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Edwina Smith (Flute, Baroque Flute)

Edwina studied Music at the University of York, after having received the Principal’s Prize for Junior Music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. During her second year at university, she gained an external diploma in performance from the Royal Academy of Music (LRAM). Edwina graduated from York in 1981 with a First, the final degree of this class to be awarded by Wilfrid Mellers (the founding professor of the York Music Department). Inspired in particular by her university supervisor, the clarinettist Alan Hacker, Edwina has subsequently pursued a career combining a wide-ranging performance repertoire with the study of historical

Edwina plays principal flute with Yorkshire Baroque Soloists, the 18th Century Sinfonia and Newcastle Baroque. She also performs with the Merlin Ensemble, Baroque in the North and the English Haydn Orchestra, and features on the recording of Telemann’s complete ‘Tafelmusik’ by the Orchestra of the Golden Age (Naxos). Together with many other York alumni, Edwina can be heard on recordings by Yorkshire Baroque Soloists of Bach’s Mass in B Minor, St John Passion, and the early version of his St Matthew Passion (Signum). On the modern flute, she is a freelance solo, chamber and orchestral flautist. Edwina has recorded for BBC radio and television on baroque, nineteenth-century and modern flutes, and has commissioned and performed several contemporary works for baroque flute.

Edwina combines old and new instruments in The Fairfax Ensemble, a trio of soprano, flute and piano who regularly perform 18 th to 21 st century repertoire in venues across the North of England. Previous programmes have included a five- concert tour, funded by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust, of newly-written works and modern British compositions, for the Sounds Lyrical Project (a York-based collaboration of poets and composers); recitals of romantic repertoire for meetings of the Elgar Society; and two programmes of works written especially for members of the ensemble, for the York Late Music concert series.

In addition to teaching modern and baroque flute at the University of York, Edwina provides specialist baroque tuition and advice for occasional students from other universities in the North of England, and she is currently the external woodwind recital examiner for the University of Huddersfield. Since 2020, she has also been a member of the staff team delivering the MA Music Education: Instrumental and Vocal Teaching, at the University of York.

Alongside her performing and teaching, Edwina is the flute consultant for the Edinburgh University Musical Instrument Collection. She has catalogued nearly 300 flutes held by this collection, revised and enlarged their catalogue of recorders and flageolets, and recorded performances demonstrating and describing a number of these instruments. In addition, she has catalogued over a hundred flutes and flageolets in the John Webb Collection at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Instrument collections - Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (

Together with Dr Derek McCulloch, Edwina has published an edition of Haydn’s trios for two flutes and cello (Corda Music), incorporating variants found in early nineteenth century sources. She contributed an article on this edition to the Haydn Society Journal, and has recorded two of the trios with the Café Mozart ensemble as part of a CD of works by Haydn and the Earl of Abingdon (Naxos).

Edwina Smith

Contact details

Edwina Smith
School of Arts and Creative Technologies
University of York
YO10 5GB