Byron Hester Competition
Saturday, April 25, 2020

West University Baptist Church
6218 Auden St.
Houston, TX 77005

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 Sunday, February 16, 2020.

Required Repertoire for Recording
Paganini: Caprice #5 from 24 Caprices, Op. 1 for Flute Solo (International)
To be recorded with repeats.

K. Hoover: To Greet The Sun (Papagena Press)
To be recorded without interruption.

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

2018 Byron Hester Winner
Seungmin Oh

Byron Hester Competition
Hall of Fame

2018 Byron Hester Finalists
Seungmin Oh, Grace Wang, Jessica Leeth
Jenny Davis, and Martin Godoy, Jr.

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

What Our Winners Are Saying

"I really enjoyed competing and playing in the Byron Hester Flute competition. It was a great experience! The adjudicators comments were very insightful and I learned a lot from all the fantastic workshops at Flute Fest 2010!" - Joanna Martin, 2010 Byron Hester Competition Winner

“The Byron Hester Competition is one of the few competitions that gives you an opportunity to perform at a major event after you've walked away with the first prize. This is essential in helping you make the transition from being a student to establishing yourself as a professional flutist. Being able to perform at such a prestigious event as the Houston Flute Festival with world renowned guest artists, is an opportunity that I could only have dreamed about!” - Cobus Du Toit, 2009 Byron Hester Competition Winner


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