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Flute Bio

Derek Charke received a master's degree in flute performance from SUNY Buffalo where he studied with the late Cheryl Gobbetti Hoffman. As a professional flutist he actively performs as a soloist, new music improviser, chamber and studio musician. Equally at home performing cutting-edge contemporary music or participating in free improvisation as he is performing Bach or Vivaldi, he currently performs with guitarist Eugene Cormier in the Charke~Cormier Duo. Another frequent collaborator has been percussionist Mark Adam. Derek has performed as a soloist with the Slee Sinfonietta (Buffalo, NY) and GroundSwell (Winnipeg, MB), amongst others. He can be heard as a soloist on a number of albums including "Bathymetric Terrains" and "Ex Tempore" with the Charke~Cormier Duo, "In Sonorous Falling Tones" with the WIRED Ensemble and Mark Hopkins, and "Kitchen Party" with Mark Adam. He continues to pursue flute performance at every opportunity, especially composing, improvising, and performing his own works.

"As a flutist his versatility is remarkable. Equally at home on the piccolo, the “regular” flute and the bass flute, he seamlessly blends conventional and extended techniques. Best of all, he puts his “pyro-technique” completely at the service of the artistic ends of the music, as in Lachrymose, where singing while producing multiphonics on the piccolo brings this elegiac work to a stirring climax."
— Allan Pulker, The Whole Note, Aug. 2017

“SubText featured flutist Derek Charke, a fascinating player who has mastered extended flute techniques encyclopedically. He plays double stops, multiphonics, percussive key taps, whistle tones and an entire appendix of chuffing attacks that excite the instrument to screech in multiphonic arrays with a hollow resonance. He also plays with a full, thick, round tone, the kind they talk about in the old treatises on flute sound, and with a legato thick as oil. And he does it all effortlessly, with true virtuosity.”
— Stephen Pedersen, The Chronicle Herald, Jan. 2013

Derek currently plays a silver Haynes flute with a Wimberly headjoint, and an Eva Kingma upright bass flute.



Flute Works


One of my passions is composing for the flute. Recent flute ensemble works include "3x4" for flute octet, and "4x5", "5x6" and "6x7" for flute quartet. Others include "Raga Sept", "Raga Terah", "Raga Saat" and "Raga Nau" (which was commissioned by Sonja Giles and Kim Scott for the 2013 national flute convention). I've written and premiered two chamber concertos for flute: "The Winds of Winter" and "In Sonorous Falling Tones”. Works for my duo with guitarist Eugene Cormier include: "Ex Tempore", "The Equation of Time", and "Bathymetric Terrains". In 2008 I was commissioned by the National Flute Association for "WARNING! Gustnadoes Ahead" for flute & CD.

Flute Ensemble Works

3x4 flute octet
4x5 flute quartet
5x6 flute quartet
6x7 flute quartet
Cross-Talk flute choir
Five Lines flute quintet
Raga Cha flute quartet
Raga Das flute quartet
Raga Dohara flute octet
Raga Gyarah flute quartet & keyboard
Raga Nau flute quintet
Raga Saat flute quartet
Raga Sept ‘Double’ flute octet
Raga Sept 'Single' flute quartet
Raga Terah flute quintet
Three Lines flute trio

Solo and Chamber Flute Works

3 Duets flute and marimba
Bathymetric Terrains flute, guitar and computer (Max/MSP) (35 mins)
Big Business flute solo
Catch flute and percussion
Concerto for Flute ‘The Winds of Winter’ solo flute/1111/1100/str
Distant Voices I & II flute and piano
Disturbances of Circadian Rhythm flute and computer (Max/MSP)
The Engine Continuum flute, or bass flute and bass instrument
The Equation of Time bass flute and guitar
Ex Tempore bass flute and guitar
Flute Quartet flute, violin, viola, cello
Four Short Pieces flute and piano
Idle Landscape version 1: flute (bass flute), clarinet (bass clarinet) and cello
Idle Landscape version 2: flute, bass clarinet, violin and cello
In Sonorous Falling Tones solo flute and chamber ensemble
Lachrymose piccolo solo
Lumière Immobile flute and computer (Max/MSP)
Rain flute solo
Reel Variations on a Jig flute and drum set
Rewind and Fast-forward flute, oboe clarinet, bassoon, horn in F (with optional accompaniment)
Sonata for Flute and Piano flute and piano
Southern Express flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn in F, piano
Straight Ahead flute solo
Three Studies for Flute flute solo
WARNING! Gustnadoes Ahead flute and CD soundscape
Wired and Released flute and piano, or flute and harp
What do the Birds Think? flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, cello