Dustin Cramer is the new Principal Flute of the Pittsburgh Philharmonic! We asked Dustin to introduce himself and how he started playing the flute:

When you think of stories you can share laughter by telling, one is most certainly how I chose the flute. In third grade, staring at the board where the music teacher wrote the instruments and rental prices, it was a reminder of all the big questions I’ve already asked during what was then my short time on Earth – hard NO’s to a four wheeler, camper, and an in-ground swimming pool. You kind of get a feel for what price point to aim for, so the flute and clarinet were the most opportunistic choices if I were to get a yes from any of them. Here I am, playing the flute. I got the ‘yes’.

I joined the Pittsburgh Philharmonic when our wonderful, former Principal Flute, Jamie, asked if I would like to play as second. The position was open, so I auditioned and began my tenure with the Philharmonic – no turning back, now! It is a joy to play wonderful music with Maestro Leonard. With ongoing attention to the quality of our musical output, we most certainly manage to have fun.

The first piece I learned was the Mickey Mouse march, by ear, on piano. Does that count, or should you be more interested in the Mozart Flute Concerto in G? I started playing music when I was three, with the help of a keyboard and a miniature xylophone. It wasn’t before long when I could play all the preset keyboard tunes by ear. Music was kind of the obvious path for me, early on.

When someone asks for my favorite musical vices, it is never easy giving a simple answer. To name one composer that brings me great joy would also remind me of another composer that brings an equal amount of joy. To name a composer that gives me great angst and torment, should I leave you to assume, or name him J.S. Bach? The amount of time every musician gives to Bach is monstrous. However, I believe most of us can agree he has given us many moments of realization and inspiration. Bach, undoubtedly, is my favorite composer (Beethoven being preferred equally, relieved this would fall on deaf ears).

When I’m not playing music, I like to dabble in fitness, bicycling, and hiking. One could also see me at the Pittsburgh Symphony, frequently. SUPPORT YOUR PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY MUSICIANS! Pittsburgh is filled with many nuances, and it is always an adventure to visit the different parts of town to see what is new to offer.