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Matthew McDonald

Matthew McDonald
Matthew McDonald

Instrument: Bassoon
With the RPO since: 2013
Hometown: Huntsville, Ala.
Non-RPO activities and hobbies: Trying to cook, and successfully drinking wine

What music school did you attend, and who were your most inspirational teachers? The Curtis Institute of Music, Daniel Matsukawa, Bernard Garfield, Benjamin Kamins
What kinds of music do you enjoy listening to? Mozart, Stravinsky, Schubert, Mendelssohn, so many others
What sports team(s) do you root for? New Orleans Saints!
What is your favorite way to spend your day off? Walking and listening to music
What is your most memorable musical experience? I am looking forward to making some great memories with the RPO.


Matthew McDonald was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in September 2013. Before his appointment there, he was Principal Bassoon of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Co-Principal Bassoon of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio. McDonald has performed as soloist with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra, and The Cleveland Orchestra, as well as at the International Double Reed Society conference. He has appeared with festival orchestras such as the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra and the Tanglewood Music Center.

Born in Huntsville, Alabama, McDonald began studying with Hunter Thomas, and later with Benjamin Kamins. A graduate of the Young Artist Program at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, McDonald had other teachers including Barrick Stees, Bernard Garfield, and Daniel Matsukawa. Along with soprano Susanna Phillips, McDonald co-founded Twickenham Fest, a chamber music festival in Huntsville, Alabama, which had its inaugural summer in 2010.

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