Principal Bassoon, Norman B. Mears Chair
Xie joined the Minnesota Orchestra as Principal Bassoon at the beginning of the 2017-18 season after serving as principal bassoonist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble he first joined as second bassoonist in 2008. When he won the principal role in 2012, Xie became the first Chinese-born bassoonist to hold such a position in a major American symphony orchestra. He was previously a member of the Houston Grand Opera, principal bassoonist of the Mansfield Symphony in Ohio, and has appeared as guest principal bassoonist with orchestras such as Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, Houston Symphony and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Xie has appeared as soloist with Minnesota Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Festival Moziac Orchestra, and SiChuan Conservatory Symphony Orchestra in China. He has received high praise from critics from the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun and Star Tribune. His performance of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the Minnesota Orchestra and Music Director Osmo Vänskä was streamed live online and broadcast on Twin Cities station. Xie has performed at many summer festivals including Festival Mozaic, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Tanglewood Music Center, National Repertory Orchestra and Music Academy of the West. In 2010, he was a finalist and prize-winner at the International Double Reed Society’s Gillet-Fox competition, where he was the only American bassoonist chosen for the final round.
An avid educator, Xie has taught masterclasses at conservatories and festivals throughout the U.S., China and Brazil. He has recently served on the faculty at the University of Maryland and was the bassoon coach for the inaugural season of the NYO-China (National Youth Orchestra of China). He was recently appointed to the faculty of the School of Music at the University of Minnesota. Xie also served as a faculty member at Campos do Jordão International Music Festival in Brazil for two seasons. While in Brazil, he performed Kalevi Aho’s Quintet for Bassoon and Strings with the award-winning Quarteto Radamés Gnattali.
Recently, Xie recorded the Quintet for Bassoon and Strings by composer Michael Fine for Fine for Five, a CD recording project of newly-composed chamber music for winds and string quartets. He can also be heard on recent Minnesota Orchestra’s recordings of Mahler Symphonies.
A native of China, Xie comes from a musical family. His parents and uncle are renowned Peking Opera musicians. He started piano lessons at age three and began bassoon studies when he was 13. He now holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory and a master’s degree from Rice University. His primary teachers and influences are George Sakakeeny and Benjamin Kamins, who was associate principal bassoon of the Minnesota Orchestra from 1972 to 1981.