Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions

People - Woodwind Studies

Woodwind Faculty: Robert Dick

Robert Dick is a creative virtuoso in the tradition of Paganini and Hendrix. Improvisor, composer, author and teacher, inventor, he is known worldwide for redefining the flute, for creating revolutionary visions of its musical role to stand alongside the flute's established musics.

Robert's musical taproots are inspiration from the traditions central to him -- free improvisation, American and European contemporary classical art music, Blues, Indian and other world musics, Western classical music, electronic, rock, jazz. His operative axiom is that any musical role can be taken by any instrument regardless of traditional thinking. Dick's worldview does not accept "no" for an answer to the question of human imagination and capability. He treasures Albert Cooper saying of him: "Robert Dick is the most dedicated flutist I know."

Robert Dick has a long and distinguished career as a teacher. His students are pursuing musical careers in roles that range from orchestral performance, university teaching and contemporary chamber music, to leading their own bands and ensembles in many genres.

After living in Switzerland for ten years, Dick has returned to the United States. He was Visiting Professor of Flute at the University of Iowa for 2002 - 03. A native of New York City, his flute teachers were Henry Zlotnik, James Pappoutsakis, Julius Baker and Thomas Nyfenger. He holds a B.A. from Yale and a M.M. in composition from the Yale School of Music, where he studied with Robert Morris, Jacob Druckman and Bulant Arel. As a composer, Dick's work has been recognized by a Koussevitzky Foundation Commission, a Guggenheim Fellowship and two NEA Composers Fellowships, among many grants and commissions. Dick has composed a new work for the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition.

Robert Dick's discography includes some twenty CDs of original solo and chamber music by fellow composer/performers in such groups as the A.D.D. Trio (with electric guitarist Christy Doran and drummer Steve Argüelles) and the Ambient/Overdrive group King Chubby (with Ed Bialek, samples and keyboards and Will Ryan, handmade instruments and percussion). Other CDs feature music by Telemann (the "Fantasies" for flute alone) and Jimi Hendrix. Recent recordings include the European release on ECM Records of Dick's newest recording, "Vindonessa", with violinist Paul Giger and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi.

Robert Dick is the author of several seminal works for the contemporary flutist and composer, including The Other Flute: A Performance Manual of Contemporary Techniques; Tone Development through Extended Techniques and Circular Breathing for the Flutist.