Meet The Performers

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Woodwinds - Bassoon

David McGill

Bassoon
Principal Bassoon

Appointed principal bassoon in 1996 by then-music director Daniel Barenboim, bassoonist-author David McGill began his tenure with the Chicago Symphony in 1997. He came to Chicago from the Cleveland Orchestra, where he had been principal bassoon since 1988. Prior to that, he was principal bassoon of the Toronto Symphony (1985 to 1988) and principal bassoon of the Tulsa Philharmonic (1980-81).

McGill has appeared as soloist with the CSO on over twenty-five occasions, including at Carnegie Hall in 2005 and with John Williams in his bassoon concerto, The Five Sacred Trees. He also has performed as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Toronto, Oklahoma,and Annapolis symphonies, among others. McGill was principal bassoon of the World Orchestra for Peace in 1995 and the Solti Orchestral Project at Carnegie Hall in 1994, both under Sir Georg Solti. He also has performed at the Marlboro, Tanglewood, Aspen, and Santa Fe Chamber Music festivals.

McGill received the 2001 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist with Orchestra for the Chicago Symphony’s recording of Strauss’s wind concertos. Other recordings include Musique Française with oboist Alfred Genovese and pianist Peter Serkin, Orchestral Excerpts for Bassoon (a teaching CD) and Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra.

In 1994, McGill gave the world premiere of Oskar Morawetz’s Concerto for Bassoon and Chamber Orchestra, which was written for him, and in 1996, he performed in the American premiere of Jean Françaix’s Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano at the International Double Reed Society’s convention.

McGill has given master classes in Canada, Finland, Hungary and throughout the United States. He has taught at the University of Toronto, the Cleveland Institute of Music, Indiana University and DePaul University, and he currently is on the faculty at Roosevelt University.

McGill is the author of Sound in Motion: A Performer’s Guide to Greater Musical Expression, published in 2007 by Indiana University Press. He currently is writing a bio of the legendary theremin virtuoso Clara Rockmore.

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, David McGill holds a bachelor of music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where his teachers included Sol Schoenbach, John de Lancie, and John Minsker. In 1983, he won first prize in the Fernand Gillet Competition sponsored by the International Double Reed Society.

March 2012

Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.