Author: Jill Kimball

Flutists Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway visit Boulder

The international stars close out CU Presents’ 80th-anniversary Artist Series

CU Presents’ landmark 80th-anniversary Artist Series concludes with a concert starring flutist and living legend Sir James Galway. On Wednesday, March 22, the world-renowned star plays alongside his wife, Lady Jeanne Galway, and other friends.

Between his classical credits, his star-studded collaborations with the likes of Ray Charles, Joni Mitchell and Sir Elton John, and his bestselling recordings for “The Lord of the Rings” films, Sir James Galway is the premier flutist of our time. Together with Lady Galway, he’ll demonstrate his virtuoso chops in style at Macky Auditorium with a program of hidden gems from the 18th and 19th centuries, from Briccialdi’s “Il Carnevale di Venezia” to an arrangement of Kreisler’s “Schön Rosmarin.”

The Galways’ visit to Boulder is part of a month jam-packed with flute events at CU Boulder’s College of Music. The concert comes on the heels of Once a Flutist, a festival of talks, concerts and workshops for students, alumni and flute enthusiasts in the local community.

Once A Flutist host Christina Jennings says she couldn’t ask for a better festival closer than Galway. “He’s obviously an iconic name in flute playing,” she says.

CU Presents Executive Director Joan McLean Braun, a flutist herself, says she was drawn to Galway not just for his fame but also for his efforts to champion music education in classrooms everywhere.

“He’s provided children with a fun and healthy way to learn the flute with workshops and with his own academy,” Braun says. “He really approaches music with joy and fun, and I think people respond to that.”

It’s undeniable that Galway’s refusal to take the instrument too seriously has contributed to his ubiquity across countless genres. While so many classical virtuosi stick to the style for which they were trained, Belfast-born and conservatory-educated Galway has unapologetically reached across the aisle to perform and record with Celtic, rock and pop acts. As a result, he has sold more than 30 million records, received a handful of prestigious lifetime achievement awards and a Knighthood and earned the moniker “The Man with the Golden Flute.”

After four decades of performing, you’d think both Galways would have slowed down by now, but they both tour and play as if they’ve only just begun. At a recent concert in the U.S., a reporter for The Chicago Tribune noted that Galway’s signature “twinkly repartee with the audience” hadn’t faded.

“The nonchalant virtuosity and sterling musicianship that have kept Galway’s solo career going strong for nearly 40 years were readily apparent,” the review says. “Galway’s playing remains a marvel.”

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