The resources on this website would not be possible without the help of the global bassoon community and really talented musicians who support us! These musicians represent countries around the world including:
UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Greece, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, USA
Please view their profiles below and check out their websites and social media channels!
San Ramon, California
Donovan Tong came up with the idea of B.O.S.S. in early Spring 2020. He is passionate about the bassoon, hoping to reach young musicians who may not realize the bassoon even exists. He first learned about the bassoon through a conversation that his dad had with a stranger on an airplane flight (who just happened to be a music teacher!), and has been playing bassoon ever since. He has realized that one of the biggest challenges for the bassoon is simply awareness. The main goal of the B.O.S.S. project is simply to get many more kids aware and excited about this incredible instrument.
Donovan has performed as 1st bassoon in multiple youth orchestras, played in top venues such as Carnegie Hall, and received distinctions such as the top bassoonist in Northern California, earning the distinction amongst students competing from over 540 schools.
Donovan started this project as a 9th grader attending DVHS in San Ramon. Originally envisioned to be a local project, due to the Covid pandemic and unexpected support from passionate bassoonists around the world, this project has since expanded globally.
Napa Valley, California
As one of the most highly recognized professional bassoonists over the last 20 years, Paul Hanson has rewritten the rulebook for what is possible on the bassoon. Paul’s repertoire encompasses musical aspects of all modern styles of improvised music, and he is an award-winning classical bassoonist and jazz saxophonist.
Paul has recorded and/or performed with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Wayne Shorter, Medeski Martin & Wood, Patrice Rushen, Abraham Laboriel, Will Kennedy, Bob Weir’s RATDOG, Peter Erskine, Billy Childs, Billy Higgins, Ray Charles, Charlie Hunter, Dennis Chambers, T. Lavitz from Dixie Dregs, Jeff Sipe, Jonas Hellborg, Omar Sosa, Bob Moses, Kai Eckhardt, Peter Apfelbaum and the Hieroglyphics Ensemble, The Paul Dresher Ensemble, DAVKA, St. Joseph Ballet Company, The Klezmorim, Cirque Du Soleil, as jazz soloist with the Oakland Eastbay Symphony Orchestra, as classical soloist with the Napa Symphony Orchestra (non-improvising) and more.
When he is not on musical tours performing around the world, Paul spends his time mentoring young bassoonists.
Laurence Perkins is one of Britain's leading bassoonists. As a soloist, principal orchestral player and as a tutor, he is a tireless champion of an instrument which to this day is less well-known and appreciated than it deserves to be.
During his 43 years as principal bassoonist with Manchester Camerata he performed in concerts throughout the UK (including the BBC Proms) and on overseas tours. Laurence has given solo concert performances throughout the UK and Europe, including recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room in London, concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra (at St. John’s, Smith Square) and with Manchester Camerata.
His solo CDs for the Hyperion label include a disc of concertos with conductor Douglas Boyd which received a five-star rating in the BBC Music Magazine, with the Mozart Concerto being a top selection in Building a Library on the BBC Radio 3 Record Review programme. A CD of shorter, lighter pieces “The Playful Pachyderm” with the New London Orchestra received outstanding reviews in the national and international media.
He is also a very experienced bassoon tutor and instructor.
Milan Turkovic is internationally known as one of the greatest bassoon soloists in the world. He grew up in Vienna and is of Austrian-Croatian descent.
After his career as a famous bassoon soloist, over the past two decades, Mr. Turkovic has become a highly successful conductor, making appearances all over the world, including Vienna, Salzburg, Graz, Milan, Venice, Florence, Rome, London, Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Prague, Krakow, Bratislava, Munich, New York, Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago de Chile and Brisbane with orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, the Vienna Radio Symphony, Munich Radio Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg, the Orchestra di Padova, The Rome Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra Sinfonica G. Verdi of Milan, the Krakow Philharmonic, the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the Nagoya Philharmonic, the National Orchestra of Taiwan, the Prague Philharmonia, the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra and the Austro-Hungarian-Philharmonic.
Brooklyn, New York
Bernard Garfield is considered the most well known American bassoonist of all time. He is a famous composer, teacher, and recording artist.
In 1946, Garfield organized the New York Woodwind Quintet, of which he was the director until 1957. From 1949 to 1957 Garfield held the position of principal bassoonist of the Little Orchestra Society of New York. He was also principal bassoonist with the New York City Ballet Orchestra from 1950 to 1957. Garfield's most noted engagement is his 43 years as the principal bassoonist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, from 1957 to 2000.
As a teacher, Garfield was on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music from 1976 to 2008. He also taught at Temple University from 1957-2004.
In addition to performing and teaching, Mr. Garfield is also a noted composer. His compositions include woodwind trios, three quartets for bassoon with string trio, piano solos, songs, and duets for bassoon and piano.
OLE KRISTIAN DAHL
Norway & Germany
Professor Ole Kristian Dahl is widely respected as one of the world’s top bassoon masterclass instructors.
Ole started playing the bassoon at the age of twelve. In 1998 he won his first job as solo bassoon in the Malaysian Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur. In 2000 he won his first solo bassoon in the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen (Denmark). Ole has played with the Berlin Philharmonic, Munich Philharmonic, NDR Hamburg, DSO Berlin, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Oslo Philharmonic, and Norwegian Chamber Orchestra.
Ole’s passion for teaching has resulted in a high demand for his masterclasses all over the world! He has given masterclasses across numerous countries in Europe and Asia. As a dedicated educator, Professor Dahl has taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen, Carl Nielsen Academy of Music in Odense, Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Folkwang Universität in Essen, and the Musik Hochschule in Mannheim where he currently teaches. He has also taught at the National University of Korea in Seoul, and at Nonaka in Tokyo, the Colburn School in Los Angeles, California, the Birmingham Conservatory, Guildhall School of Music in London, the Royal College of Music, and all of the major Norwegian, Danish and Swedish academies.
Netherlands, Germany & Spain
Gustavo Núñez is the principal bassoonist for the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, one of the most prestigious orchestras in the world. He is considered one of the best bassoonists of his generation.
He was a student in Prof. Klaus Thunemann’s prestigious class in Hanover, Germany. As a student, Gustavo Núñez was awarded the “Prix Suisse” at the International Competition in Geneva and won the Carl Maria von Weber Price in Munich, both in 1987. In 1988 he played at the Opera House in Darmstadt and from 1989 he was principal Bassoon with the Bamberg Symphony, where he remained until his Concertgebouw appointment in 1995.
He has recorded the important works for bassoon by Mozart, Vivaldi, Villa-Lobos en Gubaidulina, among others, with the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra and the Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields.
Next to his Concertgebouw activity, he holds a professorship at the Robert Schumann Academy in Düsseldorf and the Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía in Madrid.
SIMON VAN HOLEN
Simon Van Holen, Solo-Contrabassoon of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra enjoys a rich musical career made up of divers performing, recording and teaching engagements. He has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Luzern Festival Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Tonhalle Orchester Zurich, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and is regularly invited as both a soloist and teacher in Europe and Asia.
In 2013, Simon Van Holen was awarded the prize ‘Prix de Salon’ by the business circle of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for his extraordinary musicianship. The award made it possible for the commission of a new work for contrabassoon and stringquintet by Dutch composer Kees Olthuis and the recording of his debut-album ‘Pro Contra!’, which has been released at Challenge Records.
Simon Van Holen is Professor for Bassoon and Contrabassoon at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam and regularly gives masterclasses around the globe. In October 2017 he has also been appointed contrabassoon teacher at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne.
Judith LeClair joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Bassoon in 1981, at the age of 23. She has made more than 50 solo appearances with the Orchestra, performing with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Sir Andrew Davis, Alan Gilbert, Christopher Hogwood, Rafael Kubelik, Erich Leinsdorf, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, André Previn, John Williams, and Andrey Boreyko.
Ms. LeClair is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where she studied with K. David Van Hoesen. She made her professional debut with The Philadelphia Orchestra at age 15, playing Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante with colleagues from the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia, where she studied with Shirley Curtiss. Before joining the New York Philharmonic, she was Principal Bassoonist for two seasons with the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera.
Ms. LeClair is on the faculty of The Juilliard School, and she joined the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in fall 2014.
NADINA MACKIE JACKSON
Solo bassoonist, Nadina Mackie Jackson is the most widely recorded Canadian bassoonist in history with 13 solo albums, 8 chamber music recordings to her credit and dozens of albums with symphonic, chamber and historical instrument orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony, Aradia Baroque Ensemble, the group of twenty-seven, the Toronto Chamber Orchestra and Tafelmusik. Nadina has toured across Canada, the US, South America, Europe and Japan.
Eighteen new works for solo bassoon and orchestra have been written for Nadina, along with many solo and chamber works. Recent solo recordings include Vivaldi Concerti Volume I with Nicholas McGegan and the Juno short-listed Canadian Concerto Project with the group of twenty-seven chamber orchestra.
Nadina has taught at the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould School of the Royal conservatory of Music, the State University of New York at Fredonia and at McGill University.
Nadina is the founder and president of the Council of Canadian Bassoonists, an official educational charity dedicated to the bassoon in Canada. She has given masterclasses throughout Canada, the US, and South America and is the author of Solitary Refinement, Scales Chords and Chromatics, Concepts for the Committed Bassoonist, scheduled for release in September 2020.
Photo credit: Bo Huang
New York City, New York
Called "an impressive solo bassoonist" by The New Yorker, Rebekah Heller is an unceasing advocate for the bassoon as a solo instrument. As bassoonist of the renowned International Contemporary Ensemble since 2008, she has premiered hundreds of new works by an incredibly diverse group of creators on stages the world over.
Rebekah made her solo debut with the New York Philharmonic in September 2018, playing the music of longtime ICEensemble collaborator Ashley Fure, and has been a soloist with the Seattle Symphony, the Nagoya Philharmonic, and the New World Symphony, among others. Before joining International Contemporary Ensemble, Rebekah served as Principal Bassoonist of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra in the 2008-2009 season, and was a member of The New World Symphony and the Chicago Civic Orchestra.
Rebekah’s debut solo album of world premiere recordings, 100 names, features new pieces written with and for her and was called "pensive and potent" by The New York Times. Her second album, featuring four world premiere recordings, METAFAGOTE has received wide acclaim.
She lives in Manhattan.
Johnson City, Tennessee
I have been Principal Bassoon with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since January 2016. Before that, I was in the same position with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in New Orleans. I went to The Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, where I studied with Richard Beene. I graduated with my bachelors of music degree in 2013 and immediately started my career in the LPO. In fact, the audition for that position was the week of my graduation from Colburn! I'm originally from Johnson City, TN, and I love being so close to home and family again.
I enjoy teaching and helping young bassoonists realize their potential! I'm a huge nerd and fan of Baroque music, particularly French Baroque opera (Rameau). I also play the recorder for fun, and have soloed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on recorder during performances of John Williams' score to 'Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban'. Outside of music, I enjoy doing crossword puzzles and spending time with my two Blue Point Siamese cats, CeeCee and Roux.
KRISTIN WOLFE JENSEN
“...She has simply turned in the finest-played bassoon recital I have ever heard”, said the American Record Guide about Kristin Wolfe Jensen’s CD, Shadings.
Ms. Jensen is Professor of Bassoon at The University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music, and is also on the faculty at the International Festival Institute at Round Top, Principal Bassoonist with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra, Founding Director of the Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition and creator of MusicandtheBassoon.org. In addition to Shadings, she has a number of other critically acclaimed solo and chamber music recordings, many of which are now available on her Youtube channel, as is her tutorial series, The Herzberg/Kamins Reed Making Method.
She has given guest recitals and masterclasses at many major American music schools, as well as in South America and Europe, and her former UT students hold major orchestral and university faculty positions.
Dr. Brian Jack is a bassoonist, educator, music administrator, member of Colorado Ballet Orchestra, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Boulder Bach Festival, and regularly performs with ensembles such as the Colorado Music Festival, Colorado Symphony, and Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
In 2007, he founded the Boulder Bassoon Quartet which has flourished over the years, releasing three albums and commissioning several works from award-winning composers.
Dr. Jack is currently the visiting instructor of bassoon at Colorado State University. He also maintains a private lesson studio and frequently visits high schools to coach chamber music, reed-making, sectionals, and practice techniques for young musicians. Brian attended Ithaca College and the University of Colorado.
Dr. Jack was instrumental in the creation of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras and is the Executive Director of this organization that serves 130 young musicians each year from Boulder, Denver, Fort Collins, and everywhere in between.
Multiple Grammy-nominated Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann’s charismatic and commanding performances throughout the world have earned him repute as one of todays leading solo instrumentalists.
The New York Times has praised his Kuuskmann’s performances as “amazing…dynamic…Kuuskmann played stunningly .”
As an avid recording artist, Kuuskmann’s CD’s range from Grammy Nominated Bassoon Concertos written for Kuuskmann by Christopher Theofanidis (2017, ERP Records) and David Chesky (2006, Chesky Records) to Miguel Kertsman’s Bassoon Concerto recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra (2018, Naxos) under Dennis Russell Davies.
Kuuskmann has taught at the Manhattan School of Music and is currently a Professor of Bassoon and Chamber Music at the University of Denver.
Stefano Canuti is recognised worldwide as one of the most charismatic and talented bassoonists of his generation. Although starting out as an orchestral player, Stefano is most distinguished as a brilliant soloist, chamber musician and inspirational teacher. With a high profile international career of over 30 years, he has performed and taught in major concert halls, conservatoires, conferences and festivals right throughout continental Europe, across the United States, South America, China, Japan, Australia and Scandinavia.
He currently is the International Chair of Chamber Music at RNCM, a leading international conservatoire located in the heart of Manchester, UK. Stefano also holds a professorship at the Conservatorio di Musica Campiani in Mantua, Italy. He sits on the panel of many major international woodwind competitions, most recently the Gillet-Fox, Muri, and Audi Mozart.
Photo credit: Victoria Haydn
Christopher Millard is one of Canada’s best-known woodwind artists, where he has been Principal Bassoon for the National Arts Centre Orchestra (NACO) since 2004. Prior to his engagement with the NACO, Mr. Millard served as Principal for the Vancouver Symphony and the CBC Radio Orchestra for 29 seasons, and he is also the principal bassoon for the Grand Teton Music Festival.
Mr. Millard has received wide praise for his numerous recordings BIS, Naxos, Arabesque, CBC Records and Summit, including a disc in the prestigious “OrchestraPro” series. His recording of the Hétu Bassoon Concerto won a 2004 Juno Award.
He has been a faculty member at the University of Ottawa, UBC, and Northwestern University. He gives regular master classes at the National Orchestra Institute, Rice University, the Curtis Institute, Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music and the New World Symphony. He was also the bassoon instructor for Canada’s National Youth Orchestra for 20 years.
Argentina & Philadelphia
Daniel Matsukawa has been principal bassoon of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2000. Born in Argentina to Japanese parents, he moved with his family to New York City at age three and began studying the bassoon at age 13. The following year he won his first competition and was featured as a soloist performing the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with a professional orchestra in New York. He was a scholarship student of both the Juilliard School and the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Harold Goltzer and Alan Futterman. Mr. Matsukawa went on to study at Juilliard for two years before attending the Curtis Institute of Music, where he was a pupil of retired Philadelphia Orchestra Principal Bassoon Bernard Garfield.
Mr. Matsukawa has been a recipient of numerous awards and prizes, including a solo concerto debut in Carnegie Hall at the age of 18. He was featured in a Young Artist’s Showcase on New York’s WQXR classical radio station, and has since appeared as soloist with several orchestras, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the National Symphony, the New York String Orchestra, the Curtis Symphony, the Virginia Symphony, the Auckland (New Zealand) Philharmonic, and the Sapporo Symphony (Japan).
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Fábio Cury is the principal bassoonist with the São Paulo Symphony and with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. Currently he divides his time between performing and teaching, as professor at the University of São Paulo (USP), the Cantareira Faculty, the School of Music of the State of São Paulo (EMESP) and the State Conservatory of Tatuí; as bassoonist in the Municipal Symphony Orchestra of São Paulo and in the Camerata Aberta; and as soloist with the most prestigious orchestras and chamber music groups in Brazil.
In 2010, his CD Velhas e novas cirandas: Brazilian music for bassoon and orchestra, was awarded as the best recording of the year by the São Paulo Art Critics Association, whereas the Camerata Aberta, his chamber music group dedicated to the contemporary repertoire, was chosen the best ensemble as well.
As soloist, chamber musician and professor, he has performed and taught at all of the most important Brazilian music festivals. Outside of Brazil, Fábio has dedicated himself to promoting Brazilian repertory, giving lectures and courses and performing as a soloist in Argentina, Panama, Canada and England.
Malte Refardt belongs to the internationally renowned bassoonists of his generation. Born in Hamburg, he received his musical education from Dag Jensen and Georg Klütsch. During his studies he was already principal bassoonist of the renowned Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and played under conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Claudio Abbado and Daniel Harding. After employments in Essen and Munich, as principal bassoonist at the Bavarian State Opera under Zubin Mehta, Malte Refardt was principal bassoonist of the NDR Radio Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002-2018, before he moved to the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen as full-time professor. In addition to activities in all major German Symphony and Radio orchestras, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra, the "Orchester der KlangVerwaltung" as well as the Ensemble Modern (Frankfurt), which specializes in new music, he has been invited by Seiji Ozawa as principal bassoonist for the Saito Kinen Orchestra and the Mito Chamber Orchestra since 2003.
New York City, New York
William Short was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2012. He previously served in the same capacity with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and is a founding member of the Gotham Wind Quintet.
A dedicated teacher, William serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Temple University, as well as the Verbier Festival and Interlochen Arts Camp. He has presented classes at colleges and conservatories around the country and at conferences of the International Double Reed Society, for which he serves as an officer.
William has also performed and taught at the Lake Champlain, Lake Tahoe, Mostly Mozart, Stellenbosch (South Africa), Strings, and Twickenham Festivals. An occasional editor and composer, his works have been published by the Theodore Presser Company and TrevCo-Varner Music.
William received his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Daniel Matsukawa and Bernard Garfield, and his Master of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Kamins.
Photo credit: Jose Franch-Ballester
Whitney Crockett joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as Principal Bassoon as one of Gustavo Dudamel’s first appointments. He came to Los Angeles after 12 years as Principal Bassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine. Prior to his work in New York, Crockett held the same position with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
A respected pedagogue, Crockett has served on the faculties of the Juilliard and Manhattan schools of music, as well as McGill University in Montreal and the Académie de Verbier in Switzerland. He has given master classes at numerous institutions, including the Domaine Forget in Québec, the Curtis Institute, the Puerto Rico Conservatory, and many universities across the United States.
Catherine Chen was born in Taipei, Taiwan. She began her musical studies playing the piano at the age of four and the cello at the age of five, switching to the bassoon at age fourteen. Her mentors include Joyce Kelley, former Principal Bassoon of the New York City Opera and Marc Goldberg, former Associate Principal Bassoon of the New York Philharmonic, at The Juilliard School. Catherine later received her Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Daniel Matsukawa, Principal Bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra.
She joined the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra as Principal Bassoon, holding the Muriel C. and John D. Silbar Family Bassoon Chair, in 2017 at the age of 24. Prior to her appointment with the Milwaukee Symphony, she earned the Associate Principal Bassoon position with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra at the age of 22 where she performed for one and a half seasons. While in her senior year studying at the Curtis Institute of Music, she held the Principal Bassoon position with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra.
Catherine has performed with numerous orchestras across the country including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Virginia Symphony, and Richmond Symphony.
Photo credit: Jennifer Brindley
Andrea Cellacchi, born in Rome in 1997, is from a family comprised by musicians. He begins studying bassoon at the age of 10. At 16-years-old he graduated at the Music Conservatory “O. Respighi” in Latina, Italy.
As an 18-year-old, he gained international prestige after winning the 1st Prize at the 10th Aeolus International Competition in Düsseldorf, Germany, and the 1st Prize at The Muri Competition 2016, Switzerland, being the first Italian who has ever gained these prestigious awards. He also is winner of the Premio Abbado 2015 and of the 1st Prize in the International Bassoon Competitions “Audimozart 2016”, “G. Rossini” in Pesaro and “Città di Chieri”. 19-year-old, he wins the Principal First Bassoon position at the Konzerthausorchester. In 2018 he won 1st Prize at the International Fox-Gillet Competition 2018 organised by the International Double Reed Society IDRS.
He received his masters in Music Performance at the “Zürcher Hochschule der Künste ZHdK” in Zürich, Switzerland, in the class of Professor Matthias Rácz, where he is currently a Specialising Master in soloism.
Photo credit: © Daniel Delang
Jaakko Luoma began playing bassoon in his hometown in Lohja at the age of 11 under the direction of Matti Tossavainen. Later he continued his studies first at the Sibelius Academy together with László Hara and Jussi Särkkä and then in the Paris Conservatory with Pascal Gallois.
Jaakko Luoma became member of the Tapiola Sinfonietta already at the age of 20 in 1993. During the years 1996–98 he served as solo bassoonist of Orchestre de Paris. Between 2001 and 2003 he also served as solo bassoonist of Rundfunk- Sinfonieorchester Berlin but decided to continue his activities in Finland. Today, he is the principal bassoonist of Tapiola Sinfonietta.
Jaakko Luoma has appeared as soloist all over Finland and in Europe. He is a regular guest in several chamber music festivals, including Kuhmo chamber music festival and CLASSIX festival in Kempten. He teaches bassoon playing at the Sibelius Academy. In addition, he is actively engaged in performing with period instruments in Ensemble Schrat, Finnish Baroque Orchestra, and in concerts of Espoo Baroque ensemble.
Julia Lockhart is principal bassoon of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. A native of Calgary, she began playing as an extra musician in the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra at age sixteen. Her teachers have included bassoonists Bernard Garfield, Nadina Mackie Jackson, and Jesse Read.
Julia is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where she earned a Bachelor of Music in bassoon and a Diploma in harpsichord, and her Master’s degree was completed through studies at Yale and UBC.
A dedicated teacher, Julia was recently appointed as an Adjunct Professor of bassoon at UBC and has given guest master classes at the University of Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University, Mount Royal University, and the Pacific Region International Summer Music Academy on the Sunshine Coast. Julia was a founding member of the Harlequin Bassoon Quartet and has performed two tours of the BC interior with her reed trio. She has created and performed arrangements for solo bassoon with piano, with classical guitar, and for bassoon quartet. In her spare time, Julia enjoys gardening and creating mosaic art.
Barrick Stees is the Assistant Principal Bassoonist of the Cleveland Orchestra and Instructor of Bassoon at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Kent/Blossom Music.
He was previously Principal Bassoonist with the Hartford Symphony and has played with the Pittsburgh and Detroit Symphony Orchestras as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He has recorded three solo CDs, The Romantic Bassoon, Opera Transcriptions and Paraphrases, and Nostalgica.
Awarded the Presidential Scholar Teacher Recognition Award from the United States Secretary of Education, he has taught at Michigan State University, the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Brevard Music Center and the University of Akron. His former students occupy prominent positions in orchestras and universities throughout the United States.
Keith Sweger is a professor, masterclass clinician, professional bassoonist, recording artist and leader in the global bassoon community.
His recording credits include the CDs Songs of Madness and Sorrow, On the Beach At Night, Expressions in Units, Christmas Lights, and August Was Foggy. The recent Albany Records release by Sweger and the MAQ, American Breeze, has been received with critical acclaim.
Active in the International Double Reed Society (IDRS), Dr. Sweger is a regular performer at IDRS conferences and has served on its Executive Committee since 2006, currently holding the position of Past President (President from 2014-17). Additionally, he was chair of the 2008 and 2010 Gillet-Fox International Bassoon Competition and hosted the 2006 IDRS conference on the Ball State University campus.
Strongly committed to teaching, Dr. Sweger is in demand as a clinician and guest teacher at colleges and universities and at summer festivals and camps.
George Sakakeeny is professor of bassoon at the Eastman School of Music, and principal bassoonist of the Eastern Music Festival. In the past he has held the principal bassoon positions of the New Japan Philharmonic, The Handel & Haydn Society, the Opera Company of Boston, Promusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and CityMusic Cleveland. Three major works for bassoon and orchestra have been composed for him: Libby Larsen's full moon in the city (2013,) Peter Schickele’s Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (1998,) and Alexander Blechinger’s Fagottkonzert (1997.)
Professor Sakakeeny has taught guest master classes at the Paris Conservatory, Rice University, Tokyo University, and the Juilliard School. He held long term residencies at the Shanghai Conservatory, the Central Conservatory, Seoul National University, and the Conservatoire National Supèrieur de Musique et Danse of Lyon, France. He was guest bassoon professor for El Sistema for 7 years.
Sakakeeny's numerous recordings most notably include Blechinger’s Fagottkonzert, the Villa-Lobos Duo with oboist Alex Klein, and his recording of four modern works for bassoon and orchestra "full moon in the city." He is the author of the iBook Making Reeds Start to Finish with George Sakakeeny.
Photo credit: Matt Dine
Audun Halvorsen is a Norwegian bassoonist who began his studies with Robert Rønnes, continuing with the Norwegian State Academy of Music under Eirik Birkeland and Knut Sønstevold. Ole Kristian Dahl has been his teacher and mentor since 2001.
He earned his first role as Principal Bassoonist in the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra in 2001 at the age of 22. In 2002 he held the same position at the Norwegian Opera, Oslo, followed by Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra 2005-06, and NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg in 2010-11. He has been Principal Bassoon for the Danish National Symphony Orchestra DR in Copenhagen since 2006.
Audun has also appeared with orchestras such as London Symphony Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra.
Benjamin Kamins has enjoyed a wide-ranging career as an orchestral musician, chamber player, solo performer, and educator. During his nine years as Associate Principal Bassoon with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mr. Kamins taught at St. Olaf and Macalester Colleges and was a member of the Aurora Wind Quintet. In 1981 he was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Houston Symphony, a position he held until 2003. In Houston, his artistic life remained diverse as a founding member of the Epicurean Wind Quintet and the Houston Symphony Chamber Players. With faculty appointments at the University of Houston, and then at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, he extended his personal involvement with music to academic institutions and the communities they serve. Now as the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Bassoon at Rice University’s Shepherd School, Mr. Kamins continues to be an advocate for young musicians and classical music performance.
As a soloist, Mathieu Lussier has energetically and passionately promoted the modern and baroque bassoon as solo instruments for more than two decades throughout North America and Europe. He is a member of ensemble Pentaèdre de Montréal and a Professor at Université de Montréal, and currently Artistic Director of Arion Baroque Orchestra. He has been associated with les Violons du Roy as Conductor-in-residence in 2012, and Associate Conductor from 2014 to 2018, Lussier has led the orchestra in concerts in Quebec, and on tour in greater Canada, the United States, Mexico and Brazil, collaborating with many renown artists worldwide.
His numerous solo recordings include over a dozen bassoon concertos (Mozart, Vivaldi, Fasch, Graupner, Telemann, and Corrette), a CD of bassoon sonatas by Boismortier, three CDs of music for solo bassoon by François Devienne, and two CDs of wind music by Gossec & Méhul.
Mathieu is also a respected composer, with a catalogue of over 50 titles heard regularly in the concert halls of North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Photo credit: Mari Photographe
Robert Williams has been Principal Bassoonist of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since September of 1974. Prior to that he was a solo bassoonist with the Winnipeg Symphony, Winnipeg CBC Orchestra, Colorado Philharmonic and Tucson Symphony.
He is also a member of CutTime Players, the Neo-Bubonic Bassoon Quartet, the DSO Bassoon Quartet, the DSO Woodwind Quintet, the Bellingham Music Festival and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He has given master classes at Tanglewood, University of Michigan, Michigan State University and the University of Arizona.
Robert lives in Northville with his wife, Detroit Syphony Orchestra (DSO) English hornist Treva Womble and son Trevor. Together Treva and Bob are owners of Womble/Williams Double Reeds, a home business that specializes in products for the oboe and bassoon. As authorized Fox dealers, Womble/Williams Double Reeds produce bassoon cane and sell supplies for both oboe and bassoon.
Garrett McQueen is host and producer of the nationally syndicated radio program, "Music Through the Night", and the Executive Producer of TRILLOQUY.
He is a strong advocate for the diversification of classical music and the advancement of black musicians in the field.
A proud native of Memphis, TN, Garrett McQueen has performed in venues across the country, including Los Angeles' Disney Hall, Detroit's Max M. Fischer Music Center, and New York's Carnegie Hall. As well as performing as a member of the South Arkansas Symphony, Jackson Symphony, American Youth Symphony, Memphis Repertory Orchestra, the Eroica Ensemble, and most recently, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, he has worked with groups including the Sphinx Symphony Orchestra, Memphis Symphony Orchestra, the Southeast Symphony, the Artosphere and Gateways Festival Orchestras, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Louisville Orchestra, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Doña Mencía, Spain
Known by his pseudonym, Niño Rubén was born in Doña Mencía, south of Spain, in 1997. He is one of the most transgressive artists within the music panorama. He has won several awards, and received applause from international critics.
As a bassoonist and composer, he possesses an overwhelming style that is born from the flamenco essence. His artistic work stands out for containing an unexpected creative discourse, full of nuances that put some light into his most intimate truth. He has been able to include the bassoon in spaces where it has never been seen before, revaluing one of the most unknown symphonic instruments.
Beyond his dedication as a soloist, he is frequently invited to participate as a teacher or speaker in several projects. His activity as a flamencologist is specialized in the field of composition and contemporaneity of this genre.
Photo credit: JuanJe Priego
Yoshiyuki Ishikawa is the Professor of Bassoon and the Chair of the Woodwind Area at the University of Colorado Boulder, College of Music. He has performed and presented solo recitals, masterclasses and workshops at prestigious conservatories, schools of music, and festivals in North America, Eastern and Southeast Asia, Europe and Oceania.
A leader in the double reed community, he founded and is the president of the Asian Double Reed Association (ADRA), which maintains memberships in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand. From 1990 to 2020, he served as a member of the IDRS Executive Board holding the positions of President, Secretary, and Editor of IDRS Online Publications. He is the founder and creator of the original idrs.org, which he launched in 1995. Ishikawa supervised and maintained idrs.org for twenty-two years until the most recent update in 2018. Idrs.org has been online continuously since its inception and is one of the oldest public web sites dedicated to a music organization. Ishikawa has produced and edited over 525 archival on-demand videos for IDRS, and in 2016 he produced the first live stream event of the IDRS Gillet-Fox Competition.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
"I’ve loved the bassoon ever since I first heard a friend playing it in rehearsal in a middle school summer music camp, but when I heard it in The Rite of Spring I was hooked. I love how the bassoon almost always plays a supporting role and once in a while it gets to shine as a soloist. I think that’s a great way to approach playing: enjoy the collaborative nature of being a musician and you’ll always love what you do."
Jeffrey Lyman has established himself as one of the premier performers, teachers, and historians of the bassoon in the U.S. He has been professor of bassoon at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) since 2006, and, prior to that, held positions at Arizona State University and Bowling Green State University. His principal teachers include Bernard Garfield of the Philadelphia Orchestra and Richard Beene and Hugh Cooper of the University of Michigan (U-M). He has been a member of numerous orchestras across the country and has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Opera Company of Philadelphia, the Savannah Symphony, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, the Grand Rapids Symphony, and the Michigan Opera Theatre, to name a few.
Eric Stomberg is a performer, artist-teacher and artistic administrator. He has held orchestral positions over the past fifteen years as a member of City Music Cleveland, the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra of Columbus, and the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. He also served as Visiting Professor of Bassoon at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has held masterclasses at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Eastman School of Music, Florida State University, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and University of Iowa among many others.
Eric is considered one of the most sought-after contemporary bassoonists with numerous invitations to present recitals and masterclasses at conservatories and schools of music around the world. His students have gone on to study at the most prestigious music schools in the country, with former students holding orchestral and academic positions in the United States and abroad. He maintains an active schedule with positions as Professor of Bassoon at the University of Kansas, Associate Director of Music for Summer Programs at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Instructor of Bassoon at Interlochen Arts Academy. He is currently President of the International Double Reed Society (IDRS).
A native of Owatonna, Minnesota, Dr. Trent Jacobs completed DMA and MM degrees from the University of Illinois and received his bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Dr. Jacobs currently serves on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and at Anoka-Ramsey Community College.
Trent is an innovator on the bassoon, expanding the possibilities of the instrument as a solo voice through amplification and effects processing. As the creator of the “Little-Jake” electric bassoon pickup he actively pursues non-standard performance opportunities to use these innovations. Trent’s musical interests are unique and varied, having a performance history of jazz guitar and barbershop quartet singing as well as a strong commitment to the performance of contemporary and improvised classical music.
In addition to playing amplified bassoon in several rock/jazz bands and active freelancing in the Minneapolis area, Trent maintains a bassoon reed-making business and private teaching studio, also teaching at at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. He is currently teaching students remotely.
Cristian Coliver is a professional bassoonist who began his studies at the age of 11 years, and has performed in the most prestigious concert halls such as Carnegie Hall in New York, Philharmonie Berlin, and cities around the world such as London, New York, Chicago, Boston, Mexico, Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Helsinki, Beijing, Tokyo, Seoul and many others.
He has presented master classes with teachers, Stefano Canuti, Sergio Azzolini, Matthias Racz, Henning Trog, Laurent Lefevre, Chiara Santi, Guilhaume Santana, Hans Agreda, David Petersen, George Sakakeeny, Stefan Schweigert, Daniele Damiano, Lorelei Dowling, Rodion Tolmachev, Whitney Crockett, Pierre Martens.
He is currently a member since the year 2016 in Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra where he is an Associate Principal bassoon and Principal Contrabassoon, member of Lucerne Festival Academy, current member of The Orchestra of the Americas, Iberoamerica Woodwind Quintet and Orquesta Solistas de America.
Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Juan Portal started playing bassoon at the Superior Institute of Fine Arts in the city of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and was a bassoonist for the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Santa Cruz for 10 years.
He participated in the International Winter Festival "Vale Veneto" of the Federal University in Santa María, Brazil, being the first Bolivian to participate in this event. He performed with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Bolivia in 2014 and 2015, and is currently a guest bassoonist to the National Youth Symphony Orchestra "Bolivia Joven", Philharmonic Orchestra of Santa Cruz, and Symphonic Band of the Sierra. He toured in Europe with the choir Arte Canto y EMI and the CURUCUSI ensemble.
Juan was a professor of the Academy of the Youth Symphony Orchestra of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Symphonic Orchestra of New Men. He later became a guest professor at the Higher Institute of Fine Arts, later becoming Chair in 2014, where he currently works.
As an educator he partners with Professor Ivette Guillen in creating an annual Bassoon Meeting in Bolivia with the support of Boris Vázquez. This meeting (which is in its 3rd year) includes speakers from Bolivia, Brazil and Costa Rica, aspiring to grow internationally and provide support to new generations of young bassoonists.
KRISTIAN OMA RØNNES
Norway & Poland
Kristian Oma Rønnes (1991) is a Norwegian bassoonist who started playing the bassoon at 5 years old. Today he is Bassoon Professor at the Music Academy in Poznan and the Principal Bassoonist of The Baltic Opera in Gdansk. Besides being a bassoonist Kristian is also a publisher, editor, composer, arranger, researcher and soloist. His first appearance as an international soloist was at the age of 14 when he performed František Jiránek’s bassoon concerto no. 3 in Germany. As a soloist he has received more than 40 compositions dedicated to him from composers worldwide. As a chamber music performer he is playing together with, and arranging music for, Pracownia Bassoon Ensemble. This ensemble recently won the Golden Price at the Berliner International Music Competition (2019), and the “High Distinction” prize in Vienna International Music Competition (2020). Kristian’s most renowned work so far is “The Expanded Bassoon Register”, which includes fingerings for a higher and lower register than what is normally played on the bassoon; the book also describes in detail how to play this. Beside all this he has also worked with bassoon manufacturer Bernd Moosmann to design a special bassoon that solves many common technical challenges.
Over the last 30 years, Mark has performed in many different musical projects including professional recordings, musical theater, chamber ensembles, jazz and R&B groups, as well as many orchestral performances, including being a member of the saxophone section for the Cincinnati Pops under Erich Kunzel. He has performed all over the world in many different venues, ranging from Carnegie Hall to the Grand Ole Opry and MTV.
A versatile performer, Mark plays all the saxophones, clarinets, flutes, and bassoons.
Mark is an active studio musician and records regularly for the Hal Leonard and Alfred Publishing Companies, as well as many other projects. He teaches bassoon at the University of Indianapolis and is a founding member of the Icarus Ensemble (jazz quintet).
Gordon Fantini started playing the bassoon at the age of 14, following five years of studying the piano. He studied with Prof. Leonardo Dosso in the Conservatory Giuseppe Verdi in his home-town of Milano where he achieved the Diploma with the Laudae. He perfected his studies with Sergio Azzolini, Carlo Colombo, Gilbert Audin, Gabriele Screpis, and Albrecht Holder.
Now at age 30, Gordon is Principal Bassoon, Section Leader at the Belgian National Orchestra in Brussels and has collaborated with many orchestras in Switzerland such as Verbier Chamber Festival Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande (taking part of the CD recording under the baton of J. Nott), Berner Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and KammerOrchester Basel.
In 2019 Gordon was the prize winner of the Vègh Sàndor Competition in Budapest that will see him as soloist with the Budapest Festival Orchestra in the 2020/2021 seasons. In the past he was also invited as Co-Principal Bassoon in the Malaysian Philarmonic Orchestra.
He has been conducted by many of the most known conductors in the world: I. Fischer, Lahav Shani, P. Steinberg, K. Urbanski, C. Eschenbach, S. Byschov, L. Foster, A. Chauhan, D. L. Newman, F. Gabel, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Santuu-Matias Rouvali, D. Gatti, Trevor Pinnock, N. Järvi, S. S. Rattle, V. Gergiev, G. Noseda, J. van Sweden and many others.
Greenboro, North Carolina
An active performer, Burns enjoys roles as a soloist, in chamber groups, and orchestrally with numerous recent performances at International Double Reed Society conventions, recitals and masterclasses throughout North America, Germany, Italy, China and the South Pacific. He performs as principal bassoon with the Asheville Symphony and the North Carolina Opera and as bassoonist in the EastWind Ensemble and Blue Mountain Forecast.
He has recorded for the Centaur, CAP, Telarc, EMI, Klavier, and Mark labels and his solo CD Primavera: Music for Bassoon and Piano by Bassoonists, was released to critical acclaim on the Mark Masters label. A new CD Glass Ghosts is scheduled for release in 2020.
He performed extensively with the Cincinnati and New Zealand Symphony Orchestras, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and he held Principal positions with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and the Midland/Odessa, Richmond, and Abilene Symphonies.
He is a composer, author, and professor, currently teaching at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.
As a performer, Eryn developed an international reputation performing with orchestras and chamber music groups throughout Europe, Mexico, the US and Canada. She has been the recipient of travel grants and artistic residencies, most notably with the Banff Centre for the Arts. Currently, Eryn has been heard performing with the Atlanta Opera, Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Ballet, Rome Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Alabama Symphony Orchestra.
Since joining the faculty at Jacksonville State University in 2007, Eryn has developed a double reed studio of 23 students (community and student based) and
created the JSU Double Reed Day, an annual event. In 2010 she created Raffe Reeds, internationally sold quality handmade bassoon reeds for players of all levels.
Los Angeles, California
Originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, Joshua Elmore is earning his Master of Music degree at The Colburn School studying under Richard Beene. Joshua is a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he studied under Judith LeClair as a proud recipient of a Kovner Fellowship. Joshua has performed with numerous orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, New York String Orchestra and Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra.
In 2018, Joshua was chosen to be a fellow at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, where he was a finalist in the concerto competition and the London Symphony Orchestra Keston Music Academy Exchange Fellowship. In 2017 he attended the National Orchestra Institute and recorded a Grammy-nominated album with Naxos.
Joshua was a part of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In high school, he was principal bassoonist of the Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony and a member of the Cleveland Youth Orchestra. Joshua has also performed on NPR's "From the Top" and was selected to receive the Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist Award.
Kazakhstan & Russia
I am Danabek Erkanat. I was born in 25th July 2000 year. I am from Kazakhstan, Almaty city. I graduated “Kulyash Baiseitova Republican Secondary Specialized Music Boarding School for gifted children” to specialty bassoon. At school, I was a laureate of state and international competitions in Russia and Kazakhstan, a grand prize winner of the International Competition in Russia. I was also an active participant in school events, on-site concerts on behalf of the school, and in charity concerts. I was a member of the symphony orchestra, pop-symphony orchestra and brass band at school.
I am currently studying at the Gnessin Russian Academy of Music in Moscow. I am a student of Professor Sergey Krasavin.
BOULDER BASSOON QUARTET
According to the Denver Post, "Nothing embodies the way classical music is evolving — in positive ways — better than the Boulder Bassoon Quartet."
Since 2006, the Boulder Bassoon Quartet has impressed a wide audience through substantive, engaging performances. At home in a variety of venues, the Quartet is dedicated to expanding the repertoire for the bassoon quartet in a variety of genres through new arrangements and original compositions.
San Diego, California
A life-long resident of Southern California, Scott Sutherland has been hailed as “the second craziest tuba player I know” by famed American composer, Joan Tower. He is a member of the Redlands Symphony, Riverside Philharmonic and has been spotted in the back row of the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Long Beach Symphony, and Santa Barbara Symphony. Likely due to clerical errors, Scott has performed at the front of the stage as a soloist with the San Diego and Idyllwild Arts Symphony Orchestras, as well as the Riverside and Burbank Philharmonics.
Sarasota, FL & Boston, MA
Daniel Beilman, bassoonist and contrabassoonist, has been heard in concert across the USA and Europe in major concert halls including the Royal Concertgebouw, De Doelen, KKL Luzern, Elbphilharmonie, Paris Philharmonie, Berlin Philharmonie, Boston's Jordan Hall, and Sanders Theater, Mechanics Hall, Kentucky Center for the Arts and Santo Domingo's Teatro Nacional in the Dominican Republic, and others. He has performed regularly with and held positions with groups in and around Boston including Cape Cod Chamber Orchestra, The Boston Philharmonic, New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, Lexington Symphony, among many others.
He is currently on faculty at Phillips Academy Andover, Dexter Southfield School, has a virtual teaching studio in Sarasota, FL, and runs a reed making business providing reeds for his clients.
Los Angeles, California
A graduate of UCLA, William Hsu is a flutist, piccoloist, contrabass flutist, pianist, saxophonist, clarinetist, and conductor.
He has received the Ebell music scholarship for the Anaheim Union High School District and played with various ensembles at UCLA. William also sings in the UCLA Gospel Choir, Taiwanese American Union Acapella. He plays flute, piccolo, and tuba for the UCLA Symphonic Band.
He currently actively plays contrabass flute with the Game Music Ensemble at UCLA, serves at Chinese Baptist Church of Orange County as a woodwinds specialist, french hornist, and musical director for the Instrumental Ensemble, choir member for the Christmas Choir. He is also an assistant conductor for the First Evangelical Community Church of Cerritos.
In April 2020, he coordinated 85 flutists (from piccolo all the way to double contrabass flute!) together to play William Tell Overture in order to bring some joy to people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
My name is Rian Morgan and i’m a 16 year old, female bassoonist from Washington. I switched from flute to bassoon, and I’ve been playing it for 3 years now. Switching instruments was one of my best decisions i’ve ever made in my “musical career” so far. While I loved the flute, bassoon quickly became my favorite instrument because of its range, versatility, and its warm and rich tone. My bassoon has opened up a gateway to many opportunities. It got me into many different orchestras, band programs, competitions, clinics, and trips.
I’ve been in the Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra program for 2 years now and i’ve made it through 3 out of 4 of their orchestras so far. I’m currently in their junior orchestra playing under the direction of Marcus Tsutakawa. Some other groups that I’ve played with are Orchestra of Flight, Washington All-State bands, and MRHS Wind Ensemble.
I’ve met so many amazing musicians and conductors while playing music. Staying in band/music programs have inspired me to continue playing bassoon throughout high school and hopefully college! I’ve had a blast playing bassoon and I hope that this has somewhat encouraged you to play bassoon!
Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Max is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in music education at the University of Montana. He started playing the bassoon in eighth grade after switching from flute, this ended up being one of the best decisions he could have made.
Throughout school he has participated in state honors music festivals, honors bands, and symphony orchestras. Notably, he has performed with his University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble at the Northwest CBDNA conference in San Francisco and with symphony orchestras across Montana.
As a future music educator he hopes to promote the bassoon in school music classes and encourage young musicians to explore underrepresented instruments. He is fortunate to be surrounded by great musicians and to get to explore the bassoon in many different genres.
Hello! My name is Constantina Kouti, I’m 21 and I’m from Greece. My relationship with the bassoon started when I went to high school. Here we have “music schools” where we do all regular classes plus music (ex. Piano lessons, choir, music theory, orchestra/ band etc.). We had the option to choose a musical instrument to learn there and that’s when I first saw the bassoon and it was a “love at first sight”. After that, I became a part of the Athens Youth Symphonic Orchestra and other orchestras here. If I had to go back and recall the best experience and concert I’ve had, it would be when we played Beethoven’s 5th symphony in Berlin or when we played with my school in Florence. The real journey though started when I decided to go to a conservatorium and become more serious about bassoon and my future with music. That’s when I met my current teacher and it’s honestly the best thing I could ask for. He’s the one that pushes me and is making me see what really classical music is all about and, to be honest, I keep on falling in love with the bassoon it’s day that it goes by.
If I had an advice to give to anyone is to find what you enjoy about music and multiply that. For example, if you started music due to the fact that you heard a piece you really like or you went to a concert etc., keep listening to new pieces and going to as many concerts as possible in order to keep the passion going and keep reliving the moments that made you adore music.
Malaysia & Singapore
Stephen Mak Wai Soon is an endeavouring bassoonist who was born in Selangor, Malaysia. He began his journey with the bassoon at the age of 11 under the tutelage of Alexandar Lenkov, principal bassoonist of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO). At the age of 14, he was accepted into the Malaysian Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (MPYO) where his love for the bassoon and making music flourished. His involvement with the MPYO has opened up doors for him to play in other ensembles in Malaysia, namely The High Winds Ensemble, the Penang Symphony Orchestra, the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra, the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC) string orchestra, as well as the Kuala Lumpur City Opera Orchestra Ensemble.
In 2019, he began his bachelor degree studies in bassoon performance at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore under Professor Zhang Jin Min. Notable activities that has spurred his growth as a bassoonist and musician since the commencement of his studies included masterclasses with Christian Kunert, Kittima Molee and Makiko Kunow, as well as performing for the 2019 Beethoven im Garten concert held at the Singapore Botanic Gardens.
As it is a rare instrument, Stephen desires to promote the bassoon to Malaysians, helping them understand it is a wonderful instrument.
My name is Àngela Homs, I’m 18 years old and from a small town called Amposta in Spain. When I was a little girl, my parents who were photographers filmed the concerts of the local music band La Lira Ampostina. I really enjoyed listening and seeing backstage all the musicians with their instruments. When I was 9, I told my parents that I wanted to play music. First I wanted to play the piano, but one day, in the study room next to my class, I heard the sound of an instrument I had never heard before. With no hesitation I opened the door and saw for the first time a bassoon. “Beautiful” I thought. In that moment I knew I would play that instrument.
I started my music studies in La Lira Ampostina. Now I’m studying in the Professional Conservatory of Tortosa. The bassoon has become a part of me and given me the opportunity to play with the band of La Lira and different orchestras. The fact that there are not many bassoonists, also gave me the opportunity to meet and speak with lots of bassoonists near Catalonia, and around the world.
The instrument itself, is so special, you only have to look at it. And the sound, also so peculiar, can be beautiful and melodic, or the funny instrument that you hear all the times in cartoons but you don’t really know that is a bassoon. Music brings joy to people, and the bassoon has given sense to my life. I hope sooner or later the number of bassoonists increases and that more people gets to know this wonderful instrument!
Garrett Jones is a bassoonist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, and acoustic engineer residing in Tempe, Arizona, USA. He is a proponent of improvised music, jazz bassoon, and any cross-genre musical inventions.
Garrett was interested in playing the bassoon as a unique challenge to undertake, and was started on bassoon by his middle school band director in 6th grade. He has played continually since then, and was fortunate enough to continue his bassoon studies while completing a physics degree at the University of Illinois.
Born in Santiago de Chile in 1991, Miguel began his bassoon studies at the age of 19 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile with the prominent Professor Ezequiel Fainguersch. He continued his studies with Maestro Zilvinas Smalys, graduating from Superior Musical Interpretation at the Conservatory of Music of the University Mayor.
He performed at the Manuel de Falla Royal Professional Conservatory of Music in Cádiz, Spain, was a soloist with the Lo Prado Chamber Orchestra in a 2018 International Tour to Canada, and held performances in Japan with Alexis Vallejos at Mihana Bunka Music Hall in Chiba and at Shibuya Hall Studio with Yoko Takaki and Alexis Vallejos. He then held an internship with Tokyo Sinfonia and Maestro Rober Riker in Japan. He performed with professors of the Gnessin Music College of Moscow, including Olga Kharitionova, Nathalia Korshunova, Sergei Sudzilovsky and Sergey Gress at the Municipal Theater of Lo Prado.
He is a frequent guest soloist in the Season of Young Talents of the University Mayor, giving recitals in the Manuel Montt Auditoriums, the El Claustro Auditorium and in the Gabriela Mistral Cultural Center. In 2019 he received First Prize Winner at the International Music Competition Vienna "Grand Prize Virtuoso". In February 2020, he gave his first Bassoon Masterclass at the Manuel de Falla Royal Professional Conservatory of Music in Cádiz, Spain which included talks, study techniques and recitals.
I am currently studying for my Master’s degree and teaching young Latvian bassoonists.
When I was 10 years old, I convinced my parents, that I really want to go to a music school. It was the middle of semester and all of the most popular instrument classes were full, so I had to choose between the bassoon and the double bass. I wanted to play a wind instrument and one of my cousins already played the bassoon, it wasn’t a hard choice!
Studying the bassoon instantly opened doors to some very cool opportunities, like, playing in a youth symphony orchestra and a wind band. There are not that many bassoon students in Latvia, so there were almost no competition for me to have a part in such activities. I probably wouldn’t have chosen a career in music, if I played another instrument!
Hi! My name is Abby Mauldin. I am a 16 year old from Arkansas. My musical journey started when I was 6 years old with the piano. I instantly fell in love with music and have been playing the piano ever since. My bassoon journey started in the 7th grade in the starting clarinet class. In the Fayetteville band program, students typically are to start out on one of 5 instruments: clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, or percussion. However, because of my background in piano, I was able to start on bassoon right away. On my first day I was given a bassoon, led to a practice room, and was told to “go play”. My first semester on the bassoon was all self-taught with the help of a method book.
Ever since, I have been passionate about the bassoon and driven to make music for others to enjoy. I have played in many clinic orchestras and bands as first chair. This year, I was named the first in state bassoon player for Arkansas. I have also won the Eric Varner Young Artists Competition and have attended many music camps. My favorite piece I have ever played in concert was the Barber of Seville Overture by Rossini. It was enjoyed by both the orchestra and the audience.
One day, I hope to attend college and pursue a double major in music education and performance. I want to inspire others through music and bring joy to people listening.
San Antonio native, Elaina Walzel, is starting her master’s degree in Bassoon Performance at the University of Oklahoma after completing her bachelor's degree in Music Education from Texas State University. After she obtains her master’s degree, she strives to become a bassoon professor and write her own curriculum of a standardized method of teaching beginner bassoonist.
With 11 years of bassoon playing under her belt, she has sat principal bassoon in the Texas State Wind Symphony and Orchestra, Starlight Symphony Orchestra, and the SMART Orchestra. She is on the substitute list for the Victoria Symphony Orchestra and the Kingsville Symphony Orchestra. Elaina has been teaching private lessons since her senior year in high school, managing a studio of up to 17 bassoonists from the central Texas area.
I've learned so much about life and the world around me by playing the bassoon. The people you meet during your time as a musician will be some of your closest friends. Music is all around us and the best advice I can give is to embrace your inner bassoon nerd! It is the best instrument and it's our job to show people why :)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Hello, my name is Ulises! I started my bassoon's studies in 2014 when I was 18 years old, with the intention of studying the piano, but since there was no vacancy, I chose the bassoon, so I entered the world of this wonderful instrument. If you are looking for an instrument to learn and that has a beautiful sound, I will definitely recommend the bassoon!
SILVIA RUIZ PÉREZ
Spain & Holland
My name is Silvia Ruiz Perez and I'm from Spain! I have studied in Sevilla and San Sebastián and was born in 1997. Now I am studying for my Master in Music in Fontys University (Holland) with the bassonist Marceau Lefevre.
I started playing bassoon when I was 10 or 11 years old. In Spain, in the conservatory you need to pass an exam, and the youngest children have priority choosing their instruments. At the beginning I wanted to play viola, but my best friend took that place!
I need to admit when I first saw a bassoon I thought it was a trombone! But I love the sound. It’s so human.
I have lived such incredible experiences with the bassoon, and being able to share this passion with others is amazing! (travels, playing in amazing orchestras, meeting new people..) I have grown up so much thanks to playing the bassoon. I feel that playing an instrument is like being an athlete: you need to be so persistent and patient, things that are very valuable in our lives.
I want to keep studying and improving as much as I can.
Hi, my name is Mio, and I’m from Dallas, Texas. I started bassoon in the sixth grade with a piano background, having played piano for twelve years now, and I occasionally play accompaniments for solos.
Throughout high school, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to earn a chair in the TMEA All-State process, making all state for both the 5A and 6A track. I’ve been the principal chair for the Lone Star Youth Winds, the Dallas Asian American Youth Orchestra, and am now going into my second season with the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra. Firebird by Stravinsky, Symphony No.4 by Tchaikovsky, and Candide Overture by Bernstein, are just some of the pieces I’ve been able to perform.
Bassoon was never my first choice instrument at the start, but I’m grateful that I chose it in the end and for every opportunity that I’ve been given through it; winning my school’s concerto competition, and getting to experience playing in an orchestra is just some of those things. Bassoon is such a fun instrument to play, and orchestral music is one of my favorite things to play; I’m always looking to improve, and hope to pursue a career in music!
Hello! My name is Cailin McGarry and I am a bassoonists from Logan, Utah, which is located in the United States. I have been playing bassoon for 9 years and I’m currently studying music education at Utah State University, studying from Leon Chodos. I plan on furthering my education to gain a PhD in either music history or conducting with the hope of teaching at a collegiate level. As far as my bassoon career goes, I picked up the instrument in 7th grade. At that same time I started private lessons with a local woodwind teacher, Paula Forest. Throughout my high school years, I was involved in many ensembles around Utah. In my senior year, I auditioned to the Gifted Music School, which directed by Eugene Watanabe. After I gained acceptance to the school, I studied under Jennifer Rhodes for a year. I think some of my most favorite performances were our out-reach concerts. I have always loved sharing the gift of music with others in an educational way. I have noticed the power it has in my life and I want to share that with others.
New Haven, Connecticut
Wesley Wong started enjoying music with the saxophone, which he played throughout most of middle school and high school. However, upon discovering the bassoon halfway through high school, he decided to switch to bassoon. He went on to win awards as a bassoonist with the youth orchestra Gradus Ad Parnassum. Wesley has also had several leadership roles in a variety of organizations, including serving as the CFO for the Dublin High School Robotics team which placed as one of the top teams in the US in 2018. Wesley is currently in his first year of studies at Yale University.