FAIR OAKS, CALIFORNIA — Renowned flutist and symphony orchestra conductor Claude Monteux passed away at his residence in California Feb. 22, 2013, at the age of 92.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Marianne Monteux; and his son, Alain Monteux. He is survived by his sons, Kirk, Gerard and Robert Monteux; his daughter, Sylvia Monteux; and his stepsons, Fredi and Morton Cahn.
Claude Monteux, son of Pierre Monteux and Germaine Benedictus Monteux, was born in Brookline, Mass., in 1920, but spent his childhood in France. When he was 17 years old, he attended Black Mountain College in North Carolina. He began his musical career as a pianist but switched to the flute and studied with Georges Laurent, principal flutist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II with the show “This is the Army,” and later served as a translator at Gen. Patton’s headquarters in France. After the war, he embarked on a musical career that included concerts in the U.S. and Europe as well as performing in the pit orchestra for several Broadway shows. He recorded numerous albums including several with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields under the direction of Sir Neville Marriner. Claude also served as the assistant conductor for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and conductor and music director of the Columbus, Ohio Symphony Orchestra. In 1963, one year prior to Pierre’s death, Claude performed as soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra under the baton of his father which remains the only recording that they made together. In 1959, Claude assumed the directorship of the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Orchestra based in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Over the next 15 years, he transformed it into a highly regarded professional orchestra. Throughout his musical career and indeed until his death, he was a beloved teacher and mentor to flutists around the world. He taught flute at the New England Conservatory of Music, Peabody Institute, Vassar College and San Diego State University.
Mr. Monteux will be buried next to his wife, Marianne, in a private family gathering near his long time summer residence in Lamoine.