ATHERINE FOLKERS earned a B. Mus. degree in modern flute and piccolo
from the New England Conservatory, where she also pursued graduate studies
in the Performance of Early Music. She began making flutes and recorders
in the Prescott workshop in 1975, at the same time studying original instruments
in private and public collections. In 1978 she established herself as
an independent flutemaker in Ann Arbor, Michigan, returned to Boston in
1981, and by the time she and Ardal Powell became partners six years later,
she had made over 150 flutes and piccolos, some of her earliest for well-
known orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic.
The world's most extensive resource
for the study of flutes and their history is the Dayton C. Miller Collection
at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, a collection of over 1500
instruments, as well as thousands of other flute-related items: books,
music, iconography, correspondence, photographs and artworks. In 1984
Cathy was honored by the appointment as curator of the collection, yet
after a year in the position it became clear that for her flute-making
and music-making were still paramount.
Since that time, Folkers & Powell has flourished in more rural surroundings,
and Cathy has become an avid organic gardener. She welcomes the opportunity
to put new flutes to the test in several of the east coast's baroque and
classical orchestras, and is currently engrossed in a chamber music project
on early 18th-century French flute music. She serves as coordinator of
the National Flute Association's Baroque Flute Artist Competition, which
first took place in 1995.