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Robert Dick

OccupationComposer, Performer, Teacher
CategoriesContemporary, Jazz, Rock, Experimental Music


Composer and Flutist

“… a flutist whose technical resources and imagination seem limitless.”

Allan Kozinn, New York Times

“He is one of those rare creators (think of Liszt with the piano or Paganini with the violin) who have effectively reinvented his instrument, creating an entire glossary of fresh techniques.”
Washington Post

“The sounds are volcanic and beautiful.”
Tages-Anzeiger, Zürich

Robert Dick’s contributions to the development of the flute and its music are profound. With equally deep roots in classical music old and new and in free improvisation and new jazz, he is known worldwide as the flute’s visionary. Soloist, composer, teacher, author and inventor, Dick has performed his music worldwide.

Listening to Robert Dick play solo has been likened to the experience of hearing a full orchestra. Robert plays the flute like it’s a human powered synthesizer. His sound can be thick chords one instant, then chromatic percussion, then delicate whispering filigrees, then a display of surprising power. His performances include flute (with his invention, the Glissando Headjoint®), piccolo, alto flute, and bass flutes in C and F and the giant, stand-up contrabass flute.

Primary performance projects currently are:

SOLO RECITALS of original compositions for flutes, selected from Dick’s thirty years of creating music – repertoire ranges from the now classic Afterlight, to the science fiction scenario of IF for amplified bass flute in F, to the performance art blend of poetry, music and acting in everyone@universe.existence.

DUO CONCERTS with pianist Ursel Schlicht - collaborative repertoire and works by both artists.

DUO CONCERTS with baritone Thomas Buckner - improvisations by two masters of the genre

As a composer, he writes chamber music as well as his solo works. Dick’s compositions have been recognized by a Guggenheim Fellowship, commissions from the Koussevitzky and Fromm Foundations and numerous grants and commissions in the United states and Europe.

Robert Dick’s multifaceted musical life includes work on redesigning the flute itself. Brannen Brothers Flutemakers manufactures his invention, the “Glissando Headjoint”, which does for the flute what the “whammy bar” does for the electric guitar. Dick performs on a special flute that Brannen built for him. This flute has a myriad of new musical possibilities and many of Dick’s recent compositions embrace these freedoms. Dick also has a relationship with Emerson Musical Instruments, which produces the Robert Dick Model bass flute. The goal of this bass flute, which Dick plays in his concerts alongside of the unique Brannen, is to be a powerful, rich-toned yet modestly priced instrument.

Robert Dick