Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, Claude Villaret studied piano and conducting. He received important artistic inspiration from Sergiu Celibidache and Bernard Haitink and was invited by Bernard Haitink to follow his work with the European Youth Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
After his studies he lived in Argentina where he has founded the Youth Orchestra of Latin America in 1990, and worked as its artistic director at the famous Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.
Four years later he returned to Europe and won the conducting competition of the music academy in Biel. Since then he has celebrated countless triumphs in major European musical centers such as Berlin, Salzburg, Milan, Vienna, Prague and London as well as in the great concert halls around the world, such as the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, the Sala Sao Paolo in Brazil, the Megaron in Athens, the Smetana Hall in Prague, the Tonhalle in Zurich and the KKL in Lucerne.
He elicits the best out of ensembles with his precise technique in combination with impassioned interpretations. He works regularly with soloists such as Francisco Araiza, Dimitris Sgouros, Antonio Meneses, Peter Bruns and Patricia Pagny, who particularly value his skills as an accompanist.
He is the principal guest conductor of the Thailand Philharmonic Orchestra since December 2005, enjoying success for his first performances of the major orchestral works by Mahler, Bruckner and Shostakovich as well as by Ravel, Debussy and Bartók in Thailand.
Villaret has earned widespread praise for his innovative programs and many premiere performances as the head conductor and artistic director of the TKO Thurgau Chamber Orchestra since 2004. Claude Villaret is likewise an impassioned opera conductor of works from Mozart to premieres by contemporary composers.