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Mathieu Dufour served as principal flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1999 to 2014. He became principal flute of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2015.
Praised as “a marvel” by the Chicago Sun-Times, French flutist Mathieu Dufour is one of the most impressive musicians of his generation. His golden sound and flawless technique have left audiences and fellow musicians in awe.
At the age of 25, he was appointed principal flute of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Daniel Barenboim, making him one of the youngest players ever to hold such a position. Since then, he has performed numerous times as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, in concertos by Devienne, Mozart, Ibert, Bach, Jolivet, and Nielsen.
As soloist, Mr. Dufour has performed with conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Christoph Eschenbach, David Robertson, Fabio Luisi, and Nicholas McGegan. Of Dufour’s performance of Carl Nielsen’s Flute Concerto with the Chicago Symphony, the Chicago Tribune reported, “Throughout the concerto he confirmed his uncanny mastery of color and dynamics, filling the hall with a vibrant, crystalline sound.” When he performed as soloist at the Lucerne Festival in Switzerland, one critic wrote, “the ornate solo lines unfurled like yard upon yard of fine embroidered silk.”
Mr. Dufour performs concertos and recitals every year in Japan. He has performed recitals in major halls in Tokyo and concertos with the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra and the Hiroshima Symphony.
As chamber musician, he has collaborated with Mitsuko Uchida, Pinchas Zukerman, the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio, Julia Fischer, Eric LeSage, and members of the Berlin Philharmonic. He is also a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He has performed chamber music concerts in Carnegie’s Zankel Hall in New York, at the Lucerne and Davos Festivals in Switzerland, and at the Domaine Forget Festival in Canada. In demand around the world as a recitalist, he has dazzled audiences in Japan, the United States, Canada, Europe, Israel, and South America. His recitals have been televised on French and Japanese television.
Born in Paris, Mr. Dufour began his flute studies with Madeleine Chassang. He then studied with Maxence Larrieu at the Lyon Conservatory, where he was unanimously awarded first prize. While a teenager, he won second prize at the Jean-Pierre Rampal International Flute Competition in 1990 and third prize at the International Flute Competition in Budapest in 1991. In 1997, he won second prize at the International Flute Competition in Kobe, Japan. At age 20, he was appointed principal flutist of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, and three years later became principal flutist of the Paris National Opera
Mr. Dufour is also highly in demand as a teacher, although his concertizing permits time for very few students each year. He is passionate about teaching the younger generation of musicians, however, and frequently gives master classes wherever he performs. He has taught many times at the Domaine Forget Festival in Canada and is currently on faculty at DePaul University in Chicago.
Mr. Dufour’s discography includes a solo recital of sonatas by Prokofiev, Martin, and Hindemith on Harmonia Mundi; Poulenc’s complete chamber music on RCA/BMG; and Roussel’s complete works for flute on Saphir Records. This is Mathieu Dufour’s second recording as soloist for Cedille Records.