Have you ever imagined what the slalom event at the Olympic Games would look like if athletes’ skis were replaced by antique wooden ones or if bikes from yesteryear were swapped for carbon bikes for the Tour de France?
Unthinkable in sports, and yet in music, such crossovers open up a field of possibilities. As an internationally renowned flutist, a teacher involved in her community, and co-founder of Arion Baroque Orchestra, Claire Guimond has accomplished what she set out to do: to bring the expressive, colourful sounds of ancient instruments back to life, with a contemporary, enlightened vision of the baroque scene. Moving forward through history.
When she co-founded her quartet in the early 1980s, even she couldn’t have guessed it would become the lasting, celebrated orchestra it is today. And the ensemble she has dedicated four decades to has made Montréal an essential stop for the greatest early music conductors in North America and Europe. This proves not only her leadership but also the artistic intelligence and kindness she has shown in her quest for excellence and sharing music with the public.
Figurehead of early music in Canada, Claire Guimond has earned many honours during her career, including Opus and Betty Webster awards, recognizing her lasting contribution to the orchestral community. Her prolific roadmap, dotted with a growing number of foreign tours and a discography of some 40 recordings, have resulted in beautiful, grand harmonies, celebrated with ever more enthusiasm for baroque music.
Concert “Magnificat” by Arion Orchestre Baroque at Église Notre-Dame. Credit : Jean Guimond
About the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec is a distinction bestowed by CALQ honouring those individuals who have played a prominent role in Québec’s artistic development.
The CALQ would like to thanks its partners, the Caisse de la Culture and the newspaper Le Devoir.