America mourns influential flute, 68

America mourns influential flute, 68


norman lebrecht

March 14, 2021

The death has been announced of Paul Taub, founder of Seattle Chamber Players, professor of flute at Cornish and a leading advocate for living composers. No cause has been given. Here’s the text from the SCP:

We are devastated to share the news of the passing of our dear friend, founder, executive director and fabulous flutist Paul Taub. Paul meant so much to all of us and to many other people that it’s impossible to express the impact of his parting. He will be sorely missed.
Paul was born in New York in 1952, graduated from Rutgers University and the California Institute of the Arts and moved to Seattle in 1979 to work at Cornish College of the Arts where he taught for about forty years. He was a celebrated flutist and an active member of the Seattle Flute Society, having served twice as its president. He also served on the Boards of Directors of Chamber Music America and the National Flute Association. As a founding member of the Seattle Chamber Players, Paul participated in more than a hundred world premieres including commissions initiated by him from such composers as John Cage, George Crumb, Sofia Gubaidulina, Toru Takemitsu, and Peteris Vasks. He tirelessly worked to promote contemporary music by bringing international composers to Seattle and performing their music on four continents.
Among the most gorgeous and meaningful pieces he commissioned on behalf of the National Flute Association is Quintet for flute and string quartet by Giya Kancheli. He recorded it with two members of SCP (Mikhail Shmidt and David Sabee), Natasha Bazhanov and Julie Whitton on his CD “Edge – Flute Music from the Periphery of Europe” (Present Sounds) and we would like you to pay tribute to him by listening to his wonderful playing.




  • MacroV says:

    I got to know Paul at Cornish not long after he arrived. We never really crossed paths after that, but he was the nicest guy. I’m so sorry to hear he’s died.

  • Nadya Kuznetsova says:

    I met Paul through my friends more than 20 years ago! I can’t believe it’s been that long! I’ve been to almost every SDP concert! I never was a big fan of Flute but Paul’s performing managed to completely change it! I enjoyed it very much! Amazingly talented, extremely educated and absolutely the nicest guy! It’s such a shock to hear about his passing. My heart goes to his wife, I’m so so sorry for your loss!

  • Elizabeth Tu Gittleman says:

    I was so sad to hear of Paul’s passing. We met back in the 70s as fellow flute students at Rutgers University. Even then, he was an extraordinary and very decent human being. His passion lives on through his thoughtful, glorious music. Rest in peace, Paul.

  • It was always fun listening to or working with Paul. He will be sorely missed.

  • David Brecher says:

    My deepest condolences to Paul’s family. I knew him from elementary school, Wheeler Ave in Valley Stream NY. As I now live here in the PNW I was able to follow along with his talents and accomplishments. I am truly sorry to hear this news.