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  • Leone  Buyse
  • Leone Buyse

  • Alumna Brings Beautiful Music to ESU

  • When Leone Buyse, world-renowned flutist and ESU alumna, performs, she owns the stage. She practices what she teaches her students: “You’ve practiced well and are eager to perform. Standing backstage, you hear the audience become quiet as the house lights dim. Next comes a crucial moment: your opportunity to connect with your listeners and put them and yourself at ease even before playing a note.”

    Buyse did put her listeners at ease with her elegant grace during a recent gala benefit concert on the ESU campus. During the concert, she was presented the prestigious Frank A. Beach Hall of Distinction Award. This award recognizes outstanding achievements in music administration, composition, performance, service, and teaching by Emporia State University music alumni, music faculty, or advocates of the Department of Music.

    A native of Ithaca, NY, Buyse is no stranger to honors. During the 2010 convention of the National Flute Association, Buyse was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The only American finalist in the 1969 Geneva International Flute Competition, she has appeared as soloist with l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, the San Francisco Symphony, the Utah Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, and the New Hampshire Music Festival, of which she was principal flutist for ten years.

    A former member of the San Francisco Symphony and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Buyse subsequently served as principal flutist of the Boston Pops and acting principal flutist of the Boston Symphony. She has performed with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players throughout Europe and Japan, with the Tokyo, Juilliard, and Muir String Quartets, and in recital with Jessye Norman and Yo-Yo Ma.

    After 22 years as an orchestral musician, Buyse relinquished her principal positions with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops to pursue a more active solo and teaching career. She taught at the University of Michigan before joining the faculty at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music, where she serves as the Joseph and Ida Kirkland Mullen Professor of Flute and Chair of Woodwinds.

    Her students hold positions in many major orchestras, including the symphony orchestras of Cleveland, San Francisco, St. Louis, Houston, Charlotte, and Kansas City, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Colorado Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Florida Orchestra, the New Zealand Symphony, the Singapore Symphony, the National Taiwan Symphony, and the Adelaide Symphony. Others are professors at such schools as the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Colorado at Boulder, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Western Michigan University, and Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.

    Buyse graduated with distinction from the Eastman School of Music. Awarded a Fulbright grant, she studied in France with Michel Debost, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Marcel Moyse. She attended ESU as a graduate student during the 1970-71 academic year and received her Master of Music in 1980, having completed her degree in two summer sessions. Also an accomplished pianist, she served for two years as accompanist at Rampal's summer master classes in Nice, France.