October 25 to 31, 1999
He is on the faculties of The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and The Juilliard School and Queens College. He has given master classes in New York, Korea, Russia and Japan. His students have won prizes in many competitions including the Flute Talk Competition, Myrna Brown Competition, the International DeLorenzo Flute Competition in Italy and the National Flute Association High School, Orchestral, Piccolo, Young Artist and Master Class competitions.
Dr. Garner was elected to the Board of Directors for the National Flute Association and is the President of the Cincinnati Flute Association. He has recorded for the Yamaha, Koch International, Capstone, EMI, Golden Crest, Newport Classics, Vienna Modern Masters and the Collins Classics labels. He is a Yamaha performing artist and clinician.
At the risk of boring all of you, I will tell you a little about myself. I was born in Lubbock, Texas on March 16, 1956 to wonderful parents who were both flutists. My father Gary T. Garner met my mother Mariellen Griffin at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She owned a Haynes flute and a Steinway piano, so it was a pretty good deal for him. She also happened to be a very sweet and beautiful woman. I am the first of three sons. Bryan and Blair are also flutists but the flute is now a hobby for both of them. I am very proud of them, for Bryan is one of the world’s leading authorities on the English language, the editor of Black’s Law Dictionary as well as three other dictionaries and Blair has his own syndicated country radio show, “After Midnite with Blair Garner,” which is heard all over the United States. I suppose that in many ways my life has been a bit unusual in that all Garners seem to play the flute. My wife,Linda, is a former oboist and now banker here in Cincinnati. She can play a mean C-Major scale on the flute and two of my daughters Brette, 14 years old, and Brooke, 10 years old, also play. Brianne, who is 6 years old, probably doesn’t have a choice. We will see.
I cannot tell you how lucky I am to have had the support and extraordinary love from my parents throughout my life. Unfortunately, one of those terrible things in life happened to my family five years ago. My mother died while attending a music convention in San Antonio, Texas where my father was to give a clinic. She was the pianist of the family as well as the chauffer to many swim meets, golf tournaments and music competitions that my brothers and myself competed in during our early years (golf is my other passion in life). She played for all of my father’s faculty recitals at West Texas State University where he still teaches and has done so for 36 years. He no longer teaches flute there but is the director of bands and the orchestra. Every time that I hear certain pieces, such as Chaminade’s Concertino, I think of her playing with my father as I drifted off to sleep as a child. She also played for every one of my Solo and Ensemble competitions throughout high school and most recitals and seminars that I played on in college. As with most parent-child relationships studying piano with my mom did not work. But, flute with my father did. I suppose this is unique. I studied flute with my dad from age 11 through college at West Texas State University. At age 43, I still consider him my teacher, my best friend and the musician that I admire the most. One of these days, perhaps I will be able to get a sound as rich and beautiful as his on the flute. On October 28th I will perform the Ibert Concerto with the Randel Chamber Orchestra in Amarillo, Texas with my dad guest conducting.
In 1979, I was lucky enough to be accepted into The Juilliard School’s DMA program where I studied with another important teacher and friend, Julius Baker. This was a wonderful time. I learned so much from Julie and those Friday lessons where Jeff Khaner and Marie Herseth joined me for a group lesson were invaluable. We learned so much from each other. There are two other flutists that have enriched my life and I admire both of them greatly, Jean-Pierre Rampal and of course James Galway. Through their friendship and recordings I feel as though I have learned very much from them as well.
I feel so lucky to do what I do. The flute and a career in music have brought so many great things and great people into my life. I truly love playing the flute and I very much enjoy sharing that love with my students. I now split my time between Cincinnati where I have 22 students at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music and New York where I have a private studio and teach at Juilliard, in the Pre-College Division and at Queens College. I perform recitals, teach master classes, record and do some orchestral and chamber music playing as well.
It is amazing and very exciting to see what has happened to the flute world over the last 20 years. Larry and his friends at the list should be commended for the wonderful things that they do for the flute world. As I always tell my students, be a “sponge,” learn as much as you can and don’t ever be satisfied. You can always play a phrase or a piece better. That is what is so enjoyable about playing this beautiful instrument. Oh, did I also mention that it is easy to carry!