Lillian Burkart on Flute Unscripted: December 2
Video interview with Caity Massoud premiering on Facebook and Youtube:
5pm EST, December 2, 2021
Lillian Burkart was born in Louisiana, moving shortly after to live in Beaumont, Texas. Her father’s career as a trumpet player and professor eventually moved their family to Madison, WI and later Ohio. As a member of a musical family, Lillian fell in love with the flute at the age of 10. Her studies with Bob Cole led her to complete her schooling at the Philadelphia Music Academy as a student of John Krell, colleague of William Kincaid and long-time piccolo player of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Upon completion of her schooling, Lillian stayed in the Philadelphia area to teach at Settlement Music School.
Lillian fully intended to be a performing and teaching flutist; however, during her time in Philadelphia, she noticed that the local flute repair technician had an abundance of work, leaving him with no time to teach a protégé. As a result, she decided to pursue training at a premier Boston flute maker, starting first as a body maker and later mastering all elements of flute making. Eventually, overwhelming demand for a highly researched and newly developed piccolo caused Lillian to start her own company.
As her new workshop began to grow and Burkart-Phelan, Inc. blossomed, Lillian pursued further education in accounting and material science. Under Lillian’s careful direction, Burkart Flutes and Piccolos continued to add new instruments to its offerings while focusing on its core traits of stability, quality, and performance. Often called the “first lady of flute making,” Lillian’s contributions to the technical advancement of the instrument, as well as the education of future generations of craftspeople and technicians, furthered her vision to craft instruments of the highest quality.