Self-confessed “flute nerd” Canadian flutist Laurel Swinden has been praised for her sweet and distinct tone…breathtaking in colour (Whole Note). Dr. Swinden embraces a multi-faceted career as a recitalist, orchestral musician, pedagogue, clinician and music scholar.
Not daunted by any musical challenge, Laurel is equally at home with 18th century through 21st century repertoire, whether it be a premiere of a contemporary electroacoustic work, new arrangements for flute with brass, standard of the flute repertoire, works for piccolo, alto and bass flute, eighteenth-century Scottish works on traverso and keyed flutes, or Irish and Scottish flute tunes. “If its great music, its worthy of playing!”
Recent performances as an invited guest artist include recitals at the Festivales Internacionales des Flautistas in Lima, Peru, National Flute Association Conventions (USA), the Sichuan Conservatory, Canadian Flute Conventions, and the Perimeter Institute. In addition to her positions as Principal Flute of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and Assistant Principal Flute/Piccolo of the Scarborough Philharmonic, Dr. Swinden has performed with the Musicians of Orchestra London, Windsor Symphony, Toronto Sinfonietta, Memphis Symphony, Mississippi Symphony and Tupelo Symphonies.
Lauded as “beautifully played…” with “…her very musical phrasing is matched in every turn by longtime collaborator, Stephanie Mara…” (Audiophilia), Laurel’s CD Celebrating Women: Music for Flute and Piano by Women Composers was the first of a multi-CD project with a mission to bring wider attention to works for flute written by women composers. Her successive CD Celebrating Canadian Women! received generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
A passionate and dedicated teacher, Dr. Swinden teaches Flute at Wilfrid Laurier University, the University of Guelph and the Laurier Conservatory of Music. Laurel was Visiting Assistant Professor of Flute at the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2017 and has taught at the University of Windsor, Western University and the University of Mississippi.
In demand as a clinician, teacher, adjudicator, coach and examiner, Dr. Swinden adjudicates at festivals across Canada, the United States and Peru. She has served as a juror for the Ontario Arts Council and the National Flute Association’s Myrna Brown International Scholarship competition. Dr. Swinden has given masterclasses in China, Peru, the United States and across Canada. In addition to her home studio in Cambridge, Ontario, Laurel gives Skype lessons to flutists all over the globe as the first Canadian-based flutist on the roster of Play-With-A-Pro.
Dr. Swinden earned a DMA in Flute Performance as a Fellowship recipient at the University of Toronto, where she studied with Toronto Symphony Principal Flute Nora Schulman and traverso with Alison Melville. Her training includes residencies at the Banff Centre and the Harid Conservatory (now Lynn University.) Laurel sought additional training in masterclasses and lessons with Jim Walker, Jeffrey Zook, Jan Gippo, Leone Buyse, Kathleen Rudolph, Bernard Goldberg, Keith Underwood, Philippe-Alain Dupré, Lisa Besnoziuk and Carol Wincenc.
Dr. Swinden gratefully acknowledges support from the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Canadian Federation of University Women, Waterloo Region Arts Council, Tafelmusik, David and Marcia Beach Scholarship fund, and the London Music Scholarship Foundation.