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Master flutist holds master class, recital at UNK
Jessica Kenyon
Antelope Staff
Courtesy Photo
Maria Harding, principal flutist of the Omaha Symphony, held a master class at UNK followed by a flute recital Wednesday, Feb. 10. Harding has been the principal flutist since 1997, and received her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.

When Maria Harding was asked to present a master class at UNK, she thought this would be a perfect opportunity to include a recital later in the evening, and she did just that.

Principal flutist of the Omaha Symphony, Harding, presented a flute recital Wednesday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall on the UNK campus.

Harding has held the principal flutist title since 1997. Harding, accompanied by Christi Zuniga at the piano, performed a variety of pieces, including Griffes “Poem” (1918), variations on “Les Folies d’Espagne” (1701) by Marin Marais and a gorgeous sonata by Handel in B minor (ca. 1726). UNK professor David Nabb also joined Harding for the piece “Six Simple Duets” by Katherine Hoover.

This concert offered guests a chance to see consummate musicians who trained in prestigious music institutions in eastern areas of the country.

Zuniga is the principal keyboardist of the Omaha Symphony. Harding said, “Christi is a phenomenal pianist who studied at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.”

Harding received her doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Like many serious flutists, Harding is a member of the National Flute Association. She is also a Regional Performing Artist/Clinician for the Yamaha Corporation.

During her college years, Harding lived in Heidelberg, Germany during two summers playing opera and chamber music. Later, Harding played principal flute in Charleston, S.C. and has also performed in the Kansas City Symphony and the St. Louis Symphony.

Harding began studying the flute at the age of 14 in Lubbock, Texas, and by the age of 16 she won a national audition for second flute in the city’s symphony. “My teacher played principal flute. It was a remarkably valuable experience to play by her side,” Harding said.

The story behind Harding’s music is simple. “It is my goal to bring out the individual personalities of the different pieces. Every work that is presented should utilize a slightly different sound, a varying mood, a different color,” Harding said.

Reporter Craig Hall

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