Frances Blaisdell

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Frances Blaisdell (c. 1911 – March 11, 2009)[1] was a pathbreaking flautist.

She began her advanced flute studies with Georges Barrère at what is now the Juilliard School of Music. Later she studied with Marcel Moyse and William Kincaid.

In the 1930s she was first flute of the National Orchestral Association, the New Opera Company, and the New Friends of Music.

One of the first women to play in the woodwind section of the New York Philharmonic, her first appearance with the orchestra was in 1932, when she soloed in a children's concert. After being refused an audition in 1937 because of her sex, she played with the orchestra in 1962 in a piece that required extra flutes.

In 1941 she took over Barrère's chair in the Barrère Trio after her former teacher suffered a stroke.

While in New York she taught at the Manhattan School of Music and accompanied soprano Lily Pons. In 1973, she moved to California to teach at Stanford University, where she taught for 35 years.


  1. ^ Martin, Douglas (March 31, 2009). "Frances Blaisdell, 'Girl Flutist' Who Opened Doors, Dies at 97". The New York Times. Retrieved March 31, 2009.