Emmanuel Pahud

Principal Flute, Berlin Philharmonic

Credit: Josef Fischnaller



French and Swiss flautist Emmanuel Pahud began studying music at the age of six. He graduated in 1990 with the 1er Prix from the Paris Conservatoire, and went on studying with Aurèle Nicolet. He won 1st Prize at the Duino, Kobe and Geneva Competitions, and at age 22 Emmanuel joined the Berliner Philharmoniker as Principal Flute under Claudio Abbado, a position which he still holds today. In addition, he enjoys an extensive international career as soloist and chamber musician.

Emmanuel appears regularly at prominent concert series, festivals and orchestras worldwide, and has collaborated as a soloist with leading conductors such as Abbado, Antonini, Barenboim, Boulez, Fischer, Gergiev, Gardiner, Harding, Järvi, Maazel, Nézét-Séguin, Orozco-Estrada, Perlman, Pinnock, Rattle, Rostropovich, Zinman.

Emmanuel is a dedicated chamber musician and regularly gives recitals with pianists Eric Le Sage, Alessio Bax, Yefim Bronfman, Hélène Grimaud, Stephen Kovacevich, as well as jazzing with Jacky Terrasson. In 1993, Emmanuel founded the Summer Music Festival in Salon de Provence together with Eric Le Sage and Paul Meyer, which is still a unique chamber music festival today. He also continues chamber music performances and recordings with “Les Vents Français”, one of the premiere wind quintets featuring François Leleux, Paul Meyer, Gilbert Audin and Radovan Vlatkovic.

He is committed to expanding the flute repertoire and commissions new flute works every year to composers such as Elliott Carter, Marc-André Dalbavie, Thierry Escaich, Toshio Hosokawa, Michaël Jarrell, Philippe Manoury, Matthias Pintscher, Christian Rivet, Eric Montalbetti and Luca Francesconi.

Since 1996, Emmanuel has recorded 40 albums exclusively for EMI / Warner Classics, which all have received unanimous critical acclaim and awards, resulting in one of the most significant contributions to recorded flute music.

Emmanuel was honoured to receive the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for his contribution to music, and is HonRAM of the Royal Academy of Music. He also is an Ambassador for Unicef.


From The Green Room


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    01 Jul 18 Solo Warner Classics

    “The eccentric programme is carefully considered; repeated listening reveals new parallels between the pieces. It’s like eating a bag of pick ‘n’ mix where every sweet is deliciously interesting, and the aleatory element merely enhances the enjoyment… The flautist’s customary rounded sound is pristinely captured throughout this quirky collection.”

    BBC Music Magazine

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    01 Dec 17 Debussy Warner Classics recording

    “Perhaps finest of all is the beautiful balance of elegiac tone that shines out of the Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, performed with deep empathy by the dream-team of flautist Emmanuel Pahud, viola player Gerard Caussé and harpist Marie-Pierre Langlamet. Pahud also plays Syrinx, providing an evocative and subtle interpretation”.

    Recording of the Month, BBC Music Magazine, December 2017

    “All the performances are superb: this is a new generation of devastating Francophone instrumentalists.”
    The Sunday Times 29 October 2017

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    20 Jul 16
    With Jonathan Feldman, Music Academy of the West

    “Another masterpiece of the flute rep, Bohuslav Martinu’s Sonata for Flute and Piano from 1945 rewarded listeners with its  fascinating piano introduction and Pahud’s mesmerizing sound in the first movement Allegro moderato. The magnifi cent Adagio gave meaning to the concept of shared cultural temperaments, American and Czech, while the third movement Allegro poco moderato, with its fun but tough rhythmic tricks and jolly tunes, credentialed the composer’s study of Czech folk roots and gave Pahud license to demonstrate his amazing technique.”
    Daniel Kepl, VoiceSB.com, 29 July 2016 

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    29 Jan 16
    With the Utah Symphony

    “Dalbavie’s single-movement concerto, written for Pahud in 2005, presents a fascinating array of coloristic and rhythmic effects in its 18  minutes— not just for the soloist, but for the orchestra as well. There are sounds in it that most listeners wouldn’t have guessed a flute could  make, and Pahud produced them with seemingly little effort.”
    Catherine Reese Newton, Salt Lake Tribune, 29 January 2016

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    19 Sep 15 Wigmore Hall
    With Eric Le Sage and Jean-Guihen Queyras

    …What immediately caught my ears was that the sonority of these three quite different instruments melded so well and was perfectly balanced, and when Pahud played the same melody as Le Sage’s right hand, or in a duet in thirds, they were absolutely in sync. The cello part is quite conventionally written and did not put too many demands on Queyras beyond supporting the bass line, but he is so lyrical even in accompaniment…In the G major trio, the variation-form middle movement was particularly attractive. The theme is led by the piano, followed by a variation on the flute in the minor. Pahud’s tone is clear yet has a strong core, and the melody comes across beautifully without ever overpowering the other players…

    ★   ★   ★   ★   ★    Nahoko Gotoh, Bachtrack 23 September 2015

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    01 Jan 12 The Flute King
    Recording on EMI

    “A honeyed tone with technical capabilities envied around the world…This new release on EMI is with Trevor Pinnock at the harpsichord and looks at the repertoire from the court of Fredrick the Great. ”
    www.readings.com 12 January 2012

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    10 Dec 11
    With Yefim Bronfman

    “Pahud and Bronfman performed it beautifully, allowing Prokofiev’s characteristic percussive drive to emerge without over-egging the material…The Schumann and Mozart were also lovely, thanks to the perfectly judged phrasing and combination of Pahud’s trademark golden flowing tone.”
    The Guardian, 14 December 2011

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    03 Nov 11 Concert November 2011
    With the Baselkammerorchester

    “He carried the melody as if a very fragile treasure, supported by the silky sound of the ensemble. Heartfelt and touching.”
    Gluck Dance of the Blessed Spirits, Baselkammerorchester/Giovanni Antonini
    DiePresse.com, 3 November 2011

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    30 Jul 11 BBC Prom
    With the BBC National Orchestra of Wales

    “…it was light and classically poised, Pahud turning on a dime from tranced stillness to darting speed.”
    The Telegraph, 31 July 2011


    “Pahud made the solo part such an outpouring of beautiful, lyrical playing.”
    The Financial Times, 31 July 2011