Project Description

Described as “technically brilliant and always musical…beautiful solo…. excellent”, Gwen Klassen is the Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo of your Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the position she has held since 1995.

Ms. Klassen was born and raised in Winnipeg, where she studied flute from the age of nine. She continued her musical training at the University of Manitoba, graduating on the Dean’s List, with a Bachelors of Music in flute performance, winning many competitions, awards and scholarships along the way. Ms. Klassen went on to study at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois under renowned pedagogue Walfrid Kujala. At age 22, Ms. Klassen received her Masters of Music from Northwestern University with the prestigious award for Performance Excellence.

Ms. Klassen has recorded for CBC on many occasions. She has performed as soloist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra frequently, generating rave reviews from conductors, musicians and audiences alike. Gwen has partnered with her brilliant colleagues in the CPO, performing in annual recitals in Calgary.

Ms. Klassen is a dedicated teacher. After taking a few years respite from teaching to raise her children, she is now Sessional Instructor of Flute at the University of Calgary. Her students have won orchestral positions as well as National competitions. She has been asked to give Masterclasses throughout Western Canada and has adjudicated for CMC competition and the Syrinx Flute Festival.

Gwen is the Founder and Director of The Pender Island Flute Retreat (, where she teaches and performs along side her flute heroes; International Flute soloists William Bennett and Lorna McGhee; culminating in the 2011 release of a “Live” CD, which Ms. Klassen produced as well. The Pender Island Flute Retreat ( has been sold out annually since its 2010 debut.