Gwen Klassen began her tenure as the Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo, endowed chair, of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra after graduating at age 22, with a masters of music degree from Northwestern University, where she won the prestigious award for Performance Excellence.
In addition to her regular role with the Calgary Phil as solo piccolo and Assistant Principal Flute, Klassen can be heard as concerto soloist and as Acting Principal Flute. Her most recent review from the Calgary Herald: “The brilliant sections (of Dvorak Eight’s last movement) ….could hardly have been bettered with …terrific virtuosic licks by flutist Gwen Klassen” (May 2019).
Klassen is a dedicated member of the Calgary community; as a producer, chamber music performer for various charities, and as the Sessional Flute Instructor at the University of Calgary.
As a Musician Wellness and Leadership Coach, Klassen is published, and is a visiting guest lecturer across the country; bringing her enthusiasm, humour, education, and experience to her unique workshops from from coast to coast, as well as online.
Klassen is passionate about integrating who we are, with what we do, and the ability of music to expand one’s mind and heart in unexpected ways. This is the foundation of her vision for the annual, internationally renowned, Pender Island Flute Retreat, of which she has been Founder and Director for over 10 years. www.fluteretreat.com
Klassen’s musical highlight is recording, teaching, coaching, and performing annually with international flute giants, William Bennett and Lorna McGhee, at the flute retreat.