The flute has always been the flagship instrument of the Haute école de musique de Genève (HEM). Educators such as André Pépin and Maxence Larrieu have contributed to the class’s renown at European level. Today, the flute class at the HEM benefits from the kind teaching of its two professors, Michel Bellavance and Jacques Zoon. 

Very active on the international scene, they are not only renowned solo artists and chamber musicians, but also committed teachers. On top of their teaching, they regularly invite influential flautists to the university to give Masterclasses.

The students taking the HEM’s flute classes benefit from a particularly stimulating learning environment, which emphasizes their cultural diversity. The atmosphere is one that favours human contact and new friendships. Besides the individual classes, there is a large number and variety of opportunities to play in a group: orchestra sessions, chamber music, multi-disciplinary projects. Once a month, the class organises recitals with accompaniment on the piano or harpsichord. Simulations of orchestra contests are also regularly held.

Our students are encouraged to broaden their horizons by taking classes in a second instrument, such as the traverso or the piccolo. The school makes a high-quality set of instruments available to them, ranging from the piccolo to the bass flute. Thanks to the resources at our ‘Centre de musique électroacoustique’ (Centre for electro-acoustic music, CME), they can also experiment with avant-garde styles of music through amplification, the use of effect pedals, etc.

The close ties that the HEM maintains with the region’s professional ensembles offer our students numerous opportunities to play in renowned ensembles such as the Orchestre de la Suisse romande (OSR), the Orchestre de Chambre de Genève (OCG) or the Ensemble de musique contemporaine Contrechamps.  The richness of the music scene in French-speaking Switzerland, the music-loving public and the numerous patrons mean that there are ample opportunities for engagement, to enrich their practice and develop their network of contacts. 


Michel Bellavance

Professor of Flute - Woodwind Chamber Music

Miyazawa artist, the Canadian-Swiss flutist Michel Bellavance has been a soloist in concertos by Nielsen, Ibert, Reinecke, Bernstein, Kabalevski, Liebermann, Mozart, Bach, and Vivaldi with orchestras in Europe and Latin America, including the Gulbenkian Orchestra in Lisbon, the Geneva Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Peru, the Mendoza Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bahia State Symphony Orchestra, and the Maracaibo Symphony Orchestra. Michel Bellavance has performed at festivals in Switzerland, the United States, Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Chile, Colombia, and Ecuador. He has been featured on radio broadcasts by CBC, Radio Suisse Romande, and National Public Radio, and has given recitals in cities such as Prague, Barcelona, Geneva, Madrid, Basel, London, Zurich, Paris, Montreal, Ottawa, Washington DC, New York (Carnegie Hall), Hong Kong, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Lima, São Paulo, Brasilia, Buenos Aires, and Bogotá. His recordings for Meridian Records, Atma Classique, Brioso Recordings, and SNE have been praised by international critics and reflect his keen interest in new repertoire and lesser-known works. Alongside his performing career, Michel Bellavance is a flute professor at the HEM – Geneva, and he regularly gives masterclasses in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, notably at the Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories, the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, as well as at the International Flute Festivals of San Jose and Lima. Learn more about Michel Bellavance

Jacques Zoon

Professeur de flûte

Jacques Zoon fait ses études au conservatoire Sweelinck d'Amsterdam avec Koos Verheul et Harrie Starreveld, puis au Canada au Bannf Center for the Arts auprès de Geoffrey Gilbert et András Adorján. Il remporte le 2e prix du Concours Willem Pijper en 1981. En 1987, il reçoit le Prix spécial du jury au concours Jean-Pierre Rampal. D’abord membre de l'Orchestre des Jeunes des Pays-Bas (Nationaal Jeugd Orkest) et de l'Orchestre des jeunes de l'Union européenne, Jacques Zoon est par la suite nommé première flûte solo de l'Orchestre Philharmonique d'Amsterdam, de l'Orchestre Philharmonique de la Haye et enfin de l'Orchestre royal du Concertgebouw, poste qu’il occupera de 1988 à 1994. De 1989 à 1997 il est flûte solo au sein de l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Berlin et de l'Orchestre de Chambre d'Europe. En 1997, il est nommé flûte solo de l'Orchestre Symphonique de Boston, puis « Musicien de l'année » en 1998 par le Boston Globe. Il est actuellement flûte solo à l'Orchestre du Festival de Lucerne et l'Orchestre Mozart, tous deux placés sous la direction de Claudio Abbado. Il donne aujourd'hui des concerts en tant que soliste et chambriste et collabore avec de nombreux orchestres réputés dans le monde entier. Il a réalisé de nombreux enregistrements pour Deutsche Grammophon, Philips, Decca, Chandos, Boston Records, Vanguard Classics, Schwann-Koch, Pony Canyon, notamment. En 1991, il reçoit avec le pianiste Bernd Backman l’Edison Award pour leur enregistrement consacré à la musique contemporaine néerlandaise pour flûte et piano. Il enseigne de 1988 à 1994 au Conservatoire de Rotterdam, à l'Université de l'Indiana entre 1994 et 1997 et à l'Université de Boston et au Conservatoire de la Nouvelle-Angleterre de 1997 à 2001. Il enseigne également la musique de chambre à l'École de musique Reina Sofia de Madrid. Il est professeur à la Haute école de musique de Genève depuis 2002. En savoir plus sur Jacques Zoon

Michel Bellavance
jacques zoon

Departments and associated courses