It seemed rather simple to choose who should be included in the top ten greatest flute players in the world ranking. I feel that most of us will agree on the selections, but where the debate starts is with the order of the rankings, which is up to debate due to the subjectivity involved.
The main difficulty is that the flutist has to be among the best proficient to be included. However, we also considered their degree of originality, skill, and efforts to keep this instrument alive in the public consciousness, just as we did with our list of the Best Harmonica Players of All Time.
Due to the difficulty of limiting ourselves to just 10 top selections, we included numerous runners-up and a list of honorable mentions, so if you don’t find your favorite flutist, keep scrolling down. But, first, let us go to the list of the world’s top flute players.
- Matt Malloy
Matt Malloy’s career started early. A world-class flutist, Malloy is Irish. At the age of nineteen, he became one of the best Irish flute musicians ever.
- Baker Julius
Julius Baker started studying the flute at nine years old from his Russian father. He then joined Leonardo De Lorenzo at the Eastman School of Music. After school, he joined the world-famous Cleveland Orchestra, then the New York Philharmonic.
- Robert Dick
a composer, author, and teacher. This custom-style flute head enables flutes to replicate an electric guitar’s whammy bar.
Robert started learning the flute in fourth grade with Julius Baker. After graduating, Dick traveled to Buffalo to work for Creative Associates. He also wrote a second book and became a famous composer. Dick also performs classical, jazz, and current jazz.
- Paud Emmanuel
He plays the flute. His forte is baroque flute. Flute music was discovered in Italy by his parents. Pahud studied flute under Carlos Bruneel and Aurele Nicolet from age four to 22.
Fiddler with the Berlin Philharmonic since 1992. He calls himself a musical chameleon that can adapt to any style. He currently shares the role with Mathieu Dufour.
- Roberta Humphrey
Barbara Ann Humphrey is an American jazz vocalist and flutist. It’s a mix of jazz fusion and soul-jazz. Humphrey attended Texas Southern and SMU following high school.
After graduation, she relocated to New York and started working. She became a Blue Note. She has worked with prominent musicians, increasing her fan base and recognition. It was one of the greatest by the Mizell Brothers.
French flutist Marcel Moyce. His uncle, Joseph Moyce, taught him about professional musicians living in the early 1900s.
Joseph Moyce had Marcel practice his flute every day. Marcel Moyce was a student of Adolphe Hennebains.
With the Paris Conservatoire, Marcel played a Phillipe Gaubert work. He was a success by 1936. He traveled the globe, including several London shows.
- Jaxtresser eanne
Jeanne Baxtresser is a flute teacher. Her upbringing was surrounded by music. She adored playing the flute since she was 10.
Orchestral legend Emil Opava trained her. Gary Sigurdson taught her at Interlochen.
- JP Rampal
Jean-Pierre Rampal, a French flutist, studied with his father. Jean-Pierre Rampal, a French flutist, resurrected the flute’s classical solo appeal. His flute-playing parents pushed him into medical school.
He won a flute competition at the Paris Conservatoire. He joined the Vichy and subsequently Paris Operas after the war. But Rampal did more. It was his first love.
- Georges Barrere
Georges Barrere was a farmer’s son. Less musical parents. He began lessons after hearing the Ecole Drouet band play his penny whistle. The band drove him to study music in Paris.
At fourteen, he was denied by the Paris Conservatoire but admitted after studying with Henry Atlas.
- Sir John Galway
In addition to classical music, James Galway performs music from different genres. He’s noted for his golden flute and theatrical appearance
He learned the flute from his father and grandparents, who also performed in local bands. 10 years old and won the Irish Flute Championships solos. At the Paris Conservatoire, he studied under Marcel Moyce and Jean-Pierre Rampal.