked Verse by Five Poets (1442) which inspired the composer:
Where does it come from, the sound of a flute,
At midnight on a blue-green peak
        Song Sammun
Shaking the moonlight, it rings high,
Borne by the wind, it carries afar
        Yi Kae
Clear and smooth like a warbler’s song,
The floating melody rolls downhill.
        Sin Sukuchu
I listen - a sad melody stirs my heart,
I concentrate - it dispels my gloom.
        Pak P’aengnyon
Always, ever, a lover looks in the mirror,
And, amid vibrant silence, night deepens in the hills.
        Yi Sokhyong

Above: Here is a wonderful example of Korean flute.    
Left: Nina and Phil Koplow after the concert

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Flute Listening Project

A few weeks ago some colleagues and I were discussing the music recording business and it led to some discourse about encouraging legal Cd sales and to the larger issue of how so many student and amateur flutists are really completely unaware of the richness of artists in our field.  In fact, I asked my own class of high school and college flute students to each name for me, with no advance research or preparation, as many professional flutists as they could. Indeed, most could only name two or three players. So, I have started an experiment to broaden their knowledge of flutists and repertoire and at the same time encourage CD sales to support artists in our profession while helping my students build a valuable library.  I'll let you know how this experiment turns out and I would love it if other teachers would consider a similar experiment, or for other flutists to simply take on this assignment for their personal enjoyment.  Once my students have spent a year or two doing this assignment with flutists, I hope to branch out and start assigning them singers, string players, etc.
I copied my assignment below.
Flutist Listening Project 
NKU Applied Flute Lessons 
Dr. Nina Perlove 

The goal of this assignment is to increase your knowledge of professional flutists so that 
you can be knowledgeable about your field and gain an appreciation for different playing 
styles, training, and career paths.  It will also expand your exposure to flute repertoire and 
help build your personal music library.   

Each week of private lessons you will be required to turn in the following typed written 

 A short biography, written in your own words, of one assigned flutist.  
Biographies should include where the artist was born, where and with whom 
he/she trained, major professional accomplishments, and birth and death dates (if 

 You will be required to listen to at least one complete musical example of this 
artist using any of the resources available to you LEGALLY including libraries, 
university databases such as,, networking sites like 
myspace or youtube, an artist’s personal webpage, or by purchasing a CD or an 
mp3 from a site such as itunes.  You may borrow a recording from a friend as 
long as you engage in no illegal duplication.  You must type the exact composer’s 
name, title, and movement name for your listening example under the artist’s bio 
and provide me with the exact source (CD Name or website address). 

 Provide one paragraph in your own words of your thoughts on the listening 
example related to the piece played and the performer’s playing style or 

 Fool the Teacher!  In addition, you will need to find one flutist not assigned by 
me and complete the same assignment as outlined above, the goal being to select 
an accomplished, professional player unfamiliar to Dr. Perlove!  This way, you 
can introduce me to new players, too!  The artist must have substantial 
professional credentials such as positions in symphonies, recordings, teaching 
positions, and/or prestigious concert engagements.   

The written assignments will be turned in each week and then you will be expected to put 
them in a listening notebook that you will keep and add to each semester.   

At the end of each semester, you will select two of your favorite artists from the semester 
and be expected to purchase one CD from each artist. Of course, if you purchase any CDs 
during the semester’s assignment, those may be considered part of your end of the year 
acquisition. The goal will be to build up your personal music library.  Consider this part 
of your “textbook” expenses for the course. 

Friday, February 1, 2008

Help! I have to play in a dead hall.

Dear Listers,
I lost a competition last year even though I was fully prepared, because I found myself in a competition room (hotel function room) with no echo at all, that I couldn't hear myself at all, I got panic and then made several mistakes+cracks+intonation errors.
This year, I will be facing the same situation again soon in a wind concerto competition.  The hall has a big curtain behind and then all the hall is surrounded with thick carpets, I believe this hall is for theater plays not for musical performances.
Please help a fellow flute competitor.  What should I do?  I am so scared right now because I know I will not hear myself at all.  I'll be playing like deaf.
Advice needed urgent.  Many thanks to you.
Johann, age 13
I understand how frustrating it can be to play under such circumstances. I think if you know in advance the hall will be dead it can be helpful to practice in similar conditions, but often we don't know in advance what the hall or room will be like, and furthermore, many times even when playing in a resonant hall, under performance conditions, many players will FEEL like their sound is not responding or carrying (frequently due to dry mouth). So WHAT CAN WE DO?
First, remember that projection is less a function of what happens to the sound after you play than a function of how the sound resonates inside your body, and while the room may have changed, your body hasn't! When you are in a dead hall, instead of stressing out about the lack of reverb in the room, which you can't change anyway, increase your awareness and enjoyment of how the sound resonates in your sinuses, neck, chest, and feet!  If you can create the resonance inside, you can TRUST that it will carry through to the listener even if the conditions aren't ideal. And if you do have some cracks, remember it is not the end of the world (and it happens to all of us!), but is rather a signal that you need to force less and resonate more. 
I have also come to realize that the best method for me to adjust to conditions such as feeling the room is dead or having dry mouth, is a psychological one. Practicing in an accoustically dead hall may help you become more comfortable with the IDEA of playing in a dead room, and therefore reduce your anxiety on the performance day. On the other hand, it could make you feel grumpy during practice that you don't like how you sound! If it is having a negative effect, I wouldn't do it. Go back to practicing in a resonant but not echoing room. 
What can you do when you are actually at your competition or concert and you feel the hall is dry? TRUST YOURSELF.
It sounds overly simple but it is actually very hard to do!
TRUST that your sound is speaking even if you don't feel/hear it the way you are used to. 
TRUST your playing, don't fight it. 
When we fight it, we start changing the way we play, over adjusting embouchure, forcing the air, blowing harder instead of resonating more, and thus cracks and errors occur. Mentally go to that favorite practice room and place yourself there. Play the way you played on your very best practice day. Hear yourself the way you heard yourself that day. 
Chances are you sound a lot better to others than you do to yourself, after all, we are always our own worst critics. Don't get in the way of letting others enjoy your playing!
I hope this helps. 
Dear Listers,
Thanks to many listers' and Professor Nina Perlove's advice one and a half 
months ago on the Dead Room situation, I have completed my competitions 
and have overcome the Dead Room fears.  I came 12th (of 74) in the local 
wind concerto open, and came 1st in intermediately flute solo 
competition.  Just like to thank the wonderful listers.
age 13