The new professor of flute is … 27 years old

The new professor of flute is … 27 years old


norman lebrecht

November 19, 2014

Not long ago, the principal flute of the London Symphony Orchestra, Gareth Davies, accosted a fresh-faced student on the steps of the Royal Academy of Music. The conversation went something like this:

‘Hey, Walker!’

‘Yes, sir.’

‘Do you know who I am?’

‘Yes, sir. You’re Mr Davies, sir, principal flute of the LSO.’

‘Right. Well from now on, you are going to be my co-principal.’

(Or that’s how we heard it.)

adam walker gareth davies

It was one of the smartest recruitments we’ve ever seen.

As of today, Adam Walker (left, above, with Davies) becomes visiting professor of flute at the Royal College of Music.

A professor, at 27.

Simon Channing, RCM Head of Woodwind, says:  “I am delighted that Adam will be joining the Woodwind Faculty at the RCM. He is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding musicians of his generation, a wonderfully charismatic player and teacher. We will never forget the masterclass he gave here last year which combined rare insight and generosity of spirit – the ideal combination for a great teacher.”

Drinks all round.


  • Alexander Hall says:

    Not sure whether that little anecdote is strictly correct. The fact remains that Walker was announced as principal flute of the LPO after he had made a number of appearances with it as guest principal. The LSO then muscled in and secured his services. But then airbrushing is all part of today’s mythology.

  • Peter Morgan says:

    I think I am right in saying Graham Mayger was a flute professor at the Royal College of Music at the age of 21.

  • David Abbott says:

    Graham Mayger became professor at 24. 21 was when he started teaching at the Junior department

  • Jennifer Stinton says:

    Either is a great story!