Robert Dick - was born and raised in New York City. He started playing the flute in the fourth grade, after hearing the piccolo on the radio in the Top 40 hit "Rockin' Robin." His main teachers were Henry Zlotnik, James Pappoutsakis, Julius Baker and Thomas Nyfenger.
As a teenager, Dick wanted to become an orchestral flutist and played first flute in the Senior Orchestra at the High School of Music and Art, as well as in the New York All-City High School Orchestra. "Studying with him (Julius Baker) was geared toward becoming an orchestral musician, and that was my dream at the time. But as I grew out of that dream, I realized that my training didn't really provide the view of music from the inside that I needed - in particular, the idea that music is generated by hearing inside and recognizing what you hear." He became a soloist and composer.
At Yale College, Dick earned a bachelor's degree and met Robert Morris, a composer and theorist who mentored him as he wrote his first compositions. While in college, Dick wrote his first book, THE OTHER FLUTE: A Performance Manual of Contemporary Techniques, and went on to earn a master's degree in composition, studying with Morris, as well as electronic music with Bulant Arel and Jacob Druckman.
During his post-graduate studies at Yale, Dick composed "Afterlight," a piece for flute that used multiphonics as its basis. "Afterlight" was awarded the BMI Oliver Daniel Prize.
After graduating in the spring of 1973, Dick lived in New Haven, Connecticut, until September 1977, when he moved to Buffalo, New York, to join the contemporary music group Creative Associates. Dick was a member of the group until June 1980.While in New Haven, he wrote his second book, Tone Development through Extended Technique, and began to develop as an improviser and composer.
Dick spent six months in Paris from July to December 1978, working at I.R.C.A.M. (Institute for Research and Coordination, Acoustics and Music) on his idea for a new flute mechanism. The first prototype was made by Albert Cooper in London in 1984. This project remains unfinished.
From the fall of 1980 to the spring of 1992, Dick lived in New York, developing his compositions, improvisations and wrote Circular Breathing for the Flutist. During this period, he self-published The Revised Edition of THE OTHER FLUTE: A Performance Manual of Contemporary Technique and his later books, compositions and instructional recordings through Multiple Breath Music Company. In 1986, he abandoned his role as a concert soloist in contemporary music to perform exclusively his own music and that of composer-performers. Dick performed a recital of his own works as part of the New York Philharmonic's Horizons 84 festival at Avery Fisher Hall in 1984.
In May 1992, he moved to Switzerland for ten years, continuing his career as a composer-performer. He returned to the United States in 2002 as an assistant professor of flute at the University of Iowa. In July 2003, he returned to New York. Since July 2013, Dick has been dividing his time between New York and Kassel, Germany, where his children Sebastian (born 2006) and Leonie (born 2008) live with their mother, composer-pianist Ursel Schlicht.
Dick's recitals today consist mainly of his compositions and improvisations, sometimes incorporating influences from Paul Hindemith, Georg Philipp Telemann and Jimi Hendrix into his repertoire.
As an instructor, Dick created a method and practice for teaching flute players, which he documented in his books: Tone Development through Extended Techniques, Circular Breathing for the Flutist and in two volumes of FLYING LESSONS: Six Contemporary Concert Etudes. He teaches master classes at hundreds of international universities.
Dick is the inventor of the Glissando Headjoint, a trademarked telescopic flute mouthpiece that allows the flutist to move and extend notes.
As a composer, Dick's work has been recognized by the Koussevitzky Foundation Commission, a Guggenheim Fellowship and two NEA composition grants, among many grants and commissions. Dick composed a new piece for the National Flute Association Young Artist Competition. He has recorded more than 20 albums and made guest appearances on many other recordings.
Coordinator of the project "Reach the Stars"