BM, Curtis Institute of Music

David McGill, Professor of Bassoon at the Bienen School of Music since 2014, previously served as principal bassoonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 17 years (1997-2014). He also served as principal bassoonist of the Cleveland Orchestra (1988-97), the Toronto Symphony (1985-88), and at the age of 17, won the position of principal bassoon in his hometown orchestra, the Tulsa Philharmonic (1980-81). He was principal bassoon of the World Orchestra for Peace in 1995, formed in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations, and the Solti Orchestral Project at Carnegie Hall in 1994, both under Sir Georg Solti. He has appeared as soloist with the CSO, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Toronto, Oklahoma, and Annapolis symphonies, among others, under conductors including Christoph von Dohnanyi, Leonard Slatkin, Sir Andrew Davis, Daniel Barenboim, Sir Mark Elder, Jaap van Zweden, Bernard Haitink, and Riccardo Muti. In 2016 he was invited by Muti to perform two concerti in Italy with Muti’s Orchestra Giovanile Luigi Cherubini (Cherubini Youth Orchestra) at the Ravenna Festival. At the request of Daniel Barenboim he has toured twice with Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra (2013/16).

McGill received the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony's recording of Strauss's wind concertos (Strauss Duet-Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon) and performed in a solo capacity on the Grammy-winning 1992 Peter Schickele comedy album “Music for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion.” Other recordings include Musique Française with oboist Alfred Genovese and pianist Peter Serkin, Orchestral Excerpts for Bassoon (a teaching CD with spoken commentary), and Mozart's Bassoon Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra. He is the author of Sound in Motion: A Performer's Guide to Greater Musical Expression (Indiana University Press, 2007). As an orchestral player, McGill has taken part in a great many recordings of the standard orchestral repertoire, including multiple versions of several major works.

McGill was awarded First Prize at the International Double Reed Society’s Fernand Gillet Performance Competition in 1983. Prior to this he had won the youth competitions of the Tulsa Philharmonic and Oklahoma Symphony, as well as the Aspen Wind Concerto Competition and the WFLN (Philadelphia) radio's 1984 Young Artist's Competition. As a student he participated at the Aspen Music Festival, two summers at the NRO (National Repertory Orchestra), and Tanglewood, as well as taking part in two summer courses at the Marcel Moyse Woodwind Seminars in Brattleboro, VT.

Famed Canadian/Czech composer Oskar Morawetz composed his Concerto for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra for Mr. McGill. McGill premiered it in 1994 in St. John (New Brunswick) and performed it with Orchestra London (Ontario) the next year. In 2007 McGill performed John Williams’ Five Sacred Trees (Concerto for Bassoon) with the Chicago Symphony, conducted by the composer.

McGill has taught at the University of Toronto, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University, DePaul University, and Roosevelt University. He has given master classes in Canada, Finland, Hungary, and throughout the United States. A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music where he studied bassoon with Sol Schoenbach, and woodwind phrasing with oboist John de Lancie and English hornist John Minsker.


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