Filipino-American flutist, Norman Gonzales, joined the Great Falls Symphony of Montana as Principal Flutist in September 2012 and was recently appointed the same position with Colorado’s Fort Collins Symphony in May 2013. Praised for his "...warm, attractive sound" by the Winston-Salem Journal, Gonzales has performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic in New York, the Erie Chamber Orchestra in Pennsylvania, the American Academy of Conducting Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival, and the Western Piedmont Symphony in North Carolina, among others. He has appeared at the Aspen, Bowdoin, Colorado College, Eastern and Sarasota Music Festivals and has shared the stage with notable conductors and performers including Marin Alsop, Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, James DePriest, Timothy Eddy, Renee Fleming, Vladimir Feltsmen, Alan Gilbert, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Peter Oundjian, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Gil Shaham, Leonard Slatkin, Scott Yoo and David Zinman.
As a soloist, Gonzales was awarded top prizes in Young Artist Competitions sponsored by the Atlanta, Central Ohio, Pittsburgh and Rochester Flute Associations. He has performed concerti with the Fort Collins Symphony, North Carolina School of the Arts Solisti Symphony, the Eastman Chamber Orchestra, Ars Nova Musicians of New York, and the Big Sky Telemann Festival Orchestra. Most recently, Gonzales was the featured soloist on Carl Reinecke’s Flute Concerto with the Great Falls Symphony during their 2015-2016 season.
An artist dedicated to sharing and spreading his passion for chamber music, Gonzales frequently performs as solo flutist of Montana’s premier woodwind quintet, the Chinook Winds. The group strives to bring live, classical music to rural communities throughout the United States and stresses the importance of music education in schools. The Chinook Winds have toured and performed both educational and formal concerts throughout the Northwest. Most recently, the ensemble was invited to perform at the 2015 International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles and the 2015 International Double Reed Society’s Conference in Tokyo, Japan.
As an enthusiastic educator, Gonzales recently joined the music faculty at Western Nebraska Community College and maintains a private studio in Montana. He has given masterclasses at the University of Montana, Montana State University, and the University of Wyoming. Gonzales is a founding member and current president of the Montana Flute Association, a non-profit organization whose goal is to cultivate, promote, sponsor, and develop the appreciation of the flute and flute music among its members and the general public.
Born in Macon, Georgia, Gonzales began studying the flute at the age of 12 and played in a variety of community ensembles. After graduating with a Bachelor of Music with Dr. Tadeu Coelho at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, he continued his graduate studies at the Eastman School of Music where he served as a teaching assistant for world renowned flutist and pedagogue, Bonita Boyd. While at Eastman, he won the school’s Flute Concerto Competition in 2011, taught as a flute instructor at the Eastman Community Music School, and served as a mentor for the New Horizons Band Programs in Rochester, New York. He graduated with a Master of Music and Performer’s Certificate in 2010 and completed two years of doctoral work at Eastman.
When not playing the flute, Norman enjoys cooking, watching movies, reading and spending as much time as he can with his fiancé and their Cocker-Spaniel, Daphne.