Walfrid Kujala


Walfrid Kujala

Walfrid Kujala was a member of the Chicago Symphony from 1954 through 2001 and professor of flute at Northwestern University from 1962 through 2012. Previously he was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic and taught at the Eastman School, where he received his BM and MM. He is also a former principal flutist with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Kujala has been a frequent soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and premiered Gunther Schuller’s flute concerto, which was dedicated to him, in 1988. Mr. Kujala is a past president of the National Flute Association, the author of a textbook, The Flutist’s Progress, and a consulting editor of several music publications, including Flute Talk. His book, The Flutist’s Vade Mecum of Scales, Arpeggios, Trills and Fingering Technique (Progress Press) was a winner of the NFA’s 1996 Newly Published Music Competition. He is recipient of the National Flute Association Lifetime Achievement Award and the Northwestern University School of Music Exemplar in Teaching Award. His teachers include Joseph Mariano and Parker Taylor.


Mr. Kujala has not made any solo recordings, but his marvelous piccolo playing can be heard on many Chicago Symphony discs. A select list:

  • Beethoven, Symphony No. 9 (Solti, London)
  • Berlioz, La Damnation de Faust (Solti, London 414 680-2)
  • Corigliano, Symphony No. 1 (Barenboim, Erato 2292-45601-2)
  • Rossini, Overtures (Reiner, BMG Classics 60387-2-RG)
  • Shostakovich, Symphonies Nos. 1 & 7 (Bernstein, DGG 427 632-2)
  • Shostakovich, Symphony No. 8 (Solti, London 425 675-2)


Articles by Walfird Kujala:

  • “Advice for Future College Flutists,” Flute Talk (November 1991), 28.
  • “Beethoven, Leonore Overture No. 3: Audition Hints,” Emerson Flute Forum (Spring/Summer 1992).
  • “The Benefits of Inflation,” Flute Talk (October 1994), 28-29, Flute Talk (May 1985), 25- 27, and The Instrumentalist (February 1973).
  • “A Brief History of Flute Design,” The Instrumentalist (November 1972).
  • “Embellishment Italian Style,” Flute Talk (October 1988), 12-14; originally in The Instrumentalist (December 1976).
  • “The 5 W’s of the Major Scale,” The Instrumentalist.
  • “Flute Fingerings, In Homage to Henri Altès,” Flute Talk (March 1992), 8-13; originally in The Instrumentalist (November 1981).
  • “Flutists’ Common Mistakes,” Flute Talk (October 1993), 27-28.
  • “Fresh Ideas for Mozart Cadenzas,” Flute Talk (December 1995), 12-15, musical example corrected in Flute Talk (January 1996), 31.
  • “A Guide to Trill Choices in the Mozart G Major Concerto,” The Flutist’s Handbook: A Pedagogy Anthology (National Flute Association, 1998)
  • “Into the Jaws of Inflation,” Flute Talk (October 1994), 10-12.
  • “Jawboning and the Flute Embouchure,” Flute Talk (May/June, September, and October 1987; originally fall of 1971).
  • “The Kincaid Legacy,” The Instrumentalist (November 1974).
  • “The Kujalas on Eurhythmionics,” Flute Talk XXI/4 (December 2001).
  • “Learning from the Violins,” Flute Talk XX/4 (December 2000).
  • contributor to “Joseph Mariano: The Man, the Artist, the Teacher,” The Flutist Quarterly X/4 (Summer 1985), 4-23.
  • “A More Flexible Approach to Using Auxiliary Keys,” in Selected Flute Masterclasses (Malibu, CA: Windplayer Publications, 1998), 30-31.
  • “Mostly Meliorated Mozart,” The Flutist Quarterly XXII/2 (Winter 1996/97), 26-30.
  • “The Murray Flute,” The Instrumentalist (November 1972).
  • “New Books and Records for Flutists,” The Instrumentalist (June 1974).
  • “A New Perspective on Note Releases,” Flute Talk (April 1995).
  • “New Solo and Study Materials for Flute,” The Instrumentalist (February 1978).
  • “A Performance Checklist for Debussy’s Syrinx,” The Instrumentalist (February 1976).
  • “Performing Ravel’s Daphnis et Chlöe,” Flute Talk (October 1991), 28-29.
  • “Piccolo Mobilo,” The Flutist Quarterly XIV/2 (Spring 1989), 58-61.
  • “Reminiscing With Ernest Liegl,” The Flutist Quarterly XII/1 (Winter 1987), 31-37.
  • “Shifting the Beat for a Cleaner Technique,” Flute Talk XIX/8 (April 2000) and The Instrumentalist (April 1974).
  • “Stress or Strain Forever,” Flute Talk (February 1992), 32.
  • “Take your Pick: Winds of Change,” Flute Talk (November 1994), 18-21.
  • “Thumbs Up for Altès and Briccialdi,” Flute Talk (January 1993), 18-24.
  • “Tone Development Through Sostenuto-Legato Orchestral Passages,” Yamaha Flute Sounds 2, 3.

Interviews with and Articles about Walfrid Kujala:

  • John Bailey, “The Remarkable Career of Walfrid Kujala,”The Flutist Quarterly XXXVIII, no. 1 (Fall 2012): 28-33.
  • Kathleen Goll-Wilson, “Walfrid Kujala: King of the High Notes,” Flute Talk (October 1988), 6-11.
  • Kerry Walker, “Puffing Is Not Hazardous to Flute Playing,” Flute Talk (February 1995).
  • Joanna Cowan White, “Walfrid Kujala, Orchestral ‘Untangler’,” The Flutist Quarterly (Fall 2005), 56-62.

Editions by Walfrid Kujala:

  • Otar Gordeli, Concerto (Progress Press).
  • Richard Willis, Pantomime for flute, violin, viola, and cello (Progress Press)
  • The Flute Audition Book (European American Music Corporation).

Books by Walfrid Kujala:

  • The Articulate Flutist (Progress Press, 2009).
  • The Flutist’s Progress (Progress Press, 1970).
  • The Flutist’s Vade Mecum (Progress Press, 1995).
  • Orchestral Techniques for Flute and Piccolo: An Audition Guide (Progress Press, 1992).