David McGill Departs the Chicago Symphony Orchestra After 17 Years for a Teaching Position at Northwestern University
David McGill, principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 17 years, has resigned his position with the Orchestra, effective in August 2014, in order to accept a full-time teaching position at Northwestern University's Bienen School of Music.
David McGill began his tenure as the CSO's principal bassoon in 1997, appointed by then-music director Daniel Barenboim.
CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti remarked, "After many wonderful years as Principal Bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, David McGill has decided now to dedicate his talents to teaching and soloist activities. In him, the Orchestra loses an exceptional artist and I will personally miss not only a musician but also a friend. David's deep musical experiences will enable him to make an important contribution to the teaching of young musicians, continuing the great tradition that he himself received. I send my best wishes for his continued success in all his musical activities."
"Teaching has always been a great love of mine, and the rigors of performing have precluded me pursuing this noble profession as much as I would like," said David McGill. "I have learned so much from Maestro Muti and the great musicians of this incredible Orchestra, and thank them all for 17 years of unforgettable music making."
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, David McGill holds a bachelor of music degree from Philadelphia's Curtis Institute of Music, where his teachers included Sol Schoenbach, John de Lancie and John Minsker. He came to Chicago from the Cleveland Orchestra, where he had served as principal bassoon since 1988. Prior to that, McGill was principal bassoon of the Toronto Symphony (1985 to 1988) and the Tulsa Philharmonic (1980-81), as well as of the Solti Orchestral Project at Carnegie Hall in 1994 and the World Orchestra for Peace in 1995, both under Sir Georg Solti.
McGill has appeared as soloist with the CSO on over 25 occasions, including at Carnegie Hall in 2005 and with John Williams in his bassoon concerto, The Five Sacred Trees. He has also performed as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony, among others. 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. He has also 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 his recording of Richard Strauss's Duett-Concertino for Clarinet and Bassoon (with Larry Combs) from the CSO's recording of Strauss's wind concertos with Daniel Barenboim conducting. 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 and Christoph von Dohnányi conducting.