April Clayton

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Hailed as one of the leading flutists of her generation, April Clayton is in ever increasing demand as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and pedagogue.

Performance highlights include venues such as Italy’s Palazzo dei Congressi, Leipzig’s Gewandhaus, the Holder’s Season Festival in Barbados, as well as recitals in London, Zurich, Paris, Moscow, Vancouver, Mexico, throughout South Korea, New York City, and across the United States.

Early Life and Education

After studies in flute, violin, piano, cello, and composition, Clayton won her first state-wide high school soloist competition at age 13, while still two years younger than the official lower age limit for the competition. She gave a performance from memory of the Ibert Flute Concerto, often regarded as the most difficult concerto in the flute repertoire.

She subsequently won many other competitions including the Music Teacher’s National Association Woodwind Soloist Competition, the Jefferson Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Cincinnati Philharmonia Concerto Competition, and the Artists’ International Competition. Clayton graduated with her B.M. (summa cum laude) and M.M. degrees from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. She then attended The Juilliard School, where she was a Starr Doctoral Fellow and the youngest student to have been admitted to the DMA program. Her former teachers include Carol Wincenc, Bradley Garner, and Michel Debost.

Career

A dedicated performer of new music, Clayton has participated in numerous premiere performances. She has collaborated with a long list of composers, including Lance Horne, Philip Lasser, Harold Meltzer, Bernard Rands, Peter Schickele, Manuel Sosa, David del Tredici, George Tsontakis, and numerous others in Paris, New York, Ohio, Colorado, and Utah.

She also toured internationally with the New Juilliard Ensemble. Additional new music performances include the Summergarden Concert Series at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan and Lincoln Center’s Focus! Festival for New Music.

Clayton is the Director of Chamber Music for the European American Musical Alliance (EAMA) Summer Program, held at the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris each July. The program attracts student composers and chamber musicians from top schools around the world to study in the tradition of Nadia Boulanger. In recent years, she has worked there with Claude Baker, Robert Beaser, Narcis Bonet, Simone Dinnerstein, Sofia Gubaidulina, Michel Merlet, and Emile Naoumoff, among others.

Clayton has been the flute faculty member in residence at the XIX Seminários Internacionais de Musica at the Federal University of Bahia in Salvadore, Brazil, where she performed, taught flute lessons, and coached chamber music. She recently performed as a guest with the New York Woodwind Quintet. During the fall of 2007 she was a Guest Artist Instructor at the Conservatoire MJC du Vesinet and the Centre de Musique F. Hasselmann in France.

Clayton is a member of American Mensa and was formerly Principal Flute and Concerto Soloist with the New York Lyric Orchestra, and has performed as principal flute with the Jupiter Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, and at the Sarasota Music Festival.

In Utah, she is Principal Flute with the Utah Chamber Artists and performs regularly with such groups as the Utah Symphony, Utah Opera, Ballet West, the Park City Festival Chamber Orchestra, the Contemporary Music Consortium, and records for television and movie scores at L.A. East Studios. She has been concerto soloist with orchestras in New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Colorado, and Utah.

She is a member of the Orpheus Winds Quintet and Associate Professor of Flute at Brigham Young University. In July of 2013, Clayton instructed a Flute Forum in Salt Lake City, Utah which was attended by flutists from around the country.

In July of 2015, she was offered the opportunity to direct a summer flute class at Ecole normale de Musique, the most exclusive private music school in Paris. The program consisted of twenty-five students, twelve of which were BYU students and alumni. Clayton and the students were funded by the Laycock Center. Clayton has been invited to direct the class again in July of 2016.

Awards

Clayton was a National Merit Scholar at Oberlin College and Conservatory, studying flute performance and mathematics.

She has received two “Best Performance” awards from the National Flute Association for her renditions of newly commissioned compositions. Clayton received a Full Fellowship to attend the Aspen Music Festival as the flutist with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. She is a four-time laureate of National Flute Association competitions.

In 2005 Clayton's Flute students received funding from the George and Geraldine Swensen Watkins Endowment for Excellence in the Arts at BYU which allowed them to travel to Paris, France to perform.

In 2010 Clayton received the Young Scholar Award from BYU. In 2015 she was showcased in the project By Study, By Faith about women faculty members at BYU.

Recordings

Clayton presented her debut solo recital in New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall under the auspices of Artists’ International.

Her solo CD, Flûte Agréable, was released on the Crystal Records label in August 2005. Having performed at numerous National Flute Association conventions, she was featured by the NFA in a “Generation X All-Stars” concert at their 2005 convention in San Diego. Accolades for her performances from the New York Concert Review, Fanfare, American Record Guide, and Flute Talk magazines describe her playing using such terms as “stunning”, “dazzling”, “impeccable”, “[played] with total conviction”, “outstanding”, “thoroughly polished”, “beguiling”, “superb”, “elegant”, and “delectable”.

She presented a concert of premieres written for her in Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall on April 22, 2008. Her CD of flute concertos was released during 2008 on the Tantara Label, featuring two new concertos that were written for her by Todd Coleman and Murray Boren.

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