Suzanne Kirton, Principal Flute
The Martin Foundation, Inc. Chair
Suzanne Kirton began music studies as a child on piano, but when she was a high school sophomore she became enchanted by the flute's sound and decided to make that her instrument. Upon graduation she was accepted at the Juilliard School and studied with Sam Baron her freshman year.
Kirton earned a B.M. degree from Florida State University, her M.M. degree from the Boston Conservatory and a Professional Studies Diploma from the Juilliard School. She has taken master classes and studied privately with a number of great teachers, including Sir James Galway, Julius Baker, Robert Stallman, Leone Buyse and Geoffrey Gilbert.
Prior to Naples, Kirton was principal flutist for the Symphonia Virtuosi and the Rome Festival Orchestra. In 1994, Kirton was a finalist in the International Flute Competition in Budapest, Hungary.
As a soloist with the Naples Philharmonic, Kirton performed the Vivaldi Flute Concerto in D with Keith Lockhart conducting (1994). She performed it again in 2007 at Festival Miami. In 2000, she performed the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto, along with principal harpist Dickie Fleisher. She has also soloed with the Philharmonic Baroque Ensemble, performing the Bach Suite No. 2 in B Minor in 1995, 1996 and 2002.
Kirton has been an adjunct professor at Florida International University for several years, has freelanced extensively in the Miami area and maintains a private studio in Naples. She may be heard on CD in Music Minus One's Bolling Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano Trio.
Kirton and her husband are proud parents of a daughter Giszelle and son Iain. They also have three loquacious African Grey Parrots, two dogs and a cat. Kirton has been principal flutist of the Naples Philharmonic since 1993.
I was born in Miami, Florida, and began studying music at Juilliard and then went on to study at University of Miami, Florida State University, Boston Conservatory and, finally, Juilliard again. I began to play flute with the Naples Philharmonic in 1993.
What has been your most memorable moment with the orchestra?
Probably most memorable was the recent performance of Daphnis and Chloe, which contains a beautiful flute solo moment.
What inspired you to become a musician?
I realized that I loved to listen to music and, compared to my peers in school, I was more suited to pursue music professionally. My parents were very “instrumental” in guiding me towards a career in the arts, because they encouraged me to follow my dreams despite the uncertain economic benefits.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I most enjoy playing for people who really feel inspired by hearing the music that I have the opportunity to play for them.