Gheorghe Zamfir (born April 6, 1941) is a Romanian nai (pan flute) musician. Zamfir is known for playing an expanded version of normally 20-pipe nai, with 22, 25, 28 or even 30 pipes, to increase its range, and obtaining as many as eight overtones (additional to the fundamental tone) from each pipe by changing his embouchure. He is known as “The Master of the Pan Flute”.
In 1977, he recorded “The Lonely Shepherd” with James Last. Zamfir put himself on the world map and since then his career became highly varied, hovering over classical repertoire, easy listening and pop music.
Between 1976 and 1983, Zamfir had six album peak within the Australian top 100 albums charts, with The Flutes of Pan, his best, peaking at number 26 in 1980.
Zamfir’s big break in the English-speaking world came when the BBC religious television program, The Light of Experience, adopted his recording of “Doina De Jale”, a traditional Romanian funeral song, as its theme. Epic Records released the tune as a single in 1976, and it climbed to number four on the UK Singles chart. It would prove to be his only UK hit single, but it helped pave the way for a consistent stream of album sales in Britain. His song “Summer Love” reached number 9 in South Africa in November 1976.
In 1983, he scored a No. 3 hit on the Canadian Adult Contemporary chart with “Blue Navajo,” and several of his albums (including 1982’s Romance and 1983’s Childhood Dreams) have charted in Canada as well. His 1985 album, Atlantis, contained tracks composed by Jacques Brel and Eric Satie, plus music from films and Zamfir’s version of “Stranger on the Shore”.
Recordings by Gheorghe Zamfir you can hear at Instrumentals Forever:
|Ave Maria (Schubert)|
|Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A (K622)|
|Concerto For Flute And Orchestra In C (Grétry)|
|Der Einsamer Hirte (& James Last)|
|Duet from ”The Pearl Fishers” (Bizet)|
|For Your Eyes Only|
|Forest Dance (Zamfir)|
|Looks Like Suicide|
|Out Of Africa|
|Romance No 2 In F (Beethoven)|
|Rumanian Waltz (Zamfir)|
|Summer Of ’42|
|The Art Of The Violin (Locatelli)|
|Winter from ”The Four Seasons” (Vivaldi)|