Born: May 17, 1889 Died: November 1, 1984
Marcel Moyse was one of the most influential flutists of the twentieth century, first in France and later in the United States. He entered the Paris Conservatory in 1905, where he studied with Hennebains, Gaubet, and Taffanel. He was awarded the premier prix in 1906. He developed a uniquely lyrical style, imitating the vibrato and phrasing of contemporary instrumentalists (such as Casals, Thibaud, and Kreisler) and singers (such as Caruso). He played principal flute at the Opéra-Comique from 1913 to 1938, and frequently performed as a soloist in concert and in some of the earliest recordings of the standard flute repertoire. Before World War I, Moyse took part in several significant world premieres, including Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé (1912) and Stravinsky's Petrushka and Rite of Spring (1913). In 1913, he toured the United States with the great Australian soprano Nellie Melba. While in Europe, he played under the batons of conductors such as Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Strauss, Straram, Koussevitzky, and Toscanini. Ibert dedicated his flute concerto to Moyse, who premiered it in 1934. Also in 1934, Moyse founded the Moyse Trio with his son Louis as pianist and daughter-in-law Blanche Honegger as violinist. Moyse taught at both the Paris Conservatory from 1932 until 1940 and at the Geneva Conservatory until 1949, when he emigrated (via Argentina) to North America. There he became one of the founders of the Marlboro Music Festival, where he taught from 1949 to 1966. From 1961 until his death, he gave yearly master classes for flutists and woodwind players in Brattleboro, VT (where he had set up his residence), as well as in Switzerland and England. Moyse's experience playing in the Paris opera orchestras influenced his teaching; in order to develop tonal flexibility, he encouraged his students to practice nineteenth century operatic arias on the flute. Moyse published many pedagogical works that are still widely used. Some of his most illustrious students include James Galway, Paula Robison, Michel Debost, Trevor Wye, William Bennett, Carol Wincenc, Bernard Goldberg, Robert Aitken, and Julia Bogorad. Moyse won several Grand Prix du Disques and was awarded the French Legion of Honor.