Is it "flutist" or "flautist"?
A mischievous smile breaks across Sir James Galway's face and he makes a crossing gesture with both hands, like a baseball umpire calling an "out."
"Flute PLAYER," he says.
Galway comes from a long line of such players. Both his grandfather and father played the flute, as did his earliest teacher, his Uncle Joe.
So who was his toughest critic growing up?
"Oh, my Dad," he laughs. "Every time I played something, he would say, 'Oh, you should have heard your grandfather play that.' "
Born in Belfast, Ireland, Galway is widely regarded as one of the best flute players in the world. His willingness to play a variety of musical styles throughout his career (his breakout recording in the 1970's was a cover of John Denver's "Annie's Song"), has earned him the nickname "The Man With The Golden Flute."
But a one-night-only performance at the Arsht Center on Friday will be strictly classical. Galway will be accompanied by the Frost Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Sleeper. His wife, fellow flutist Lady Jeanne Galway, will join him on stage for Cimarosa's Concerto for Two Flutes and Orchestra in G Major.
Galway is the soloist for Mozart's Flute Concerto No. 2 in D for Flute and Orchestra. And Galway says he hopes the order of the line-up will change and allow him to listen backstage to the Frost Symphony Orchestra play Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique, Op. 14, as he packs up his "golden flute" for the night.
"It's a stunning piece," Galway says.
IF YOU GO:
Friday, Oct. 27
Adrienne Arsht Center
John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall
Sir James Galway in Concert
With special guest, Lady Jeanne Galway
Frost Symphony Orchestra, Thomas Sleeper, conductor