Bands/Musicians The Greatest Flautists of All Time  

Ranker Music
1.9k votes 610 voters 11.1k views 70 items

List Rules The absolute best flautists in history. Vote up the musicians who are the best on the flute.

The flute is a very popular member of the woodwind family. Unlike other woodwind instruments that have a reed on the mouthpiece, like the clarinet, the flute is played by placing the mouth over the opening towards the top, and unless the flautist plays with exact precision the sound just won’t come out right. It's a very delicate instrument that must be played with great accuracy. Who are the greatest flautists of all time who have done this?

The flute has a very soft sound to it and mastering the craft is not just for anyone! But the musicians on this list have earned their place by being the best of the best. This list contains famous flautists, both living and dead, and has been ranked by music lovers to determine the all time best flautists.

This list features the all time greatest flautists including, Andrew Latimer, Buddy Collette, and Czesław Niemen. Vote up the best flute players below and see where the musicians you think are great rank.
list ordered by

1
114 45
James Galway is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Pop music, Classical music

2
116 49
Jean-Pierre Rampal is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz

3
153 87
Ian Anderson is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Blues-rock, Rock music, Folk rock

4
38 13
Aurele Nicolet is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time

5
26 5
Emmanuel Pahud is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
sarahhoganflute added Classical music, Jazz

6
21 7
Şefika Kutluer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
AlpanBalkis added Şefika Kutluer Classical

7
25 13
Jeanne Baxtresser is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
gnicholls added

8
23 13
Herbie Mann is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Marko Subic added Disco, World music, Jazz

9
49 38
Ron Burgundy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
bri-gri added Ron Burgundy Jazz, Jazz Funk, Jazz fusion - The most unbelievable jazz flautist of our time.

10
28 19
Hubert Laws is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz

11
12 4
Kudsi Ergüner is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
AlpanBalkis added Kudsi Ergüner

12
26 18
Dave Valentin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time

13
13 6
Jasmine Choi is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
harshraj added Jasmine Choi

14
17 10
Frederick II of Prussia is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Bryan James Umayam added

15
24 20
Jim Lockhart is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
bri-gri added Jim Lockhart Celtic Rock - Member of legendary Irish Celtic rock band, Horslips

16
15 12
Jeremy Steig is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Jazz fusion, Jazz

17
14 11
Trevor Wye is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Classical music

18
12 10
Ray Thomas is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
bri-gri added Ray Thomas Rock music

19
34 34
Thijs van Leer is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Jazz, Progressive rock, Neoclassicism

20
15 14
Jacques-Martin Hotteterre is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Classical; Baroque

21
5 4
Paula Robison is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Brian Fox added

22
4 3
Mercan Dede is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
AlpanBalkis added Mercan Dede World music

23
10 10
Marco Di Meco is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
UlfangJilo added Marco Di Meco Jazz, Avant-garde - Italian jazz flutist and composer.

24
18 19
Ron Korb is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
New Age, World music, Jazz

25
16 17
Yusef Lateef is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
New Age music, Third stream, Swing music

26
16 17
Nestor Torres is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Classical; contemporary; folk

27
14 15
Peter Gabriel is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
bri-gri added New Wave, Pop music, Rock music

28
13 14
Bobbi Humphrey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Jazz fusion, Jazz

29
12 13
Paul Horn is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
New Age, Jazz

30
1 2
Paula Robinson is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Brian Fox added Paula Robinson

31
7 9
Virginia Hudson is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Classical; contemporary

32
7 9
Lew Tabackin is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time

33
6 8
Doriot Anthony Dwyer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Doriot Anthony Dwyer Classical music

34
6 8
Robert Aiken is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
gnicholls added Robert Aiken

Robert Aitken is a Canadian flautist, composer, and specialist in new music.

35
5 7
Ana Caram is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Bossa nova

36
7 10
Gareth McLearnon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Folk music, Classical music

37
6 9
Roberto Fabbriciani is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Roberto Fabbriciani Classical music

38
7 11
Andrea Griminelli is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Andrea Griminelli

39
5 9
Hsu Wei Yen is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
YOmom added Hsu Wei Yen

40
4 8
Buddy Collette is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Cool jazz, West Coast jazz, West Coast blues

41
3 7
Jadwiga Kotnowska is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Jadwiga Kotnowska Classical music

42
6 11
Nelson Rangell is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
John Patterson added Smooth jazz

43
4 9
Jane Rutter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Jane Rutter Classical; contemporary

44
4 9
Alexander Zonjic is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
John Patterson added Alexander Zonjic

45
2 7
Pravin Godkhindi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Hindustani classical music

46
2 7
Burton Cummings is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
bri-gri added Rock music

47
2 7
David Odzelashvili is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
lazareodzelashvili added David Odzelashvili

48
2 7
Czesław Niemen is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Avant-garde jazz, Folk music, Electronic music

49
10 17
Herbie Hancock is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Kozmigroov, Jazz-funk, Electro

50
1 6
Hilary Du Pré is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Flautists of All Time
Hilary Du Pré Classical; contemporary