Brandon Patrick George, flutist
"a knockout musician with a gorgeous sound" – The Philadelphia Inquirer
"the flute in all its wit, warmth and brilliance" – The New York Times
“virtuoso” – The Washington Post
“The elegant Brandon Patrick George” – The New York Times
Brandon Patrick George is a leading flute soloist and chamber musician, with an adventurous repertoire extending from the baroque to today. He is the flutist of the Grammy®-nominated Imani Winds and has made appearances as a concerto soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the American Composers Orchestra, among others.
He has been hailed by The New York Times as “the elegant Brandon Patrick George,” as a “virtuoso” by The Washington Post, and called a “knockout musician with a gorgeous sound” by The Philadelphia Inquirer. His debut album, featuring works by Kalevi Aho, J.S. Bach, Pierre Boulez, and Sergei Prokofiev, was released by Haenssler Classics in September 2020; The New York Times has described it as “a program that showcases the flute in all its wit, warmth and brilliance.”
George has performed at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Elbphilharmonie, the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Dresden Music Festival, and the Prague Spring Festival. In addition to his work with Imani Winds, he has collaborated with members of the Gryphon Trio, the New York Philharmonic, the Jasper String Quartet, and performed live on New York’s WQXR with harpist Bridget Kibbey.
Prior to his solo career, George performed as a guest with many of the world’s leading ensembles including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). With the Los Angeles Philharmonic, George performed at Walt Disney Concert Hall and at the Hollywood Bowl under conductors including Music Director Gustavo Dudamel, Karina Canellakis, Ludovic Morlot, and John Williams.
George has toured with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), appearing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Park Avenue Armory (NYC), and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in England. His time with the LA Phil and with ICE allowed him to work closely with some of the foremost composers of our time including John Adams, Louis Andriessen, Steve Reich, and George Lewis.
Brandon Patrick George is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music at Oberlin College, where he studied under Michel Debost before receiving further training in Paris under Sophie Cherrier. He received his Master of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he won the Concerto Competition and subsequently appeared as soloist in C.P.E. Bach’s Flute Concerto in D Minor.
Flutist Brandon Patrick George announces new concert programs, offered for the 2021-2022 concert season and beyond.
Love & Loss
Each work on this program is focused on the theme of love and loss and offers a mesmerizing dialogue between the past and the future. William Grant Still's dynamic Pastorela showcases tonal colors often heard in both jazz and Impressionist music. Carl Reinecke’s sonata is based on the fairytale novella, Undine, by Friedrich de la Motte Fouque. The beautifully tragic tale depicts Undine, a water spirit, who longs for an immortal soul which can only be obtained through true love with a mortal man. Valerie Coleman's Wish Sonatine is her first work for flute and piano, inspired by and titled from poet Fred D'Aguiar's work. It is a dramatic tone poem for flutist and pianist alike, depicting the Middle Passage in which Africans were trafficked across the Atlantic by tall ships to be sold into slavery. Lili Boulanger's Nocturne, originally composed for violin and piano, is lushly melodic and dreamy, as the title represents. However, Boulanger's interpretation of the form also incorporates agitated intensity and strong peaks. Schubert’s song “Trockne Blumen” (“Faded Flowers”), the eighteenth song from the cycle, Die schöne Müllerin, serves as the thematic basis of his variations for flute and piano. The original song expresses the severe heartache of a rejected lover. Brandon Patrick George will record this program for his next solo album, during the 2021-2022 season.
Songs of Black America with Aaron Diehl
Brandon Patrick George and esteemed jazz and classical pianist Aaron Diehl explore the rich culture of music, both traditional and classical, by African Americans. This program features several works by William Grant Still. Still was a prolific composer and conductor who frequently collaborated with renowned African-American writers and poets. Poets Countee Cullen and Verna Arvey (Still's wife) created the text that Still would set in these three songs: “Bayou Home,” "If You Should Go," and “Song for the Lonely.” Valerie Coleman's Wish Sonatine is her first work for flute and piano, inspired by and titled from poet Fred D'Aguiar's work. It is a dramatic tone poem for flutist and pianist alike, depicting the Middle Passage in which Africans were trafficked across the Atlantic by tall ships to be sold into slavery. Coleman's Fanmi Imèn is Haitian Creole for Maya Angelou's famous work, Human Family. Both the musical and literary poems acknowledge differences within humankind, either due to ethnicity, background, or geography, but Angelou's refrain: “we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike,” reaffirms our humanity as a reminder of unity.
For Flute and Guitar with Jordan Dodson
Brandon Patrick George and renowned guitarist Jordan Dodson have performed together for more than ten years at venues including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Cell Theatre. For this program, they collaborate together to perform a special program for a unique ensemble.
Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre was one of the few renowned female composers during the Baroque period. Her energetic Sonata in D minor was originally composed for violin and continuo. Takashi Yoshimatsu has composed several works inspired by birds and their various calls. His Digital Bird Suite is "extracted from fictitious music for a fictitious ballet, the hero of which is a mechanical bird named Digital Bird." Guitarist and composer Roland Dyens wrote his Traveling Sonata while on a 2007 journey in Europe and Asia. Each of the three movements are named after cities: Bellinzona, Mottola, and Ankara. Tania León’s Son Sonora for flute and guitar is composed in four movements. Each movement is a line from a poem which was often the first poem taught to schoolchildren in the community where León grew up: The movements are, "My little shoes are too tight," "The stockings make me too hot," "The little kiss you gave me," "I carry it in my heart." Of his work for flute and guitar, Robert Beaser says, "Mountain Songs is a cycle of eight songs based largely on American folk music. Most of the tunes, as reflected by their titles, are lyric ballads from the southern mountains..."
Photo by Marco Borggreve