Tara Schwab is a versatile soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player who is an in-demand performer of new music and a frequent collaborator with some of the leading compositional lights of our time. She has earned praise as “a true technician of the flute” (Acoustica Americana), whose playing is "alive with warmth, imbued with incredible acrobatic facility" (Dr. Brooks de Wetter-Smith). Her playing has been described as “splendid, accomplished, and totally committed–performance of the highest level,” by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Shulamit Ran and her recent appearance as soloist in Frank Ticheli’s new flute concerto was lauded by the composer for its “perfect energy, pacing, balance, and precision.”
Actively involved in commissioning, editing, arranging, performing, and recording new works for flute, in particular for her chamber ensemble Duo Amantis with guitarist Michael Kudirka, Tara has collaborated with composers Jeffrey Holmes, Charles Young, Shulamit Ran, Veronika Krausas, Miroslav Tadić, Patrício da Silva, Simon Hutchinson, Benjamin Krause, and numerous others. She has performed in such notable venues as REDCAT, Capitol Records, Paramount Studios, The Wild Beast @ CalArts, and Newman Hall in Los Angeles, as well as the Hult Center in Eugene, Oregon, and the Interlochen Center for the Arts. Tara has been a featured artist at CalArts, Chapman Conservatory, the University of Southern California, Loyola University Chicago, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, Duke University, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, among others. She has also performed on KPFK’s Global Village with John Schneider, which airs on 90.7FM in Los Angeles, as well as on Live from Studio A with host Tim Burke, which airs on 88.7FM, Interlochen Public Radio.
Dr. Schwab’s recordings include cutting edge microtonal new music by Jeffrey Holmes (May the Bridges I Burn Light My Way… MicroFest Records, 2018), postmodern reworkings of Depression-era songs (Now & Then: Music of the Great Depression(s) 2010/1929 conducted by Ensemble Intercontemporain Assistant Conductor Vimbayi Kaziboni, Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 with soloist Ralph Votapek, and CalArts Jazz’s Cause Nothing Cause (Living River) recorded at Capitol Records in Los Angeles. Duo Amantis’s debut album consisting of 21st-century music for flute and guitar with Michael Kudirka is due to be released by the Quebec-based label Doberman-Yppan in late 2018.
Tara received her DMA in Flute Performance with a supporting area in Ethnomusicology from the University of Oregon where she studied with Grammy award winning flutist, Molly Barth. She completed her MFA in Flute Performance at the California Institute of the Arts, and her BM in Flute Performance from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Tara has also studied with Jim Walker, Brooks de Wetter-Smith, Wissam Boustany, Tadeu Coelho, Alexa Still, Rachel Rudich, Fay Roberts, and Nestor Torres, and has studied Baroque flute with Kim Pineda and Linda Pereksta. Tara’s research in historical performance practice earned her the 2014 Fritz Thelen Recognition Award from the International Society for the Investigation and Promotion of Wind Music (IGEB), for her dissertation, A Flute Player’s Handbook for the Development of a Rhetorical Approach to W.A. Mozart’s Concerto in G Major, K. 313.
Tara currently holds the position of Assistant Professor of Flute at Arkansas State University. Prior to coming to Arkansas, she was Assistant Professor of Flute and Music Literature at the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point. Tara has also taught at Interlochen Arts Academy and the University of Oregon, where she was a Graduate Teaching Fellow.