Good morning. It's Thursday, March 26. On this day 1,893 years ago, the Greek/Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy recorded his first observations of the celestial spheres. So it's only fitting that today we get to hear some heavenly flute playing from Demarre McGill, principal flute at the Seattle Symphony.
The last time I saw McGill play at Benaroya Hall he was standing onstage dueling another flute player, Claire Chase, in a performance of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 4. I had never been physically dismantled by someone's flute playing before, but the clarity and dynamism McGill displayed that night blew me away.
Today McGill offers a softer and more contemplative message to the city, with a little help from Claude Debussy's ambling, colorful, enigmatic, "Syrinx."
"If everything is crumbling around you, and even if you're physically all alone," McGill says, "The love you have for a person, or for people, or things—like music, like art—has the potential to be the only thing you need when there's the possibility of not having anything at all."
His top-notch flute playing makes it easy to love music, at least. McGill, who's originally from Chicago, started playing the flute at the ripe old age of 7. He went to Curtis and then Juilliard before becoming an internationally touring soloist, recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician. He's also in a kick-ass flute, clarinet, and piano band called the McGill/McHale Trio. Pick up their album Portraits. And follow Demarre on Instagram and Facebook.
Thank you, Demarre!
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