Robert Stallman defies any stereotype of the virtuoso flutist. As The London Times states: "Stallman is no ordinary virtuoso of the flute, though virtuoso he emphatically is. He dazzles because of
his penetrating artistry."
The Stallman difference has repeatedly captured the attention of sensitive listeners. His mentor, Jean-Pierre Rampal, judged him "one of the most gifted musicians I have ever encountered." Rampal recognized early on that Robert showed not only great talent as a flutist, but rarer still, "the gift of musical communication" and a "limitless passion for all that his art touches". Here was a student who savored and devoured the repertoire all at the same time-who had the curiosity at age 12 to buy violin and cello music, excited to play whatever he found that could work for flute. The New England Conservatory honored Stallman's uniqueness at his graduation with the highest honor, the Chadwick Medal, for the Conservatory's most outstanding graduate.
Then as his career developed, members of the press also took note of something outside the norm. The Boston Globe found him "drawing upon seemingly infinite expressive resources". The New York Times took delight in "the way Mr. Stallman could bend the color and the character of his instrument to fit the music at hand". Fanfare appreciated "his ability to enter and then reveal, via his sound, each composer's personal garden". The Newark Star-Ledger welcomed a virtuosity that is not only "awesome" but "at the service of music rather than the 'wow factor'". In Japan, Record Geijutsu said "Stallman brings an expanded view...with his deeply felt urge to sing." In France, Repertoire noticed both
a "consummate virtuosity" and
"a sensitivity that conquers us".
A BBC critic sums it up: "Stallman's claim to a special place among the world's masters of the flute rests in the daring artistry he demands of himself in every situation." A virtuosity of spirit shines through all facets of his career as solo flutist, chamber musician, recording artist, editor/arranger and master teacher.
Stallman's schedule has included appearances around the world from New York's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall to London's Wigmore Hall, Vienna's Konzerthaus and Tokyo's Suntory Hall; festivals such as Mostly Mozart (New York), Musique a Cimiez (France), Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic), and Kuhmo (Finland); and solo performances with the American Symphony, Strings of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and numerous
His love of chamber music inspired the founding of the Cambridge Chamber Players and the Marblehead Summer Music Festival in 1977, where for twenty years Stallman invited top young talents to join him on Boston's North Shore, as he created a unique chamber music series, broadcast regularly on WGBH and called "special occasions in every sense of the word" by The Boston Globe. It was for these concerts that Stallman began to refine his skills as an arranger and to expand the chamber music repertoire for flute with his re-creation of works by Mozart, Schubert, Bach, Beethoven, Dvorak, Mendelssohn and others.
Robert Stallman has collaborated with many other chamber ensembles, including the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Alexander, Mendelssohn, Muir and Orion Quartets in the US, as well as the St. Lawrence Quartet of Canada, the Artis Quartet of Vienna, and the Vlach and Martinu Quartets of the Czech Republic. Stallman was a special guest in Vienna's celebration of the Mozart 250th, joined by the Martinu Quartet in the Schubert-Saal, performing his Mozart arrangements
to warm acclaim.
Stallman's mission to expand the flute repertoire with apt transcriptions and orchestrations has long been a boon to flutists everywhere. While looking beyond the standard flute canon, he has avoided commercial trends, preferring to put down deeper roots in the music of the great classical tradition. Recently his scholarly, yet imaginative explorations have focused on Mozart and Schubert, particularly the four-hand piano works and other lesser-known sonatas, as a rich trove for creating "new" chamber music for flute and strings. Fanfare has praised the results as the product of "deep musical insight"
and "loving labor."
With over 70 publications and more to come from prominent houses in the US and the EU, Stallman has emerged as the preeminent editor and arranger of flute music active today. Meanwhile his communicative powers have inspired composers to help him develop the repertoire with music of substance. Major works dedicated to him include Flute Concertos by Stephen Dodgson and Wm. Thomas McKinley, both recorded by Stallman, and now Ondrej Kukal's new "Flautianna" Concerto, which Stallman premieres in 2009 and 2010 with the
Czech Chamber Orchestra.
In 2006 Robert Stallman and his wife, Hannah Woods, founded the Bogner's Cafe label, naming it after a favorite Viennese haunt of Mozart, Beethoven and especially Schubert. The label is bringing Stallman's esteemed arrangements of chamber works to new audiences. The inaugural release, Mozart-Stallman New Quintets for Flute and Strings (2007), which Stallman recorded with the Martinu Quartet and violist Karel Untermuller, was aired on PRI's "Performance Today" and NPR's "Weekend Edition" and has become an enduring favorite on classical stations across the US. New Schubert Works for Flute & Strings, released by Bogner's Cafe in September 2009, reunites these musicians in Prague, in the performance of early works of Schubert, arranged by Stallman as two Quartets and a Quintet. Stallman's way of re-creating these works in the spirit of the composer has generated great enthusiasm among his colleagues, as well as radio hosts and audiences. Many say it makes them feel as though the composer himself has done the arranging.
Robert Stallman's credits as a recording artist include widely praised releases for ASV, VAI, Sony, Arco Diva, MHS, Biddulph, and other labels. Bogner's Cafe will also be reissuing acclaimed Stallman discs of chamber music from the 1990s.
Devoted to developing the next generations of musical talent, Stallman has conducted numerous master classes at schools and venues across the U.S., as well as at Domaine Forget Academie and the Montreal Conservatoire in Canada, National Conservatory of Mexico, Festival Internacional de Flautista in Brazil, Hochschule fur Musik in Mannheim, Academie Internationale d'Ete in Nice, Prague Conservatory, Ameropa Festival in Prague, Odessa Conservatory, Konitachi School of Music in Tokyo, and the Shanghai Conservatory.
With two degrees from the New England Conservatory, Robert Stallman also studied in Paris as a Fulbright scholar with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Alain Marion and Gaston Crunelle at the Paris Conservatoire. Other honors include one of the first soloist grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Koussevitsky Fellowship, the C.D. Jackson Prize at Tanglewood, and listings in many Who's Who publications.