Theobald Boehm

Biography

Born: April 9, 1794   Died: November 25, 1881; Munich, Germany  
Theobald Boehm was the son of a goldsmith and learned that craft as a matter of course while growing up. He taught himself flageolet and flute, using a one-keyed instrument. In 1810 he came to the notice of Johann Nepomuk Capeller, a flute player who gave him lessons until 1812 and at that time declared there was nothing more he could teach him.

Boehm toured for a few years, and then in 1818 was appointed a court musician. In the
Read more meantime, he had been working on making technical improvements to the flute. As early as 1810, he had built himself a copy of a four-keyed flute by a Dresden instrument maker named Grenser. In 1823 he established a flute-making factory, Boehm & Grève of Munich. In 1831 Boehm traveled to give some concerts in Paris and London. Although the tour went well, he noticed the greater success of a flutist named Nicholson, who got superior volume of tone because he used a type of flute that had become popular in England. This instrument had larger finger-holes.

After his return to Munich, he and Grève produced a new model of flute with a larger bore and larger finger holes. Since these are harder to cover than the traditional-sized holes, Boehm added ringed touchpieces that would seat themselves evenly over the holes. Due to opposition from jealous colleagues, this new design made slow progress. But before long it had spread from Germany to other countries.

In 1846 and 1847 Boehm devoted himself entirely to the study of acoustics. Using what he learned, he redesigned most aspects of the instrument, making beauty of tone rather than ease of fingering the criterion for the placement of each hole. The holes were large, and were ordinarily completely covered by padded covers. These were lifted by a system of keys. This design has proven to be applicable to flutes of all sizes, and has been adapted to other woodwind instruments. Although other designers have made some modifications to Boehm's layout, the essence of it has proven highly practical and reliable and has remained the standard for flutes since the new "Boehm system" flutes first appeared in 1847. Read less
Browse 1-15 of 15 Available Recordings
  • 1.
    The Magic Flute / Tia Roper
    Label: Albany Records   Catalog: 1437 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Ransom Wilson,  Gary Schocker,  Friedrich Kuhlau,  Johann Joachim Quantz  ... 
    Performer:  Tia Roper,  Mitchel Vines
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  • 2.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
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  • 3.
    From The Flute, From The Heart
    Label: Syllaria   Catalog: 5637676580 Release Date: 09/21/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Frideric Handel,  Theobald Boehm,  Gabriel Fauré,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Dominic Kyrie,  Pat Rodgers
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  • 4.
    Voice Of The Flute
    Label: Azadmusico   Catalog: 5637306970 Release Date: 05/05/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Georges Hüe,  Otar Vasil'yevich Taktaki,  Theobald Boehm,  Aaron Copland  ... 
    Performer:  Rick Rowley,  Marianne Gedigian
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  • 5.
    Meditation Moods
    Label: Berlin Classics   Catalog: 1266 Release Date: 01/22/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Antonio Vivaldi,  Claude Debussy,  Franz von Suppé,  Alessandro Scarlatti  ... 
    Performer:  Eckart Haupt,  Werner Tast,  Siegfried Stöckigt,  Johannes Walter  ... 
    Conductor:  Peter Schreier,  Helmut Koch,  Herbert Blomstedt
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra,  Berlin Chamber Orchestra,  Dresden Chamber Soloists  ... 
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  • 6.
    Label: Skarbo   Catalog: 4071 Release Date: 05/08/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giulio Briccialdi,  Friedrich Silcher,  Frédéric Chopin,  Eugene Lee  ... 
    Performer:  SoYoung Lee,  Kikuko Ogura
    CD: $18.99
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  • 7.
    Madrigal For Flute & Piano
    Label: Cantilena   Catalog: 5637533000 Release Date: 08/22/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Carl Reinecke,  Philippe Gaubert,  Albert Franz Doppler,  Georges Hüe  ... 
    Performer:  Laurel Zucker,  Marc Shapiro
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  • 8.
    Rachel Brown Performs Schubert & Boehm / Simon Nicholls
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 0565 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Theobald Boehm,  Franz Schubert
    Performer:  Simon Nicholls,  Rachel Brown
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  • 9.
    Alain Marion - A Life In Music
    Label: Analekta   Catalog: 298502 Release Date: 03/21/2006   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Ludwig van Beethoven  ... 
    Performer:  Louis Noël Belaubre,  Alain Marion,  Jean Barthe,  Angèle Dubeau  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Ristenpart,  Raymond Guiot
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sarre Chamber Orchestra,  Orchestre Symphonique
    CD: $34.49
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  • 10.
    Music In The Royal Conservatory Of Lisbon / Continho, Sousa
    Label: La Ma De Guido   Catalog: 4003 Release Date: 09/27/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giulio Briccialdi,  Theobald Boehm,  Matthieu A. Reichert,  Ernesto Vieira
    Performer:  José Bon de Souza,  Joao Pereira Coutinho
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  • 11.
    The Virtuoso Flute / Trevisani, Girardi
    Label: Delos   Catalog: 3340 Release Date: 05/10/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gaetano Donizetti,  Pablo de Sarasate,  Theobald Boehm,  Jules Massenet  ... 
    Performer:  Raffaele Trevisani,  Paola Girardi
    CD: $17.99
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  • 12.
    The Romantic Flute / Paula Robison
    Label: Vanguard   Catalog: 1616 Release Date: 03/22/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Paul Agricola Génin,  Benjamin Godard,  Theobald Boehm,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel  ... 
    Performer:  Samuel Sanders,  Paula Robison
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  • 13.
    The Virtuoso Flute / Aitken, Westenholz, Oien, Braaten
    Label: Bis   Catalog: 166 Release Date: 07/18/1995   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Albert Franz Doppler,  Theobald Boehm,  Camille Saint-Saëns,  Niccolò Paganini  ... 
    Performer:  Per Öien,  Robert Aitken,  Elisabeth Westenholz,  Geir Henning Braaten
    CD: $21.49
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  • 14.
    Love Letters / David Shostac, Anita Swearengin
    Label: Crystal   Catalog: 314 Release Date: 06/15/1993   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Grigoras Dinicu,  Theobald Boehm,  Claude Debussy,  Fernande Le Borne  ... 
    Performer:  Anita Swearingen,  David Shostac
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  • 15.
    Salon Music Of The 19th Century / Schulz, Schallenberger
    Label: Sony   Catalog: 48051 Release Date: 09/29/1992   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jules A. Demersseman,  Johann Wenzel Kalliwoda,  Theobald Boehm,  Paul Agricola Génin
    Performer:  Rolf Koenen,  Wolfgang Schulz,  HansJörg Schellenberger
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