Emma Hospelhorn, flute

Emma Hospelhorn headshot

Praised by the Chicago Classical Review for her “standout” and “joyful” playing, Emma Hospelhorn is a flutist whose creative practices resist easy categorization. As a member of Ensemble Dal Niente, she has premiered or recorded works by composers including George Lewis, Hilda Paredes, Tania León, Erin Gee, Jeff Parker, Igor Santos, Roscoe Mitchell, and hundreds more. As one half of The Machine Is Neither…, an electroacoustic duo centered around motion-catpure technology, she has co-composed works including Terra Lingua (2019/2020) for dancers in motion-capture suits and live instruments, and Tree of Secrets (2018) for audience and listening lamp. She records and performs with a number of rock and pop groups, and additional collaborations include a working duo for instruments and homemade circuits with cellist Katinka Kleijn, as well as stints with the Neo-Futurists, Lookingglass Theatre, and Silk Road Rising. She also writes and performs experimental folk music as Em Spel. 

Recent performances include Theatro Sao Pedro in São Paulo, Brazil; Thalia Hall in Chicago; Big Ears Festival in Knoxville; the Walt Disney Concert Hall for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Noon to Midnight; Forum for New Music Mexico City; the Library of Congress; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC. Emma is the recipient of a 2022 composer’s fellowship at the Eastern Frontier Foundation’s Norton Island Residency. 

Emma is the music director for Musical Bridges to Memory, a therapeutic program for patients with dementia and their families. She holds a PhD in Learning Sciences from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where her research focuses on spatial and embodied learning in musical contexts. She brings a research-based and student-centered perspective to her teaching practice as flute instructor for the Chicago Academy for the Arts and New Trier High School. She also holds degrees from Columbia University and CUNY Queens College, and was a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago from 2007-2009. For full discography and list of publications, visit emmahospelhorn.com.