Byron Hester Competition
April 2021
Date and Location TBA

Open to Flutists of ALL AGES. First Prize winner receives $1,500 and a chance to perform at 2021 Flute Fest.

Preliminary Recorded Deadline
Submitted Online by 11:59pm
on Tuesday, February 14, 2021.

Required Repertoire for Recording
Allison Loggins-Hull: Homeland (Flutronix Publications)

J.S. Bach: Corrente and Sarabande from Partita in A minor

Detailed Rules and Application
Byron Hester Competition Rules

Contact Information





Byron Hester (1925 - 1995)

Born in 1925 in Electra, Texas, Flutist Byron Hester was principal flutist of the Houston Symphony Orchestra for forty years. At the time of his death in 1995, he was Professor Emeritus of the University of Houston's School of Music, having been on the faculty for 39 years. Having lost his flute to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean in the first Kamikaze attack of World War II, he then traveled to New York City to study with Georges Barrere at The Julliard School. After two years of study, he transferred to the Curtis Institute of Music. Following the model set by his teacher at Curtis, William Kincaid, the combination of teaching college-age flutists and playing in a major symphony orchestra kept him in touch with the essence of the technique of playing the instrument and the obligation of passing on his knowledge to younger aspiring talents. He also taught privately students of all ages and backgrounds, from pre-teens to senior citizens, from jazzers to astronauts.

Byron Hester

Byron Hester Hall of Fame

2019 Allison Asthana
2018 Seungmin Oh
2017 Zach Sheets
2016 Hannah Hammel
2015 Jennifer Zhou
2014 Matthew Ross
2013 Kate Lemmon
2012 Valerie Estes
2011 Keren Schweitzer
2010 Joanna Martin
2009 Cobus du Toit
2008 Hilary Abigana
2007 Juliana Overmier
2006 Rachel Taratoot Ciraldo
2005 Hye Sung Choe
2004 Kim Hudson
2003 Leonard Garrison
2002 Lisa Jaklitsch

Last Year's Winners

2020 Byron Hester Winner Allison DeFrancesco

2019 Byron Hester Winner Allison Asthana

2020 Finalists Dominique Kim, Hyunjee Lee
and Abby Easterling (not pictured)

What Our Winners Are Saying

"I was so happy that the competition was able to continue in an online format. With so little going on musically right now, it was one thing that kept me very motivated to keep practicing and making music. I really enjoyed getting to dive back into the repertoire after taking such a long break from it after recording the first round in the spring, and it was an opportunity to play with a completely new approach and sense of urgency. I felt a strong need throughout the summer for some sort of creative outlet to focus my energy into, and the competition gave me exactly that outlet. Preparing the repertoire and feeling like I was performing again really helped to restore my sense of purpose. Every opportunity we have now to make music feels so significant, and I feel very thankful to have had my opportunity in the Byron Hester Competition!" - Allison DeFrancesco, 2020 Byron Hester Competition winner

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