June Warhoftig

June Warhoftig

June Warhoftig: 1943-2020

It is with great sadness to note the death of flutist June Warhoftig, who passed away peacefully on February 22, 2020. June was known for her easy manner, her friendly, sweet smile with quick laughter and her readiness to help. She was accomplished in all of her endeavors including performing, teaching, sewing, cooking, sports, and her many other interests.

June was chosen by Toshio Takahashi, the founder of his Suzuki Method for Flute, as a cornerstone in establishing his method in North America. Her husband, Barry, has kindly given his remembrance of how June became involved in becoming one of a few original teacher trainers in flute in this country.

After graduating from the Crane School of Music in New York State, June performed as principal flutist with the West Virginia Symphony for more than 30 years. During the mid-to-late 1970s, her daughter, Rebecca, studied violin with fellow symphony member and concertmaster John Lambros. John was committed to the teachings and philosophies of the Suzuki Method for Violin and worked with Rebecca from age four.

As a family and when Rebecca was 10 years old, the Warhoftig’s enrolled her and her younger brother, David, in the University of Wisconsin’s Stevens Point Summer Suzuki Institute for violin and beginning cello classes. Mr. Takahashi also came to Stevens Point to introduce his method for flute in North America. June enrolled in his masterclasses.

Over a period of several Stevens Point institutes, June became enamored with The Suzuki Method. Recognizing her abilities and high standards, Mr. Takahashi chose her as an ideal candidate to join a small group of registered teacher trainers representing his method. She traveled to Japan in 1987 to study flute pedagogy and the philosophies and principles of Shinichi Suzuki’s method of teaching.

June was thorough in her teaching, and approached everyone she met with a gentle, loving and easy smile. She was faithful to her family and friends and loyal to her students. Barry added that she was modest about her role in promoting and advancing the Suzuki Flute Method in the United states and in Canada, the United Kingdom, Peru and Chile. Many students, teachers and colleagues remain touched by her contributions to the Suzuki Method and its philosophies.

The Warhoftigs retired to Deerfield Beach, Florida.