Dennis Michel is second bassoonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He serves as artist teacher of bassoon and head of woodwind chamber music at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Since 1988, he has spent his summers teaching and performing at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. He previously held the position of principal bassoonist of the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera, and he was a founding member of the Arioso Wind Quintet.
He holds degrees from Eastern Washington University and Yale University. His principal teachers include Wendal Jones and Arthur Weisberg. In 1996, Michel was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for advanced study at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, where he studied with Milan Turkovic. During that time, he also performed with the Vienna State Opera.
As a teacher, he has held positions at Wichita State University, San Diego State University, the University of California at San Diego, the University of Southern California and Northwestern University.
An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Da Camera Society of Houston, on the chamber series at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and at numerous summer festivals including Tanglewood, the Bard Festival in New York, Flagstaff Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and Summerfest La Jolla, where he was a featured artist for ten seasons.
He lives in Oak Park with his wife Peggy, an active freelance oboist and teacher, and together they enjoy cooking, traveling and spending as much time as possible with family and friends.