Nancy Ruffer was born in Detroit and received a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. That same year she was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship to do post-graduate study at The Royal Academy of Music. She has remained in London working as a free-lance flautist specializing in contemporary music.
She has been principal flute in the ensembles Matrix, Music Projects/London, Apartment House and The Almeida Ensemble, and has performed in the orchestras at The Royal National Theatre for productions including ‘Lady in the Dark’, ‘Oklahoma!’ and ‘His Dark Materials’. In addition she has worked with The London Sinfonietta, Endymion, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and various chamber groups and orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. She has recorded frequently both as soloist and ensemble player for the BBC, has performed in festivals and concert halls throughout Britain and abroad, and is featured on numerous CD’s of contemporary music. Among the composers who have written for her are Michael Finnissy, Chris Dench, Ian Wilson, David Charles Martin, Christopher Fox, Graham Fitkin, Julia Usher, John White, Michael Parsons, Rob Keeley, David Kosviner and Laurence Crane.
Ms. Ruffer was awarded the Kranichsteiner Prize for Performance at Darmstadt in 1984. In 1997 she was elected as an Associate of The Royal Academy of Music. In 1996 and 1998 she devised and presented, along with saxophonist John Butcher, a highly successful series at the Conway Hall in London entitled ‘Sound Art ‘ in which ‘new-complexity’ music was presented alongside improvised music. She has a trio with John Butcher and Max Eastley (sound sculpture) entitled ‘Closed Circuit’.
CDs include ‘Trios for Flute, Oboe and Piano’ on the Dutton Epoch label, with John Anderson, oboe and Helen Crayford, piano; ‘Eddie McGuire’ for flute, guitar (Abigail James) and piano (Dominic Saunders) on Delphian; ‘British Fantasies, American Dreams’, consisting of 20th century music for flute and piano (recorded with pianist Helen Crayford) on the Guild label, ‘Pipe Dreams’, a CD of trios for two flutes (with Anna Pope) and piano (Helen Crayford) on Guild, and a solo CD of contemporary flute works entitled ‘Multiplicities’ on the Metier label.