Julius Baker (September 23, 1915 - August 8, 2003) was one of the foremost American orchestral flute players. He was well known as a teacher and served as a faculty member at the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music. He made many recordings, with conductors such as Bruno Walter and Leonard Bernstein, and was been a member of the Cleveland Orchestra, solo flutist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, and Columbia Symphony Orchestra.
As a teacher, Baker's influence spread far beyond his students at Juilliard and Curtis through his masterclasses, as well as his recordings of standard repertoire and with the New York Philharmonic. Among his most famous pupils are Paula Robison, a well-know soloist and chamber musician who is now on the faculty of the New England Conservatory; Jeffrey Khaner, currently principal flute of the Philadelphia Orchestra, also for a period principal flute of the Cleveland Orchestra, on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music; Gary Schocker, a flute soloist and composer; Jeanne Baxtresser, who succeeded him as principal flutist of the New York Philharmonic and recently retired to devote herself to teaching; Ann Denier Giles, principal flute of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Anne Briggs, a noted baroque flutist and busy free-lance musician in New York.
Mr. Baker passed away in 2003 after a long and distinguished career as an orchestral flutist. He was principal flute of the New York Philharmonic for 18 years. Additionally, he was one of the founding members of the Bach Aria Group, with whom he played from 1946 to 1964.