The English flautist, Daniel Pailthorpe, was captivated by the sound of the flute at the age of 6 when he heard his parentsí recording of Jean-Pierre Rampal. He demanded to learn to play, was taken for a lesson and was told he had to wait for two years because he didnít yet have enough teeth. He taught himself to play, helped by an older boy at his prep school, using A Tune a Day. He did receive some good early musical training after joining the local church choir, at St. Maryís, Harrow-on-the-Hill. At the age of 11 he attended the Royal Academy of Music as a Junior Exhibitioner, where he had flute lessons with Derek Honner. At the age of 12 he attended Harrow School. Junior Academy was a life-saver for him, as was getting into the National Youth Orchestra (NYO) the following year. He became principal flute in the NYO at the age of 17. Before taking up a place at Cambridge, Daniel spent a year in Paris studying with Gaston Crunelle, who had been Professor of flute at the Paris Conservatoire. Crunelle was the dedicatee of the Henri Dutilleux Sonatine and of Messiaenís Le merle noir and was an incredible link with the past.
Daniel Pailthorpe went to Clare College, Cambridge from 1984 to 1987, where he read music. At the end of his first term he joined the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, where he discovered he could sight-read and could sing very low bass notes. The Choir of Clare College was directed by the brilliant and uncompromising Timothy Brown, who reawakened Danielís love of English church music, largely abandoned since his voice broke. Guest conductors of the Choir of Clare College included Roger Norrington and John Rutter, whose Cambridge Singers Daniel later joined. A happy consequence of joining that choir was that John Rutter wrote some flute arrangements for Daniel to perform with the choir, and a highlight of his early professional career was performing John Rutterís Skylark in Carnegie Hall, with solo parts for himself and for the pianist Wayne Marshall. During his time at Cambridge, Danielís flute playing and his singing were of equal importance to him. His two flute lessons a term with Peter Lloyd kept his technique ticking over, and in addition to his singing he became conductor of the Cambridge University Gilbert & Sullivan Society. In 1986 he joined the European Community Youth Orchestra, and the following year he did post-graduate study at the Royal Academy of Music with William Bennett. During this post-graduate year in London, Daniel accepted the occasional professional singing engagement and at one stage considered singing as a career. However, a Countess of Munster Scholarship awarded in 1988 allowed him to do six monthsí further study in America with Geoffrey Gilbert. When Geoffrey Gilbertís health began to fail, Daniel continued his studies with Thomas Nyfenger, a man described by Daniel as an eccentric genius. As a student Daniel was awarded the Leonard Bernstein Fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center, USA and made his London solo debut in the Park Lane Group Young Artistsí Series.
In 1990, at the age of 24, Daniel Pailthorpe joined the orchestra of the English National Opera as co-principal flute. Ten years later he joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a similar position. A couple of years before he had been invited by Richard Hickox to play in the St. Endellion Festival in Cornwall. The oboist in the orchestra was an American named Emily. They got married and have two children. They founded London Conchord Ensemble, a mixed chamber ensemble which Daniel also directs as an ensemble for concertos. London Conchord Ensemble have made many recordings, including one of George Crumbís The Voice of the Whale (Vox Balaenae) and one of J.S. Bach concertos, which was Classic FMís CD of the Month in 2006. Daniel is currently working on a reconstruction of Mozartís Ďlostí flute version of the Sinfonia concertante K.297b. In 2007 he returned to the National Youth Orchestra, this time as coach of the flute section. He enjoys a busy freelance career appearing frequently as guest principal with many orchestras, notably the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
Daniel Pailthorpe is a Professor at the Royal College of Music and is a keen advocate of the modern wooden flute.
Daniel Paithorpe performs on a wooden flute by Rudall Carte with a headjoint by Robert Bigio. Discography: Bach: Suite in B minor (Champs Hill Records); Henri Dutilleux and Pierné: chamber works. (Champs Hill Records); Crumb: Vox Balaenae (Black Box Classics); J.S. Bach Flute works (Champs Hill Records); Francis Poulenc Sonata and Sextet ASV, to be reissued on (Champs Hill Records).