Norman B. Mears Chair
John Miller, Jr., the longest-serving principal player in the Minnesota Orchestra’s history, was appointed principal bassoon in 1971, the year he also joined the music faculty of the University of Minnesota. Since then he has continued his solo career, performing many times with the Orchestra, most recently playing Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto in 2009, as well as with many other orchestras. In November 2014 he and his bassoon section colleagues will be featured in performances of Dietter’s Concerto for Two Bassoons, with Miller playing all three movements, and Mark Kelley, J. Christopher Marshall and Norbert Nielubowski joining him for one movement each.
Miller received his early musical training at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and the New England Conservatory in Boston. He earned a bachelor of science degree in humanities and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was awarded a Fulbright grant for music study in Amsterdam. While in Boston, he founded the Bubonic Bassoon Quartet and made the premiere recording of the Hummel Bassoon Concerto, released along with the Weber Concerto on Cambridge Records.
For more than 20 years, Miller was a member of the American Reed Trio. Among his solo recordings are four concertos by Vivaldi and the Mozart and Vanhal Bassoon Concertos, all conducted by Sir Neville Marriner, on two Pro Arte discs. His teachers have included Louis Skinner, Arthur Weisberg, Stanley Petrulis, Sherman Walt, Stephen Maxym and Thom de Klerk. Among Miller’s educational activities is the Nordic Bassoon Symposium, an outgrowth of the John Miller Bassoon Symposium, which began in 1984; it has attracted an international mix of hundreds of professional, student and amateur bassoonists. Miller has also presented master classes and recitals at major conservatories and music schools on five continents.