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10 Solo Pieces for Advanced Flute Players

If you’ve been studying flute for a while now, and you’re not really sure what pieces are out there that you should learn (maybe you’ve been playing the same solos for the past 10, 20 years?)… then you’ve come to the right place!

Below you’ll find 10 pieces that you definitely should learn or study if you’re a serious flute player who’s looking for a challenge, or just looking to play the most awesome and famous rep we have! 

Of course, there are a million and one pieces out there - but these are the highlights that every advanced flute player should know :)

  1. Poulenc sonata: Arguably one of the most beautiful (and popular) flute sonatas out there, this piece has a mixture of brilliant, quick passages and a breathtakingly beautiful lyrical movement. There are also lots of great reference recordings out there!

  2. Prokofiev Sonata: Difficult, but worth it. Prokofiev is one of those pieces you can just keep studying over and over again, because there's so much depth to it. I would recommend practicing your super high Ds before learning this piece! It'll make the first movement a whole lot more manageable.

  3. Ibert Concerto: Probably MY favorite flute concerto, it's fun, quirky, and super beautiful. There are challenging accidentals in this one, strange rhythms, and great dialogue between the flute and orchestra.

  4. Griffes Poem: This piece is also for flute and orchestra, so it's kind of like a concerto, but a little shorter in length!! It is SO beautiful, and my favorite recording of this piece is by Alexa Still. It was actually her recording of this that made me want to go to Oberlin to study with her! (she's also a fabulous teacher).

  5. Mozart Concerto in G: you HAVE to learn Mozart at some point! There's nowhere to hide in this music, meaning it's so "perfectly written" that it's easy to hear when a wrong note or rhythm is played. I also recommend writing your own cadenza, which is meant to sound improvised. If you want to learn how to improvise and write cadenzas, we actually teach that inside Virtual Woodwind Academy!

  6. Bach Partita in A Minor: If you’re serious about the flute, it’s pretty much a secret requirement that you learn a piece by J.S. Bach at some point. This piece requires a lot of confidence with intonation, knowledge of chords, and also a lot of patience to play. If you have no idea what I mean by “find the A minor chord, the e chord and the diminished 7th chord that starts on G#… you might want to check out our music theory course before you hop on the Bach train.”

  7. Dutilleux Sonatine: This was a required piece for a few music college auditions I took - It’s hauntingly beautiful and probably one of the most popular pieces in the flute repertoire. It’s also a little weird - lots of strange rhythms, accidentals, and more fill this piece. It’s actually rumored that Dutilleux hated this piece and planned on getting rid of it… but then some lowly flute players started obsessing with it and whelp, now it’s popular lol.

  8. Borne’s Carmen Fantasy: The Carmen opera (by Bizet) is filled with catchy and magical themes, which are all compiled into a great piece for flute! This is definitely a crowd-pleaser and is really fun to play because of it!

  9. Chaminade Concertino: This is a popular one, and if you’ve been around the flute community for a while you’ve probably heard it. This piece can be played solo, with piano, or even with orchestra or band! (Yours truly played it with a community band once back in High school!)

  10. Karg-Elert: OF COURSE Karg-Elert needs to be on the list! The etudes are great, as well as Sinfonische Canzone and Sonata Appassionata. All of these pieces make great flashy solos, if you’re looking to play something impressive for 5 minutes on a concert! 

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