3. Curtis Institute of Music – Philadelphia, PA
Notable Faculty: Daniel Matsukawa
Daniel Matsukawa has had an unprecedentedly large influence over the world of professional bassoon today. His students, thriving in prestigious appointments from Principal Bassoonist of the Metropolitan Orchestra to college faculties throughout the nation, are among the most talented bassoonists in the country. Matsukawa himself is the Principal Bassoonist to one of the nation’s most heralded orchestras, the Philadelphia Orchestra.
For some insight into the musical mind and personality of bassoonist Daniel Matsukawa, check out this interesting profile of him here. A notable quote from the profile –
“If you practice all the time and master your
instrument, call yourself a great instrumentalist
— a great bassoonist, a great pianist, a great
violinist. If you learn how to phrase musically,
and understand the musical structure of
pieces and so forth, you call yourself a good
musician. But,” Mr. Matsukawa said, “until
that person out there listening gets some
kind of goose bumps one way or the other,
through joy or sorrow, then don’t call yourself
2. Manhattan School of Music – New York, NY
Notable Faculty (MSM): Kim Laskowski, Frank Morelli, Roger Nye
MSM boasts some of the most impressive faculty for bassoon in the entire world, including the second bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic Roger Nye, the current associate principal bassoonist of the New York Philharmonic in Kim Laskowski, and a man who possibly boasts the largest bassoon discography in the entire world, Frank Morelli. The programs at MSM are designed to train prospective bassoonists at the highest level in solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire. The teachers at MSM are also noted for their artistic creativity and diverse output; Frank Morelli has released over 150 albums of bassoon music for well-known labels, and Kim Laskowski has performed on platinum-awarded rock albums as well as film scores. All of the teachers at MSM are, additionally, well-known soloists, including Roger Nye, who has soloed internationally as a concert bassoonist.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out Frank Morelli’s CD From The Heart – 20th Century Music for Bassoon and Piano
1. Rice University Shepherd School of Music – Houston, TX
Notable Faculty: Benjamin Kamins
Shepherd School of Music professor and bassoon performer Benjamin Kamins is a nationally recognized professional bassoonist and teacher to the most talented young woodwind musicians. He has taught at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music since 1987, and for nearly thirty years has produced a significant number of the most formidable bassoonists today, including the current bassoon principal of the MET Opera Orchestra as well as the current contrabassoonist of the Kansas City Symphony. Former principal of the Houston Symphony, his position has since been succeeded by one of his former students, as Kamins now focuses more of his time as an in-demand clinician and teacher worldwide.
Check out this inspiring video below where Kamins discusses life and the art of reed-making.
Listen to the Faculty: Check out Benjamin Kamins on his CD Bassoon.
Other Top Programs:
The Hartt School – Hartford, CT
SUNY Stony Brook – Stony Brook, NY
Mannes College of Music – New York, NY