Get to Know Phil Unger and the Flute Center of New York
FNMC began featuring the winning and finalist composers in the composition contest in May of 2016, added member spotlights in September of the same year, and now that we’ve added corporate sponsorship, we, of course, want to feature our corporate sponsors!
We’re so happy to feature the Flute Center of New York and its owner Phil Unger in our first sponsor spotlight. Phil (and FCNY) have generously sponsored the winner’s prize for the first FNMC Flute Artist Competition and are also commissioning members for the Carter Pann commission. What better time to feature them than this week, as the simultaneous premiere of Carter Pann’s Giantess for flute and piano and the final round of the FNMC Flute Artist Competition will occur this weekend (March 2-4, 2018?)
Describe your company’s goals and mission.
Our mission is simply to put flutists with flutists. If we sell a flute or two through this process, we are feel as though we have made the world a little more musical.
How does your company help flutists reach their performance goals?
This is a great question. The truth is, a good player can play anything. Of course, a handmade flute offers a player the nuances needed to perform at the highest level. This would include, but is not limited to the ability to impart different colors and different shades of musicality from their instrument. Also, a handmade instrument provides a more fluid motion in the keys, allowing for a lighter touch and even faster movement. To that end, the staff at the Flute Center works with each customer to help them locate the flute that best matches their “sound”. We all feel that we have the best job in the world! Also, each of our resident flutists has either a Masters or Doctorate in flute performance. This really lends to a more informed interaction with our customers
What are your goals when you sponsor an event or organization?
Our goals are simple. To bring to players world-wide the best in teaching through our live-feed master class series and our many meet and greet events.
What do you find rewarding about sponsoring events and/or organizations? What made you decide to sponsor FNMC?
We always try to be in the forefront of anything flute related. We sponsor many events, including our own “in house” projects on social media. For example, the Olympics are happening now in Korea, so we decided to sponsor our own Flute Olympics. What fun! We get involved whenever we can. As a matter of fact, the NY Flute Club convention is in 4 days. We decided 3 years ago to sponsor the 1st prize of the annual NY Flute Club competition for 10 years running. This is one way of giving back to the community that has given so much to us.
What about new music for flute excites you?
New music is and always has been tomorrows music. It is a no brainer. We champion those that pioneer playing new music like Pat Spencer and Claire Chase here in NY and the many others around the world. Kudos to the composers for travelling where no one has gone before. They are our “space travelers”!
How did you get into the business side of the flute world?
I got into the business side through the repair side. It just organically evolved from the first flute I sold for a friend 40 years ago. It’s hard to believe how the business has grown. I look around me, supported by 10 of the most fantastic staff members anyone could hope for and I simply cannot fathom our growth and success. I truly never expected this, and in many ways, we all feel that we are just getting started! It is a very exciting time for us all.
What's your favorite thing about your job?
I believe that every human has a special skill. Many never realize what it is for them, but for those that do, we can find our place in the word that makes us content and happy. I learned early in my life that my special skill is the ability to bring people together. Even in high school, I was often times the unifying link in a room of different groups of people. I now use these talents to bring flutists together. I have found my calling in life and it is both gratifying and exciting. Our shop is an electric, international meeting place for musicians from around the world. What more could I ask for in life?
Visit the Flute Center of New York to learn more.