Flutist Elsa Nilsson takes home the 1st Prize!
Final Round Repertoire
Each finalist shall create a program demonstrating artistic maturity, technical and tonal qualities, and knowledge of program design and balance excluding any repetitions of recorded round repertoire. Each program should be a maximum of 25 minutes (including time between movements, pieces, applause, etc.). Please time your program carefully, as all finalists will be stopped after 25 minutes. Final round repertoire, including titles, movements, exact timings, composer’s dates, and publishers must accompany the application. Finalists will be bound by their original selections.
The National Flute Association, founded in 1972, is the largest flute organization in the world. Approximately 5,000 members from more than 50 countries join together in person, online, at conventions, informally and in forums, through publications and classrooms, in performance, in friendship and collegiality. Guided by its goals to encourage a higher standard of artistic excellence for the flute, its performers, and its literature, members include leading soloists, orchestral players, jazz and world music performers, teachers, adult amateurs, and students of all ages. Please click the links to the left to discover the many facets of The National Flute Association.
Swedish/American Flutist and composer Elsa Nilsson approaches music with an attitude of inclusiveness. She believes there is a space to be found in music that gives us the freedom to be exactly who we are, with no pretending and no hiding. This leads her to make some unconventional choices in her compositions and playing based on where she feels the music wants to go. The lines between styles become blurred and rules get bent in order to communicate the raw emotion and human moments that tie us all together. Nilsson draws inspiration from every aspect of life and music that moves her, combining them through the lens of Jazz to create a deeply personal expression that she hopes is universally relatable.
The Kentucky-born, New Orleans-schooled, New York-based pianist Jon Cowherd is best known for his long-running partnership with drummer/bandleader Brian Blade, with whom he co-founded the Brian Blade Fellowship, The Fellowship’s highly acclaimed albums showcase Cowherd’s stellar keyboard work and singular compositional skills. When not recording and touring with the Fellowship, Cowherd has worked extensively with a broad array of musicians from the jazz, pop and rock worlds.
Together, Nilsson and Cowherd weave a rich musical tapestry with inspiration from both of their diverse musical backgrounds. They have been playing in this paired down duo setting around New York City since 2014, exploring the space that opens up when instruments are stripped away. They play originals and arrangements of standards and have performed at The Blue Note Jazz Club, Rockwood Music Hall, Cafe Vivaldi and more.
“(Nilsson’s) music is warm with a tactile sense of emotional empathy, without exaggerations.”
-Leif Wigh, Orkesterjournalen
“One of the most dynamic bandleaders in the New York jazz scene.”
-Nick Dunston, Hot House Jazz Magazine
“Elsa has a beautiful conception of melody
– Chris Potter
“…so much creativity”
“skillfully executed in all ways, well formulated with a clear vision”
-Peter Sjöblom, Mono Magazine