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was a flautist
A flautist or flutist is a musician who plays an instrument in the flute family. See List of flautists.The choice of "flautist" versus "flutist" is the source of dispute among players of the instrument...
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...
. He was taught the flute
The flute is a musical instrument of the woodwind family. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening...
by his father, Venceslau Joseph Köhler, who was the first flute of the Duke of Modena's orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...
In 1869, after beginning his career as a flautist, he moved to Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...
and then on to Saint Petersburg
Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea...
in 1871. He remained in Saint Petersburg for the rest of life as a member of the orchestra of the Imperial Opera. He was also a soloist and composer, taught at the Prinz Oldenburg Institute, and led the orchestra of the Imperial Institute of Engineering.
He composed over 100 works for the flute: études, duets, and solos. Köhler also produced an opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...
and several ballets. He is well known among flute players for "Flöten-Schule"
, his popular method for learning the flute, which he developed circa 1880.
He is famous for Progress in Flute Playing
(his Opus 33, published in the 1880s). This was a series of three instructional books for the flute player, starting with "Easy" and going on to "Advanced".
Ernesto Köhler died in Saint Petersburg on March 17, 1907