by Daniel Hathaway
New York-based composer and virtuoso flutist Robert Dick was a busy man last weekend. He joined his former student Mary Kay Fink and high school classmate Joel Smirnoff to serenade the Women’s Committee of the Cleveland Institute of Music, gave a master class for composers and a public forum at CIM and finished up at The Music Settlement on Sunday with a one-hour recital and master classes featuring flute students from Baldwin Wallace, Oberlin and the University of Akron — a full afternoon of activities sponsored by The Greater Cleveland Flute Society.
Dick has established a reputation both for his expert playing of flute classics and contemporary music using extended techniques, and for his original compositions, which often spring from popular music. He began his solo recital with six of his own works, quipping that “when you premiere a new piece, you usually get to hear it twice: for the first and the last time.”
Not true in the case of Dick’s 1989 piece, Lookout, commissioned for a national high school flute competition, or for Fish are Jumping (1999) or for the four excerpts he played from Flying Lessons, a two-volume set of contemporary concert etudes, all of which have taken their place in the pedagogical or concert repertoire. [Read more…]