Geert Chatrou: Three-Time Whistling World Champion

Remember that one time Geert Chatrou was named Whistling World Champion? And that other time? And the time after that? Yeah. Crazy, right?

 

These are the types of people you find on the PINC stage.

 

Geert Chatrou joined us at PINC.Sarasota in 2015. He plays the recorder, the flute, the alto saxophone and the oboe, but his lips are his favorite instrument. And we can see why. The man can whistle.

 

So, how does one get started in the art of competitive whistling? Family members. That’s how.

When Geert’s former sister-in-law heard about the whistling world championship, she urged him to go to North Carolina and give it a shot. In April 2004, he impressed the jury with his whistled version of a concerto by Vivaldi, beating out 27 other finalists. After his first victory, he came back to defend his title in 2005 (United States) and 2008 (Japan), winning both of those as well.

As you probably could have guessed, the number of serious whistlers out there is a bit small. It’s a rare talent not many people have, and those who do aren’t necessarily encouraged to develop the gift like most musicians.

According to an article recently shared in Atlas Obscura, one of Geert’s fellow serious whistlers, Molly Lewis, once reached out to him looking for some advice. She never expected him to answer her email, as she thought of him as a busy celebrity, but he wrote back in just a couple of hours.

His advice? Wear chapstick. He also shared with her a list of popular songs to consider.

The serious whistlers of the world make up an eclectic family of unique people with diverse backgrounds...kind of like PINC. We love seeing people like this come together to hone their craft and share their passion.

Click here to watch Geert Chatrou’s full segment at PINC.Sarasota 2015.