“I am riveted by (Clayton’s) performances….they are among the most intense musical experiences of my life – breathtaking. Her musicianship is such that she could play something from the phone book and make it sound like a masterpiece.”
~ Murray Boren, composer
Performing and teaching internationally
April has performed as soloist and chamber artist in London, Zurich, Paris, Riva del Garda, Leipzig, Moscow, Vancouver, New York City, and throughout South Korea, Mexico and the United States.
For seven years, she served as director of chamber music for the European American Musical Alliance, working in Paris alongside members of the faculty of Juilliard, the Paris Conservatory and Ecole Normale de Musique, and other elite schools. She now continues her international performance and educational endeavors each summer through the Da Capo Alliance, a nonprofit educational organization she founded in 2012.
Award-winning soloist and recording artist
April presented her 2003 debut solo recital in New York’s Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall as a winner of the Artists’ International Competition. She has performed as concerto soloist with several orchestras in Utah, Ohio, New York, New Jersey, and Colorado.
She is a Burkart Artist, and currently plays on a Burkart 998 Elite flute with 14k gold tone holes and platinum headjoint.
Her debut solo CD, Flûte Agréable, was released on the Crystal Records label in 2005. April’s second solo CD , Flute Horizons, is a collaboration with the BYU Chamber Orchestra featuring her as soloist in four concerti, two of which were written for her. Most recently, she released Garden of Joys and Sorrows on the Bridge label with her flute-viola-harp trio, Hat Trick. This recording received a nod at the 2017 Grammy Awards when the trio’s producer, David Frost, won “Producer of the Year, Classical.” Hat Trick‘s CD was one of his nine recording credits for the year.
As a young flutist, April won many competitions, including the Jefferson Symphony Young Artist, MTNA and Cincinnati Philharmonia Concerto Competitions.
Additional recording credits:
Beijing Ballet Academy, September 2015
Recording as flutist in chamber music of composer Stephen Jones for the Academy.
Flutist with SubRosa, CD Released on Profound Lore Records Label, May 2013
Recorded all flute tracks for the band’s album, No Safe Harbor. This album charted
on numerous metal and rock lists in 2013-14.
Utah Chamber Artists, January 2013
Principal Flutist in recording of operetta by Barlow Bradford, The Three Bears and the Blond Thief, for use in public and private Utah school system music education.
Tantara Label, Flute Horizons, Released August 2012
Recording of four flute concertos performed with the BYU Chamber Orchestra, including two new concertos written for April Clayton by Murray Boren and Todd Coleman.
Clarion Label #22203476, Joyous Day!, Released 2006
Recording of Christmas carol arrangements as Principal Flutist with the Utah Chamber
Crystal Records Label, Flute Agréable, Released 2005
Renditions of mid- to late- twentieth century French Sonatas and Sonatines
Recorded at the American Academy of Arts and Letters
Recorded in collaboration with: Juilliard faculty member, composer and pianist Philip Lasser;
Mannes College faculty member, pianist JY Song
Engineer was Max Wilcox, producer of 18 Grammy Award-winning classical music CDs
Glowing reviews received from Fanfare, American Record Guide, and Flute Talk,
including terms such as “stunning”, “dazzling”, “beguiling”, “delectable”, “impeccable”
Tantara Label, Ritual Grounds, Released 2003
Recording of solo flute piece entitled “Spell” for a CD of composer Michael Hicks’ music
Capstone Label #CPS-8712, Sonic Images, Released 2002
Recording of song cycle with orchestra, “Leave Song,” by composer Steven Ricks
Pan Classics Label #510 082, 1995
Principal Flute and Piccolo in CD recording of clarinet concerti with the Cincinnati Philharmonia Orchestra (Dmitri Ashkenazy, clarinet soloist)
Klavier Label #KCD 11062, 1995
Flutist in CD recording of Boccherini concerti with the Ensemble for Eighteenth Century Music (Eiji Hashimoto, conductor)
Chosen performer for premieres of new music
A dedicated performer of new music, April has participated in numerous world premieres. Flute Horizons features two new concertos written for her by Todd Coleman and Murray Boren. In 2008, she presented by invitation a highly acclaimed concert of premieres at Carnegie Hall.
Among four competition prizes received from the National Flute Association are two “Best Performance” awards for renditions of newly commissioned compositions. April received a Full Fellowship to the Aspen Music Festival as flutist with the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble. She toured internationally with the New Juilliard Ensemble, has performed in the Summergarden Concert Series at the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, and in Lincoln Center’s Focus! Festival for New Music.
Integral member of acclaimed ensembles
April is a member of the Orpheus Wind Quintet, a leading woodwind quintet in the Intermountain West. She often works with dynamic piano duo partner Jed Moss of Salt Lake City, who was formerly a member of the band Air Supply. She plays and recorded a debut CD with her New York-based flute, viola and harp trio Hat Trick.
She has been principal flute with the Utah Chamber Artists since 2005, and often performs with Ballet West and the Utah Symphony. She has toured as a guest with the New York Woodwind Quintet.
Formerly principal flute and concerto soloist with the New York Lyric Orchestra, April also played principal flute with The Jupiter Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra, and at the Sarasota Music Festival.
Frequent Contributor to Flute Talk Magazine
The magazine which featured April in a cover story in 2009 now regularly publishes her articles and interviews. Her most recent contributions include:
Cover Story: “A Conversation with French Flutist Nicolas Duchamp.” December 2017: 14-21.
Cover Story: “A Conversation with Denis Bouriakov.” July/August 2017: 10-12, 14, 16-17, 38-40.
“Taking Control of the Airstream.” Flute Talk Magazine, March 2017: 24-25.
Recognized student becomes honored professor
The Professor of Flute at Brigham Young University, April received tenure at age 31. In 2010, she garnered a coveted Brigham Young University Young Scholar Award, becoming only the second music faculty winner in its decades-long history. Presented to young BYU faculty, the award includes three years of generous grants and stipends. Dr. Clayton has also been Woodwind Studies Chair at The Gifted Music School in Salt Lake City since 2014. This is a remarkable Pre-College Conservatory and Preparatory program that regularly sends its young alumni on to study at schools including Colburn, Curtis, Juilliard, Stanford, and others.
April studied flute performance and mathematics as a National Merit Scholar at Oberlin College and Conservatory. She subsequently graduated with her BM (summa cum laude) and MM degrees from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. At The Juilliard School, she was a Starr Doctoral Fellow and the youngest student to have been admitted to the DMA program. She is a member of American Mensa.
Students garner recognition, move into valued positions
April’s students lay claim to many honors, awards, and professional positions. Current and former students have won National Flute Association competitions, including First Place in the High School Soloist Competition, First Place in the Orchestral Audition Competition, First Place in the Piccolo Artist Competition, and several Winners in the Flute and Piccolo Masterclass Competitions. They have placed in other state, regional, and national competitions, including First Place in the Myrna Brown Competition, Music Teachers’ National Association Woodwind Soloist Competitions, San Francisco Flute Festival, and others.
Her students have been accepted into top undergraduate and graduate music programs, including those at Arizona State University, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Brigham Young University, Colburn, University of Colorado at Boulder and Denver, London Royal Academy of Music, Longy School of Music, Manhattan School of Music, University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, University of North Texas, Rutgers, San Francisco Conservatory, University of Southern California, and University of Texas at Austin.
April’s former students now teach at BYU-Idaho, Snow College, Southern Utah University, and others. They have performed with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Tucson Symphony, Utah Symphony, Portland Ensign Orchestra, Salt Lake Symphony, Utah Valley Symphony, and Orchestra at Temple Square. Many maintain their own private studios across the country, and are leaders in their music communities.