My Teachers:
Robert Willoughby


Robert Willoughby is a faculty member at the Longy School of Music in Boston and recipient of the National Flute Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. For many years he was professor of flute at the Oberlin Conservatory, where he was the first Wheeler chair in performance, and later a faculty member at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He has served as principal flutist of the Cincinnati Symphony and assistant first flute of the Cleveland Orchestra. As a founding member of the Oberlin Baroque Ensemble and Oberlin Woodwind Quintet, he toured extensively in Europe and the Orient. He has commissioned and premiered compositions by Easley Blackwood and Thea Musgrave, among others. A longtime member of the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin and the Smithsonian Chamber Players, he gives concerts and masterclasses on modern and baroque flute. Mr. Willoughby has recorded for the Gasparo, Vox, CRI, Coronet, and Smithsonian labels. He holds a B.M. from the Eastman School and an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, and his teachers were Joseph Mariano, Georges Laurent, and William Kincaid.


Mr. Willoughby made many recordings on LP as a soloist and with the Oberlin Baroque ensemble and other chamber ensembles. Most of these LP's are no longer available, but the following recordings have been re-released on CD:

  • National Flute Association, Inc.: Historic Recording Series, Vol. 3: Robert Willoughby [Selections from CLAUDE DEBUSSY: Bruyères from the Second Book of Preludes (Arr. Maillet), JACQUES IBERT: Jeux, PHILIPPE GAUBERT: Sonata (1918), FRANK MARTIN: Ballade, ANDRÉ CAPLET: Rêverie et Petite Valse (1897), BOHUSLAV MARTINÙ: First Sonata (1945), GEORG PHILLIP TELEMANN: Sonata in g minor,  Op.13, Nr. 1, CARL PHILIPP  BACH: Sonata  e-moll  (traverso), CHARLES KOECHLIN: Fourteen Pièces, THEA MUSGRAVE: Impromptu Nr. 1, for flute and oboe, ELIOTT CARTER: Eight Etudes and a Fantasy, (1950) for flute, oboe, clarinet and bassoon, PAUL HINDEMITH: Quintet, Opus 24, #2, PAUL HINDEMITH: Acht Stücke (1927), CARL CZERNY: Duo Concertant, Opus129, ALFREDO CASELLA: Sicilienne and Burlesque]
  • Pierné (Sonata da Camera for flute, cello, and piano and Canzonetta for flute and piano), Reger (Serenade for flute, violin, and viola and Suite for flute and piano) and Roussel (Trio for flute, viola, and cello), Boston Records BR1054.
  • "Revelations," music by Carter, Fine, Gerhard, Honegger, Messiaen, Musgrave, and Wuorinen, Boston Records BR1071.
  • "Mostly French," music by Debussy, Fauré, Honegger, Ibert, Martinu, Milhaud, Poulenc, and Roussel, Boston Records BR1070.


Articles by Robert Willoughby

  • "Telemann's Fantasia #2 in A Minor: A Performance Guide, Flute Talk (November 2003): 10-11.
  • "Sonata in E Minor by J.S. Bach, First and Second Movements: Performance Guide by Robert Willoughby," Flute Talk (April 1987): 16-19.
  • "Sonata in B Minor by J.S. Bach, First Movements: Performance Guide by Robert Willoughby," Flute Talk (March 1985): 8-11.
  • “The Flute: Practice Techniques.” Elkhart, IN: W.T. Armstrong Co., Inc., n.d.
  • “Flute Tone and Intonation,” Flute Talk (December 1994): 11; originally in The Instrumentalist (October 1950).
  • “Flute Vibrato,” Flute Talk (January 1992): 24-25; originally in The Instrumentalist (February 1957).

Interviews with and Articles about Robert Willoughby

  • Robert Bigio, "Robert Willoughby: American Grandmaster of the Flute," Flute (2010).
  • Aralee Dorough, "Robert Willoughby: The Next Decade, The Flutist Quarterly XXXVII, no. 4 (Summer 2012): 30-33.
  • Jictoria Jicha, "Robert Willoughby Combines the Wisdom of Three Masters," Flute Talk (November 2003): 4-11.
  • Leonard L. Garrison, "90th Birthday Celebration for Robert Willoughby," Flute Talk 31, no. 4 (December 2011): 12-13
  • Leonard L. Garrison, "Happy Birthday, Bob: A Tribute to Robert Willoughby," The Flutist Quarterly XXVI/2 (Winter 2001): 57-61
  • "A Conversation with Robert Willoughby," (interview with Patricia George), Flute Talk 31, no. 4 (December 2011): 14-17
  • "From Mariano and Kincaid to Decades of Fine Teaching," (interview with Vanessa Mulvey and Vanessa Holroyd) Flute Talk (February 2001): 18-20
  • “Robert Willoughby: Combining the Best of Schools,” (interview with Kerry Walker) Flute Talk (December 1994): 8-10.
  • “Robert Willoughby—Seeking Variety,” (interview with William Montgomery) Flute Talk (October 1984): 2-6.

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