By Charles Tomlinson Griffes
A gifted and eclectic composer, Griffes was born in western New York in 1884 and died prematurely in 1920 at the age of 35. Although he studied with German pianists and composers, he was most influenced by early 20th-century French and Russian composers, and by oriental music.
He was also interested in Native American music, incorporating it into his compositions. His Poem is a fantasy for solo flute, 2 horns, harp, strings and percussion, with clear impressionist influences. Its alternating tranquil and rhythmically driven sequences and bold tonalities make it a compelling piece for audiences – and a perennial favorite for flutists.