Emmanuel Pahud was born in Geneva in 1970 and spent most of his childhood in Italy and Belgium; he began learning the flute at the age of just four, after becoming captivated by hearing a neighbour practising a Mozart concerto. He studied at the Conservatoire de Paris, where he won several high-profile competitions whilst still in his teens, and joined the Basel Radio Symphony Orchestra as principal flautist straight from college. After graduation he continued to study privately with Aurèle Nicolet, and in 1992 he won the First Prize at the Concours International de Genève and was appointed principal flute of the Berliner Philharmoniker (a position which Nicolet herself had previously occupied).
Pahud’s solo discography encompasses concertos by CPE Bach, Telemann, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart and Nielsen as well as contemporary composers Dalbavie, Jarrell and Pintscher, Solo (a collection of works for unaccompanied flute from Telemann to Takemitsu), and numerous chamber-music projects including three albums as part of Les Vents Français. He is also committed to contemporary music (he premiered Elliott Carter’s Flute Concerto under Daniel Barenboim in 2008) and jazz.