Oboist Gwendolyn Buttemer joined the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra in 2014. Before moving to Thunder Bay she was Principal Oboe of the Stratford Symphony Orchestra and played regularly with the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony. She was also a member of the Toronto-based Blythwood Winds, and a founding member of the Kitchener-based Spiritus Ensemble.
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Gwen began playing the oboe at the age of 13. She was a winner of the Victoria Symphony Young Musicians Concerto Competition in 2006, and a recipient of British Columbia Arts Council grants in 2007, 2008, and 2011, which allowed her to continue her music studies at the post-secondary level. Gwen holds a Bachelor of Music in Oboe Performance from Wilfrid Laurier University, where she was the winner of the 2010 Concerto Competition and the 2011 Ken Murray Concerto Competition and Award of Distinction, and a Master of Music in Oboe Performance from the New England Conservatory.
While studying in Boston Gwen became an active free-lance musician, holding the position of Principal Oboe of the Boston Civic Symphony and performing with many other groups in the area, including the Boston New Music Initiative, Atlantic Wind Symphony, Dorchester Symphony, and PALS Children’s Chorus (for the American premier of the opera Moby Dick).
Gwen has toured as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (2009), and was a member of Canada’s National Academy Orchestra for two years (2013 and 2014). Her principal teachers include Russell Bajer, William Bennett, James Mason, and Mark McEwen.