Karla Flygare

Karla Warnke Flygare is Principal Flutist with the Pacific Northwest Ballet Orchestra and the Auburn Symphony, with whom she is a frequent soloist.

She has served as Principal Flute with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, and can be heard on the orchestra's 2006 CD release of works by Philip Glass. An active musician in Seattle, she has been on tour with the Seattle Symphony, and performed on recordings and television broadcasts. As a regular with the Seattle Opera, she has worked with conductors Asher Fisch, Robert Spano, Gary Wedow, and Gigi Sutej. Since winning the National Flute Association Chamber Music Competition with a performance at the New York City convention, she has continued to be active in chamber music, with appearances at Chamber Music San Juans (Friday Harbor), the Seattle Bumbershoot Festival, the Canadian International Expo Festival, and in 2008 at the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival in performances of Debussy's Sonate for Flute, Viola and Harp and the Introduction and Allegro by Maurice Ravel. She has performed chamber music with Joseph Silverstein on the Northwest Chamber Orchestra Chamber Series, presented music by Icelandic composers on the Mostly Nordic Chamber Music Series, and premiered a work for Woodwind Quartet by Robert Hutchinson on the Auburn Symphony Chamber Series. As an advocate of new music she has worked with contemporary composers such as Ian Clarke, Henry Brant and Janice Giteck, performed Wild Angels of the Open Hills by Joseph Schwantner and played in contemporary operas including Mourning Becomes Electra by Marvin David Levy, Florencia in the Amazon by Daniel Catan, End of the Affair by Jake Heggie, and Satyagraha by Philip Glass.

Ms. Flygare has been called "one of the Northwest's premiere musicians." (Journal American) The Seattle Post-Intelligencer stated she "carried off the difficult solo role with ease and flair," and the Tacoma News Tribune commended her "enthusiastic playing." "Flygare's seductive tone and impressive musicality made one wish for more." (Journal American)

She has been heard in performances of the Brandenburg concerti with the Northwest Chamber Orchestra, the Chaminade Concertino and Kent Kennan's Night Soliloquy with the University of Puget Sound Wind Ensemble, and the Malcolm Arnold Concerto and Hindemith's Concerto for Woodwinds and Harp with the University of Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra. She has soloed with the Auburn Symphony in the Martin Concerto for Seven Instruments, Mozart's Concerto for Flute and Harp, and the G Major Flute Concerto.

"Flygare spun out Mozart's melodies with a sumptuous sense of line and seemingly endless reserves of breath." (Tacoma News Tribune)

A Seattle native, Ms. Flygare began her studies with Scott Goff, Principal Flute, Seattle Symphony, while in High School, and then did undergraduate work as a scholarship student at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she worked with Barbara Bernhard Breeden, Marc Lifschey, Laurette Goldberg, and noted composer John Adams. Her Master of Music (Flute Performance) degree was awarded from Northwestern University where she studied with Walfrid Kujala, former Principal Piccolo, Chicago Symphony. She has performed in masterclasses with renowned flutists Jean-Pierre Rampal, Julius Baker, Ranson Wilson and Samuel Baron.

A respected educator, Ms. Flygare holds the position of Affiliate Artist in Flute at the University of Puget Sound. Her students are regular winners of local and national competitions, and are sought after for their strong music skills. They have been accepted on flute and piccolo to many summer festivals and masterclasses including the Rome Festival Orchestra, Burgos Chamber Music Festival in Spain, Marrowstone Music Camp, Aria International Summer Academy, and Ithaca Flute Institute, as well as masterclasses with Amy Porter, Jill Felber, Bonita Boyd, Leone Buyse, Carol Wincenc, Ransom Wilson, Jim Walker, and Jeanne Baxtressor. Her flute and piccolo students regularly win the Concerto/Aria contest at the University of Puget Sound performing Griffes, Ibert, Vivaldi, Mozart, Hue and Perilhou (a premiere of the original orchestral score.) She has coached winners in many categories of the National Flute Association Competitions including Piccolo, High School and the collegiate Masterclass. Her students have received scholarships for graduate work at the University of Michigan, Hartt School of Music, Central Washington University, USC, the University of Oregon, UC Santa Barbara, the University of Colorado and Northwestern University.

An enthusiastic teacher, Ms. Flygare says, "I love teaching at the University of Puget Sound. The students are always bright and motivated. The ability to challenge them with good ensembles, masterclasses and frequent performing opportunities provides a rich and exciting environment for learning. The University has sponsored masterclasses with guest artists such as Jeanne Baxtressor (former Principal Flute, NY Philharmonic), new music specialist Molly Barth, Free Flight flutist (and former LA Phil Co-Principal) Jim Walker, and piccolo specialist Zart Eby. Regular term recitals, community job opportunites, small coached ensembles, flute ensembles, orchestra, wind ensemble and opera orchestra all provide numerous performing opportunities to students. Whether they are a performance major, music education or a double major in another field, opportunities such as playing for the opening of the International Glass Museum or the Tacoma Art Museum dedication gives them experience (and sometimes a little pocket money!) I also enjoy exposing my students to the professional world by having them sit in the orchestra with me during rehearsals and concerts. They are always enthusiastic. Keeping the number of flute students at the University small guarantees that I am able to spend quality time with them despite my own busy performing career."

Strongly committed to helping students achieve the skills and experience necessary for successful careers in music, Ms. Flygare brings a wide variety of experience to her studio. In addition to her orchestral and chamber music credits, her experience in theatre work and recording studio work (film and television) also assists in preparing well balanced students capable of a wide variety of disciplines, from chamber music to contemporary music, and orchestral playing to competitions and pedagogy.

Learn about noncredit Community Lessons with this instructor.


Working with Karla was one of the best experiences of my college career. I've carried knowledge from her into my own ensemble work and performance practices as well as into my teaching career - not only with my instrumental students but also with my elementary music students! The way she reaches each student in a flute lesson or ensemble is an extraordinary mark of her passion for teaching and I now strive to do the same in my classroom.

Gina Lindberg, Elementary Music Teacher
Bachelor of Music in Music Education, 2005
Master of Arts in Teaching, 2006

Karla Flygare is a dedicated, organized, and caring flute teacher. Her four year musical track prepares you in all aspects of music. In lessons we spend many hours understanding intonation, phrasing, rhythms, proper stage etiquette, and coping strategies for nervousness, to name a few examples. Most importantly however she is able to cater to each individual's uniqueness and encourages these strengths. With the help of her instruction I was accepted into The University of California Santa Barbara's master's program and received a full scholarship and TA position with Jill Felber.

Beverly Brossman
Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance, 2008


My flute studies with Karla Flygare during my undergraduate work at Puget Sound were a major contributor to my growth as a musician. In fact, studying with her was a significant factor in my decision to transfer to Puget Sound. She taught a well thought out curriculum which covered many styles of music. She also knew how to challenge players at any level. Karla provided many outside performing opportunities for her students, and put in the extra time to make sure they were successful. Even after I graduated, I enjoyed going back for extra lessons and more recently, took a chamber music course with her last summer. I currently teach band and continue to perform in groups, and I know that Karla's excellent instruction has given me skills I carry with me in my career.

Anne Carpenter, Band teacher, University Place School District
Bachelor of Music in Music Education, 1998
Master of Arts in Teaching, 2000


The education I received from Karla Flygare at the University of Puget Sound School of Music was invaluable to my training as a student artist. Because of the high artistic standards I was inspired to meet, I had the technical requirements and mental focus to achieve many goals. Thanks to Karla I received a full tuition fellowship to the University of Michigan School of Music, where, due to the solid foundation I received at UPS, I've gone on to win national competitions, play in Carnegie Hall, and attend the Aspen Music Festival and School, among other accomplishments. I really do believe that the University of Puget Sound is a special place; it afforded me the opportunity to develop a wonderful relationship with a world-class teacher and artist such as Karla, to take advantage of a multitude of performance opportunities, and to receive a world-class education in a beautiful setting. I am confident about my artistic future. Thank you, Karla!

Erin McKibben
Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance, 2007



I am currently Associate Principal Flutist of the Kansas City Symphony, Principal Flutist and Flute Faculty at Birch Creek Music Center, and Artistic Advisor, Board Member and Flutist with Summerfest Concerts. As I pursue these activities Karla is forever in my mind as one of the major contributors to my success as a professional musician. Even 15 years into my work with the KCS I still find myself regularly calling on concepts and strategies she originally brought to my attention; they range from the practical to the artful and invariably improve both my product and mindset. Karla is a gifted and natural teacher...I used to think she and I were simply a good match until I observed her giving a masterclass; it turns out she can bring out the best in any player.

I felt so lucky embarking on my musical career that I had studied with Karla---she taught me not only how to practice, make music and take successful auditions, but also how to conduct my professional self to my best advantage. Somehow she did this while also encouraging me to remain true to myself, focusing on my gifts while quickly and effectively shoring up my weaknesses. Her patience, support and concern for my general welfare made it obvious that the goal was to help me become not just a successful flutist, but a successful human being as well.

Karla's understanding of and ability to teach every aspect of being a musician is remarkable-from practice strategies to managing nerves, from how to start your own private studio to professional orchestral etiquette, from creating a résumé to finding what is special about each piece of music. She has the tools, creativity, and heart to help students achieve their goals. Many teachers can teach the music but few can also teach the art of making a living as a performing artist and Karla is one of these few.

Shannon Finney, Associate Principal Flute, Kansas City Symphony