The flute is the oldest instrument in the world. In fact, archeologists found flutes made of animal bone in a cave in Germany and discovered they were made 40,000 years ago! Today, flutes are made from a variety of different metals and woods, but most flutes look as if they’re made of silver. They have a wide range of tone colors. You hold the flute sideways with both hands so your fingers can open and close keys for different pitches. To produce sound, you blow across the hole in the headjoint, as you would blow across the top of a glass bottle.
Principal Flute, Eileen Bigelow Chair
Associate Principal Flute, Henrietta Rauenhorst Chair
Flute and Piccolo, Alene M. Grossman Chair
Since joining the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990, Principal Flute Adam Kuenzel has regularly appeared as soloist at Orchestra Hall. In 2007 he gave the world premiere of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski’s Fantasies for Flute and Orchestra, Il Piffero della Notte, with the composer conducting. In 2009 he performed Bernstein’s Halil, earning acclaim from The New York Times and MusicalAmerica.com. He premiered Manuel Sosa’s Eloquentia: Espacio para Flauta y Orquesta in 2010; the work, which was written for Kuenzel, garnered the composer a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2011. In 2017 he was selected to premiere Laura Schwendinger's Aurora for flute and piano; commissioned by the National Flute Association for its annual convention, which was held in Minneapolis. He was most recently featured as a soloist in May 2022 on Carl Nielsen's Flute Concerto.
Kuenzel has been a guest artist with the Aspen Music Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, Spoleto Festival, St. Bart’s Music Festival in the French West Indies and Oregon Bach Festival. He has also appeared as guest principal flute with the Boston, Chicago and Dallas symphony orchestras, and the Seattle Opera. He performs regularly with the Minnesota Bach Ensemble and is on the faculty of the Cuban American Youth Orchestra.
Greg Milliren, the Minnesota Orchestra’s associate principal flutist since 2009, has performed as guest principal flute with the Dallas Symphony, the Detroit Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Seattle Symphony. Additionally, he has appeared with the major orchestras of Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, National, Colorado and Jacksonville. He performed with the Russian National Orchestra during their tour to Minnesota, with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra and the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra in Charleston. Milliren is an experienced chamber musician, having appeared on the Orchestra’s chamber music series many times, and has performed on other concert series and in venues across the Twin Cities.
Roma Duncan, who joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2003, performed Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto in C major at Sommerfest 2005 and reprised the work in 2007 at subscription concerts conducted by Gilbert Varga. In 2019, she performed the same work in Orchestra concerts with conductor Jane Glover. She has held numerous roles in recent Young People's Concerts, hosting concerts in 2018, performing as a soloist in Kling's The Elephant and the Fly in 2017, and serving as narrator in Kleinsinger’s Tubby the Tuba in 2011. In Sommerfest 2014 she joined Orchestra colleagues for a chamber concert performing Rossini’s Quartet for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn.