J S Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 (with Julian Harrop, violin) 3 September 2005
Edward Beckett was born in Ireland, but quickly became influenced by the French tradition of flute playing, his first teacher being the French flautist André Prieur. At eighteen he abandoned an engineering course at Trinity College Dublin to take up a place at the Paris Conservatoire, and four years later graduated with first prizes in flute and chamber music. He spent the next few years in post graduate study with France’s most famous flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal, and with the legendary player and teacher, Marcel Moyse.
Edward returned to Ireland to take up a post with the newly-formed Ulster Orchestra, but after two years moved to London where he has lived ever since. His first five years were mostly spent working with The London Symphony Orchestra, then years as a freelance orchestral and studio player followed, with solo and chamber music engagements as well. He has played principal flute with most of London’s symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras and ensembles and is still a regular guest principal with some of them. He taught for many years at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama who have awarded him a Fellowship of the School.
Edward Beckett’s most recent recordings include Fantaisie, a collection of French pieces for Flute and Orchestra, a disc of Mozart’s works for flute and orchestra including a performance of the Flute and Harp concerto with Skaila Kanga, and a critically acclaimed first recording of Carl Friedrich Abel’s six flute concertos with The Academy of St Martin in the Fields.