Who is the Informed Flutist?

When it comes to orchestral repertoire, most of what I know comes from my lessons with Robert Willoughby during my formative years at the Oberlin Conservatory. He taught me the importance of studying the score and considering as Willoughby, Leelamany details as possible about the harmony, rhythm, orchestration and context.

A few years ago I had the pleasure of meeting Leela Breithaupt at a birthday party for Mr. Willoughby in New Hampshire. We discovered we had much in common IN ADDITION to our admiration for our teacher and our experiences as students at Oberlin and Peabody, respectively (we both have kids, have an interest in holistic wellness, we like fine food–even better–have husbands who are great cooks–just to name just a few)

We began a habit of meeting up in Boston to drive up to visit Robert Willoughby in New Hampshire and spend a weekend talking with him about music and food–over dinner at some of Portsmouth’s wonderful restaurants! (We have done this twice–both times it was cold and snowy–see photos at riWilloughby and meght)

Last year Leela visited me in Houston to teach some Baroque Flute for Modern Flutists workshops for my students at UH and Leone Buyse’s studio at Rice. Her classes were wonderful! When it was time to start creating this orchestral repertoire camp I knew it would be great to have her partner with me.

Leela came up with the title “The Informed Flutist” and I think you can guess by now who inspired it. If anyone can claim that title, it is our esteemed teacher–in fact, that phrase could be used to summarize the goal of his teaching.
Leela and I are looking forward to sharing some of our experiences as Willoughby students– and continuing to be better informed, ourselves–this summer

–Aralee Dorough

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