On March 13th 2005 I attended the Vancouver Flute Festival. During a rare a free day I went to hear my late friend David Nicholson teach the Prokovief Sonata. As it happened I never got to hear him teach because I saw a sign with Nagahara written on it and decided to go and see what that was all about. I remembered the day before teaching a young student and she told me she played a Nagahara flute. This was the first time I heard the name and had never tried one of their instruments. I did not know it at the time but I was in for a very big surprise.
Mr. Kanichi Nagahara was there personally and he showed me the instruments he had for sale. I tried them and was surprised and amazed at the standard of workmanship. I tried one against my regular flute and found it to be superior in every way. This was the only gold flute he had on show.
Sadly the flute I was trying was already sold and the owner had simply left it there for the duration of the festival for people to try. After playing on this flute for a while I asked if I could play it in concert as I was appearing with the Vancouver Symphony playing the Mozart D Major concerto. I was very pleased with the instrument and many people said they could not tell the difference. But I could certainly tell the difference. This flute was so very easy to play and I could see that a flute like this would give me the ease of playing I had always looked for in a flute.
Kanichi delivered it personally to me in New York. The number was 501 and from the moment I got it I never played anything else. This was a flute with a great response, a bigger range of tone colors, a really wonderful action and I fell in love with it straight away. As I got to know it, one thing struck me and that was the pads. This flute never seemed to need adjustment and it covered like the first day I ever tried it, even after several months.
Number 501 was the flute I played on until last year when Kanichi brought out the Sir James Galway line of instruments. The flute came about after discussions between Kanichi and me. I made suggestions and he incorporated them into the flute upon which I now play.
I tried a number of different headpieces and as a result developed the Sir James Galway model. This is a very special headpiece and it improves every flute I have ever tried one on. I would urge you to try one on your flute and see the difference. This is a headpiece which gives you a better staccato, offers you more tone colors, has great projection and gives you the possibility to play better on any flute you have it fitted to. Of course it works best on a Nagahara flute. Having said that, owning one of these special headpieces is the first step in getting a complete Nagahara. With one of these head pieces, many of your difficulties will disappear.
There is no doubt in my mind that these flutes and headpieces are the best I have ever played. I would like to welcome you to the world of Nagahara flutes, where the service is like the flute, in a special class all by itself. These flutes are played by top professional flutists worldwide.
Sir James Galway.
August 28th 2013.