This past weekend, the National Center for Arts (Cenart) hosted the inaugural International Flute Festival, FestIn-Flauta CDMX. Coordinated by esteemed flutist José Manuel Valderrábano, the festival not only showcased the substantial growth and development of flute playing in Mexico, but also sought to foster connections and a sense of community among the performers and the audience. The festival was a part of the 30th-anniversary celebrations of Cenart.
Valderrábano explained in an interview, “The festival was centered around the transverse flute. We have many players and we need to not only elevate the technical and interpretive standards but also foster a greater sense of community and encourage more interaction between us.”
“The idea is to cultivate an international perspective within our community, to think beyond local terms, and to engage with other nations and cultures. It’s incredibly enriching to broaden our horizons in this way,” he added.
Valderrábano, who hails from the state of Mexico and is soon to complete his degree at the Higher School of Music in early music, emphasized the significance of the festival’s academic program. The program comprised master classes led by renowned flutists, both from Mexico and overseas.
The faculty members included graduates from prestigious institutions like the Reina Sofía Higher School of Music, the Ville d’Avray Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, and the Higher School of Music. Among them were Eva Rodrigues and Francisco Barbosa from Portugal, Sabina Laurain from the United States, María Gabriela Rodríguez from Venezuela, and Abraham Sáenz, Evangelina Reyes, and Aníbal Robles from Mexico.
“Our goal was to create spaces where master classes could serve as a platform for community engagement. A gathering like this is not just about separating teachers and students, but rather about fostering a shared learning experience. This approach helps to generate more ideas, elevate the standards, and improve working relationships,” Valderrábano pointed out.
He clarified that while the academic component was a key aspect of FestIn-Flauta, the festival also sought to promote a more intimate connection between the transverse flute, its performers, and the audience. It wasn’t solely designed for instrumentalists and students of the specialty.
The master classes were open to all interested individuals, and two concerts were organized to showcase the capabilities and potential of the flute.
One of the highlights of the festival was a performance of Georg Philipp Telemann’s 12 fantasies for flute, executed by an equal number of performers, allowing the audience to truly appreciate the versatility and beauty of the instrument.