Full length biography:
Flutist Ai Goldsmith is a soloist and chamber musician with a bel-canto style and bell-like sound. Her tone has been described as: “most magnificent” (William Bennett), “delicate, richly layered, shimmery, bold & feisty or hauntingly beautiful” (Carol Wincenc).
While following her passion to express the stories and the emotions within the musical scores, Ai has presented solo recitals and performances on stages across the USA and beyond, including British Flute Society Convention, The Florida Flute Fair and Mid-Atlantic Flute Fair with pianist Tim Carey; Canadian Flute Convention with pianist Richard Shaw; the National Flute Association Convention (Anaheim), San Francisco International Flute Festival, and recital tour or Tokyo and Saitama (Japan) with pianist Miles Graber; the Mid-South Flute Festival; Tuscia Opera Festival (Italy); and Kentucky Flute Festival with pianist Hye Jin Yeom.
Ai first became interested in solo performance after performing as a concerto competition winner with the Brentwood-Westwood Symphony Orchestra. Since then she has performed as a soloist with the Palo Alto Philharmonic and the San Jose State University Orchestras, given solo recitals in various series such as the Davis Shinkosky Concert Series at the University of California, Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) with pianist Lillian Pearson, and the Trinity Concert Series in Berkeley, CA. Ai’s collaborations include a world-premiere performance and recording of a song cycle by the noted American composer, Henry Mollicone of opera fame (Faces on the Bar Room Floor), commissioned by soprano Nancy Krom Wait, and has joined renowned flutist Robert Stallman and Isabelle Chapuis as a guest performer (with Annie Wu) in a recital.
Ai feels her career path has been served by her challenges. During the final years of her musical studies, she sustained a hand and wrist injury that seriously threatened her mobility. But with the long-time physical therapy, much self-exploration, patience and creativity, Ai not only overcame this career-threatening difficulty, but made it a win for herself, as she became more deeply connected with life, people, music, and the flute. From this experience she came to believe that what matters the most in a musician is his or her inner world, and that technical mastery is only a tool to communicate the life and understanding that resonates with the composer from within oneself. This awakening became the true starting point of Ai’s mastery of the flute and her path in music. She eagerly travels this mindful path each day.
Ai attributes her development and success to many wonderful musicians, most notably to Isabelle Chapuis, David Shostac and Sheridon Stokes who were her professors at San Jose State University (M.A.) and UCLA (B.A.) where she made her formal studies. She also credits master flutist Robert Stallman as someone who deeply inspired in her the importance of being true to one’s self as an interpretive artist, during her studies with him at the Ameropa Festival (Czech Republic), masterclasses and private lessons. Further inspirations were imparted to her in masterclasses and summer music academies in the United States and abroad by other master flutists, among them William Bennett, Vieri Bottazzini, Heather Clark, Sir James Galway, Göran Marcusson, Susan Milan, Liisa Ruoho, Ransom Wilson, and Anne Diener-Zentner.
Ai is committed to sharing the skills and passion for music and flute playing with budding musicians of all ages and levels. She currently provides private flute instruction in Cupertino, California. As a testament to Ai’s effectiveness as a teacher, her students earn recognition as concerto competition soloists, awards and distinctions at state and local levels such as principal flutist of California State Honor Band and Orchestra and youth orchestras, receive “Command Performance” ratings at CMEA festivals. Ai’s advanced students volunteer for the concert organization Encores On Wheels, through which they share their excitement and joy for music with the community throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Ai also receives invitations to adjudicate for various auditions and competitions, including the Kentucky Flute Festival Young Artist Competition, Santa Clara County Honor Band and the Areon Flutes Summer Flute Institute, and is invited to give clinics, presentations, sectionals, and masterclasses such as by Canadian Flute Convention, Middle Tennessee State University, Western Kentucky University, the MTAC Santa Clara division, MidSouth Flute Society, etc.