She was predestined. Claire Gibault grew up in Le Mans with a father passionate about music and music theory teacher. The evidence is immediate: "I adored him, I shared with him a passion for music and especially for music theory. From the age of 4, I loved reading notes," she recalls.
She first learned the piano, then the violin... The young Claire won all the prizes, and very quickly, the conducting attracted her. She sees it as an opportunity to discover the entire symphonic repertoire. Again, she met with success, but the arrival of a woman in such a position was surprising:
"I entered the conducting class in Paris, there were 2 places out of 24 candidates. I came out first prize! At the time, it made the front page of France-Soir: we read on the same page "A man walked on the moon" and "A woman conducted an orchestra". »
The conductor then came up against the reality of a predominantly male profession and drew several lessons: "It's better to be stubborn, hardworking and not susceptible," she concedes. Always keep in mind the goal you have set for yourself, and give yourself the weapons to go to the end of what you want to do. Conducting an orchestra also means reuniting sensibilities, so that everyone finds their place. As a woman, you take blows, you meet resistance. It takes a lot of resilience. »
A character that gives her the strength to create the La Maestra competition, reserved only for female conductors: "In 2016, there were only 4% of women conductors programmed in the European institutions. After La Maestra, we went to 12% last year. »
A residency in Bourges to meet the public
Commitment being at the heart of Claire's personality, it was in 2011 that she created the Paris Mozart Orchestra, an orchestra dedicated to sharing music outside concert halls to take it to prisons, schools or nursing homes: "I created it with very talented musicians with whom I enjoyed working, explains the conductor. We are all signing a charter inspired by fundamental rights in which we commit ourselves to combating all forms of discrimination. "
Since this season, the orchestra has been in residence in Bourges as part of its candidacy for the title of European Capital of Culture, to meet all audiences, in the city and beyond: "What interests me is to promote culture in rural areas," says Claire.
Thanks to this award, the winner of the first category of Chaumet's Echo Culture Awards will be able to develop the solidarity activities of her orchestra in the Centre-Val de Loire region. The presentation of this prize was also an opportunity for encounters between universes that have much in common, and the confirmation that culture is essential:
"Both Maison Chaumet and the jury understood our forms of commitment," she concludes. We need beauty in life, and it can take different forms. The history of art marries the great History, they are the expression of a state of society. »
Claire is delighted to see her passion and convictions communicated to her collaborators within the Paris Mozart Orchestra: "It's wonderful to see what music, art in general, can bring to the development of a being. That's important to me. I believe in everything we have put in place, I prepare young chefs. One day, I will pass it all on. »