Stories » Smart flute technique keeps James Galway vibrant at 74 / Chicago Sun-Times feature

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Smart flute technique keeps James Galway vibrant at 74 / Chicago Sun-Times feature

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James Galway recently launched an online series of interactive flute tutorials for beginners of all ages. This hardly comes as a surprise. After all, who knows more about playing the instrument than he does?

Some older flutists suffer from physical ailments that derive from incorrect posture or finger positions - a plight that Galway has been able to avoid. "The proof in the pudding of my method is in the longevity in which I play," he said. "I don't have any pains, aches or anything like that, and I'm 74."

The veteran soloist will show off his continuing musical vibrancy Tuesday when he joins the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at the Ravinia Festival for the American premiere of "Riverdance" composer Bill Whelan's Flute Concerto. The folk-tinged work is called "Linen and Lace," a title that ties into the birthplaces of the two collaborators. Galway was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is known for its linen, and Whelan comes from Limerick, Ireland, a center of lacemaking.

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