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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 and cellist Norman Adams in the Adams Charke Exchange. 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.