Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, our new Principal Flute
Stefán Höskuldsson officially becomes our new Principal Flute on May 30, 2016. He played the opening weeks of this 2015-16 season during Maestro Muti’s fall residency, and will be joining the CSO for the upcoming Asian tour. We asked him to tell us a little bit about himself for the Spotlight.
"I come from a small town in the east coast of Iceland called Neskaupstadur. At the age of nine I showed talent for the flute and since there were no real flute teachers in my town my father decided that I should get the best possible teacher in Iceland. So he contacted Bernhard Wilkinson who was Principal Flute in the Iceland Symphony Orchestra in Reykjavik. I had an informal audition with him and he accepted me as his student. My small hometown is about ten hours drive from Reykjavik. My father owned a furniture shop in town and also played the organ in the church as well as the piano and accordion. I was too young to move to the “big city” so my father, who was determined to get me the best education possible, drove me once a month for about six years for flute lessons.
After six years, at the age of 15, I moved to Reykjavik for my formal undergraduate studies with Mr. Wilkinson at the Reykjavik College of Music. I finished my studies in Iceland at the age of 20 and went on to do my Master degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester U.K. studying with Peter Lloyd and Wissam Boustany.
In 2004 I won the 2nd flute/piccolo audition at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. I held that position until 2008 when I won the MET Principal Flute position, after about a year of playing acting principal flute.
I have idolized the CSO ever since I was a student listening to all the great recordings, and then later live in concert. I knew from the moment the job became open that this was an opportunity I could not pass up.
In 2010 I had the great good fortune to work with Maestro Muti when he conducted Attila by Verdi at the MET. It was one of the highlights of my time at the MET and ever since then it has been a dream of mine to get to work with him again - and the dream has now come true!
My first weeks with the CSO this season have been amazing, it has been such a pleasure to meet all the wonderful musicians and human beings of the orchestra. I feel honored and fortunate to become a part of this extraordinary group that is so dedicated to the highest level of excellence in music making."
Welcome to the CSO Stefán!