Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Julius Baker and Mimi Stillman

Mimi Stillman was a kind of legend in the flute world when she was a kid: the youngest wind player ever to be admitted to the Curtis Institute of Music. Tales were told of her intellectual brilliance as well as her musical ability. Since I was removed from the East Coast as well as the flute world in the 1990s (by my calculations she was born in 1983), I managed not to have heard her play until now. As hard as it was to revisit my "previous" life as a flutist, I couldn't help but be engaged by this video, which I found on YouTube while whimsically searching on a nostalgic lark for Julius Baker. I particularly enjoy hearing the animation in Julius Baker's playing when confronted by such a small child with such a huge "Baker" sound. I'm sure that he was also impressed by her astounding sense of self on stage. Of course to study with Julius Baker was to study Julius Baker, and Mimi Stillman, at 11 had already figured out exactly how to learn from him.

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