McGill Bassoon Day 2021


Strathcona Music Building 555 rue Sherbrooke Ouest, Montreal, QC, H3A 1E3, CA
Free admission

The 19th annual Bassoon Day at McGill will take place virtually on Saturday February 2021, and will feature a reunion of many of the former and current bassoonists of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal.

Join us for three master classes and a panel discussion featuring former OSM bassoonists John Clouser, Whitney Crockett, Richard Hoenich, Nadina Mackie Jackson, Suzanne Nelsen, Philip Pandolfi, and Mark Romatz, as well as current OSM members Mathieu Harel and Michael Sundell.

Register HERE

McGill students will participate in the master classes; all events are open to the public and Zoom links will be sent following registration.


  • 10:00-11:30am, Master class with Richard Hoenich, Suzanne Nelsen and Mark Romatz
  • 12:30-2:00pm, Master class with Mathieu Harel, Nadina Mackie Jackson and John Clouser
  • 3:00- 4:30pm, Master class with Michael Sundell, Philip Pandolfi and Whitney Crockett
  • 5:00-6:00pm, Bassoon Extravaganza 'recital' and Q&A


Guest bios:


John Clouser (OSM 1994 - 1997)

John Clouser joined The Cleveland Orchestra as principal bassoon with the start of the 1997-98 season. His solo appearances with the Orchestra at Severance Hall and Blossom have included Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto and Sinfonia concertante, Haydn’s Sinfonia concertante, and Richard Strauss’s Duet Concertino.

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Mr. Clouser serves as head of the bassoon department at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is a faculty member of the Kent/Blossom professional training program. He has taught and performed at festivals including the National Orchestral Institute, Round Top, and Domaine Forget in Quebec, and has worked regularly with young artists at the New World Symphony in Miami. He is a frequent clinician and guest artist at universities and schools of music, leading masterclasses and performing in recitals. Born in Boston, John Clouser studied at Gordon College, College of New Jersey, where he was a philosophy major, and at Temple University, where he worked with his principal teacher, Bernard Garfield (principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra 1957-2000). Mr. Clouser performs on his teacher’s instrument, which Garfield passed to him in 2006. Prior to coming to Cleveland, Mr. Clouser served as associate principal bassoon of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and principal bassoon of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and was adjunct instructor of bassoon at McGill University, Rhodes College, and Haverford College.



Whitney Crockett (OSM 1992 - 1998)

Whitney Crockett joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic as principal bassoon in 2009 as one of Gustavo Dudamel’s first appointments. He came to Los Angeles after 12 years as principal bassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra under James Levine.

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Prior to his work in New York, Crockett held the same position with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Earlier in his career, he held principal bassoon positions with the Florida Orchestra, the South Florida Symphony and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacionál of the Dominican Republic. As a soloist, Crockett has appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Orchestra, the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, the Bellingham Festival Orchestra, the Mainly Mozart Orchestra and Les Violons du Roy. A respected pedagogue, Crockett began his tenure with the faculty of Lynn University in the fall of 2020, and he has served on the faculties of the Juilliard and Manhattan schools of music, as well as McGill University in Montreal. He has given master classes at numerous institutions, including the Domaine Forget in Québec, the Curtis Institute, the Colburn School, the Puerto Rico Conservatory and many universities across the United States, Asia and Australia.



Mathieu Harel (OSM since 1998)

Associate principal bassoon with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 1998, Mathieu Harel was acting principal bassoon of the OSM during the 2003-04 season. Born in Contrecoeur, near Montréal, Mr. Harel studied with Bernard Garfield at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, and at the Montreal Conservatory, with Rodolfo Masella and Gerald Corey.

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Prior to the end of his studies at Curtis, Mr Harel won the second bassoon position with the Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and he was also assistant principal bassoon with the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago. He currently teaches at the Montreal Conservatory and at Domaine Forget, and was a member of the faculties at McGill University, at the Trois-Rivières Conservatory, at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and at the Camp Musical des Laurentides. Mr Harel plays on a bassoon made by Canadian maker Benson H. Bell.



Richard Hoenich (OSM 1979 - 1991)

Montreal-born Richard Hoenich enjoys a distinguished career as a performer, conductor, and educator. He has conducted professional orchestras on four continents, and at such prestigious venues as the Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, the Zarzuela Theatre in Madrid, and the Salle Pleyel in Paris.

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In Canada, he has conducted the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, among others. During his tenure as principal bassoon with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1979 to 1991 he was appointed associate conductor of the MSO by music director Charles Dutoit. Richard has recorded extensively both in the orchestra and on the podium and appears on CDs issued by Decca, New World Records, Albany, Liscio, Marquis Classics, and McGill Records labels. Richard's work with gifted aspiring professionals in Boston and Miami inspired him to devote part of his energies to help mold the next generation of orchestra performers. To that end, he returned to Canada to establish the Brooke Valley Musician’s Retreat in rural Ontario, where he works with professional musicians seeking an orchestral position. In 2016, he served on the faculty of the Jacob School of Music at Indiana University, Bloomington, and is currently on the wind faculty of the University of Ottawa.



Nadina Mackie Jackson (OSM 1981 - 1990)

Solo bassoonist, NADINA MACKIE JACKSON is the most widely recorded Canadian bassoonist in history with 13 solo albums, 8 chamber music recordings to her credit and dozens of albums with symphonic, chamber and historical instrument orchestras, including the Montreal Symphony, Aradia Baroque Ensemble, the group of twenty-seven, the Toronto Chamber Orchestra and Tafelmusik.

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Nadina has toured extensively across Canada, the US, South America, Europe and Japan. Eighteen new works for solo bassoon and orchestra have been written for Nadina, along with many solo and chamber works. Recent solo recordings include Vivaldi Concerti Volume I with Nicholas McGegan and the Juno short-listed Canadian Concerto Project with the group of twenty-seven chamber orchestra Nadina has taught on the faculties of the University of Toronto, the Glenn Gould School of the Royal conservatory of Music, the State University of New York at Fredonia and at McGill University. Nadina is the founder and president of The Council of Canadian Bassoonists, an official educational charity dedicated to the bassoon. Nadina has given masterclasses throughout Canada, the US and South America and is the author of SOLITARY REFINEMENT, Scales, Chords and Chromatics, Concepts for the Committed Bassoonist.



Suzanne Nelsen (OSM 1995 - 2000)

Suzanne Nelsen grew up on a pig farm in Alberta, Canada. She comes from a musical family; her parents were opera singers and her siblings are also professional musicians. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from McGill University and pursued further study at The Hague Conservatory in Holland, earning a UM degree.

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During that time she performed throughout Europe and Great Britain as soloist and chamber musician. In 1995, during post-graduate study at McGill, she won a position with the Montreal Symphony where she stayed for 5 years until her appointment in 2000 to the Boston Symphony and the Boston Pops orchestras. While a member of the Boston Symphony, she appeared with the Grand Teton Festival in Wyoming, and with the Super World Orchestra in Tokyo, Japan. She has recorded numerous CD’s with both the Montreal and Boston Symphonies, five of which have won Grammy Awards. She was a founding member of the New England Bassoon Quartet and a member of Zephyr Winds, in residence at The Boston Conservatory. Suzanne has taught bassoon and chamber music at McGill University, Longy School of Music, Boston Conservatory and Boston University. She was co-director of the bassoon seminar at Boston University Tanglewood Institute (BUTI) for 4 summers. As a mother of two, one of her favourite things to do is lecture demonstrations for kids, students and parents about life as a professional musician. She has made many educational videos for the Boston Symphony Orchestra that can be found on the BSOwebsite.



Philip Pandolfi (OSM 1993 - 1995)

Born in Boston and raised in Milwaukee and St. Louis, bassoonist Philip Pandolfi has been a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1995. After undergraduate studies at Indiana University and a Master's degree from Temple University, Philip was selected from over one thousand applicants for the inaugural season of the New World Symphony, in 1988.

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He spent three seasons in the Miami-based ensemble, performing in the United States, South America and Europe. Prior to his appointment in the Pittsburgh Symphony, Philip spent two seasons each in the Montreal Symphony and the Florida Orchestra (Tampa). He has also performed with the Cleveland, Chicago, Minnesota and St. Louis Symphony orchestras. He has been Principal Bassoonist of the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin since 1998. A busy chamber musician in Miami, Tampa and Montreal, Philip has performed with the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project, the Shadyside Concert Series, and on numerous faculty recitals at Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon universities.



Mark Romatz (OSM 2000 - 2009)

Mark L. Romatz is currently Bassoon and Contrabassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Prior to that appointment, the University of Michigan graduate held positions with the Montréal, Jacksonville, Savannah and Duluth Symphonies.

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He has been a member of the Bellingham, Grand Teton, Grant Park Colorado, Spoleto, Sunflower, Buzzard Bay, and Mostly Mozart Music Festivals. Mr. Romatz has been a faculty member at McGill University in Montréal, the University of Florida, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He has served as Acting Second Bassoon with the Minnesota Orchestra and has performed with The New York Philharmonic, Chicago and Detroit Symphony Orchestras and the Saint Paul Chamber. He studied with L. Hugh Cooper and John Miller.



Michael Sundell (OSM since 2011)

Michael Sundell was appointed to the contrabassoon position with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in 2011. He attended the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied with William Winstead, and Rice University as a student of Benjamin Kamins.

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Prior to coming to Montreal, Mr Sundell was a member of the Colorado Symphony, and he has also held positions with the Milwaukee Symphony, Tulsa Philharmonic, and Virginia Symphony. He also enjoyed an extensive career as a freelance musician working with many orchestras throughout the U.S. including the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, National Symphony, and the Kennedy Center Opera. Currently on the faculty of the Montreal Conservatory, Mr Sundell has also given master classes at McGill University and has served on the faculty of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada. In addition to his performing career, Mr. Sundell is also the founder of "Musicians in Transitions" where he helps high level performing artists who feel disconnected in their lives and careers live with more clarity, certainty, and purpose.


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Stéphane Lévesque
stephane.levesque [at]
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