Claire Guimond is a Canadian flute player, founding member and former Artistic Director of Arion Baroque Orchestra.
Claire Guimond is a leading baroque flute player, first established in Canada and later recognised on the world scene.
She is a founding member of Arion Baroque Orchestra and was the Artistic Director from 1981 to 2020. During this time, she brought to Montreal world class conductors and soloists specialising in early music to lead the orchestra and share their expertise. She also collaborated with musicologists in Italy, Spain and the UK in creating world premiere recordings and première performances in North America of rediscovered musical gems. With Arion she performed in North and South America, Europe and Asia. In addition to her artistic role, Claire undertook the additional role of General Manager of the orchestra for several years when it became necessary to establish more comprehensive management systems. She also put in place a succession plan for herself as Artistic Director and implemented it.
Claire has recorded more than 40 internationally distributed CDs, including nearly 30 with Arion. She has recorded albums as a soloist with harpsichordists Luc Beauséjour and Gary Cooper, cellist Jaap ter Linden and violinist Monica Huggett, among others. In addition, she has made radio and television recordings for Canadian, British, Belgian, Irish and Mexican stations.
She performed under such distinguished conductors as Ton Koopman, Masaaki Suzuki, Christophe Rousset, Andrew Parrott, Jordi Savall, Philippe Herreweghe, Enrico Onofri, Rinaldo Alessandrini, Barthold Kuijken, Kent Nagano, Bruno Weil, Andrea Marcon, Jaap Ter Linden and many others.
In October 2019, Claire Guimond was awarded the Betty Webster Award by Orchestras Canada for her sustained and significant contribution over a number of years to the Canadian orchestral community, with an emphasis on leadership, education and volunteerism. In January 2020, the Conseil Québécois de la Musique awarded Claire the Opus Prize for Artistic Director of the year. This award marks a final high-level season crowning more than three decades of remarkable work. The jury members mentioned that with her clear artistic vision, supported by an unrelenting determination, Claire Guimond leaves an invaluable legacy to her orchestra and her team.
Many concerts and recordings in which Claire participated as a flutist or Artistic Director were given awards – Prix Opus, Juno Award, Félix Prize, International Handel Recording Prize, etc.
Claire Guimond was artistic director of the Lamèque International Baroque Music Festival from 2000 to 2005.
She is regularly invited as a jury member for graduate studies recitals in early music and for music competitions. In June 2017 she was a judge at the International Festival of Early Music in Val de Loire (France) under the presidency of William Christie.
Claire is also an exceptional teacher. She taught baroque flute at McGill University from 1980 to 2019 at the Baccalaureate, Master's and PhD level and also taught chamber music from 1980 to 1997. Claire regularly gives master classes and teaches at the Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute, which has been held in Toronto every summer since 2006. She has had the opportunity to contribute to the development of many musicians from Canada and elsewhere.
I have extensive teaching experience and have contributed to the training of many musicians; having taught historical flutes at McGill University from 1981 to 2019 and led students to their doctorates. I regularly give master classes, notably at the Tafelmusik Summer Institute which has been held every June since 2006. I give a master class annually at McGill University to wind instrumentalists (modern instruments) on historically informed performance. I am now also teaching online using the following platforms: Zoom, FaceTime, Skype.
I have known Claire Guimond for many years, both as a teacher and as a performer. Her annual master classes on Baroque style for modern instruments at the Schulich School of Music at McGill University draw performers as varied as saxophonists, clarinetists, and of course flutists. I strongly encourage non Baroque musicians as well as Early Music specialists to seek Ms. Guimond’s guidance. She is as outstanding as a teacher as she is as a performer. —Carolyn Christie
Montreal Symphony Orchestra, retired
Associate Professor of Flute, Schulich School of Music at McGill University
National Youth Orchestra of Canada flute instructor, retired
Mental Performance Skills Consultant
Tuve la oportunidad de tomar clases con Claire Guimond en Montreal y considero que han sido una de mis mejores y profundas experiencias formativas en el traverso. Generosa, siempre de buen humor, creativa e incansable docente con sólida formación, referente de la interpretación historicista ineludible. Las versiones con su ensamble Arion están siempre entre mis favoritas desde antes de conocerla, por lo que para mi fue un honor haber sido su alumno. —Lucas Ramallo
Licenciado en flauta UNCuyo, Mendoza, Argentina
Magister en Interpretación de la música antigua ESMUC, Barcelona, España
I studied with Claire for many years. She is a passionate and insightful teacher with a wide musical experience. She has thought very carefully about all aspects of technique related to historical flutes. Claire challenges her students to expand their expressive means while remaining close to the sources. —Joanna Marsden (United States/Canada)
Depuis plusieurs mois, je prends des cours de flûte baroque et de flûte classique avec Claire et c’est pour moi du pur bonheur! Par sa finesse musicale et sa grande sensibilité, Claire trouve toujours le bon mot pour me faire avancer autant au niveau musical que technique. Elle est encourageante, généreuse, présente et dynamique. Claire est une musicienne extraordinaire de réputation internationale et une pédagogue exceptionnelle. Je l’adore et je souhaite poursuivre mes cours avec elle aussi longtemps que possible. —Nadia Labrie (Canada)