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Timothy McGovern


Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Illinois, Timothy McGovern is currently Principal Bassoonist of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Chamber Orchestra, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra. He also performs as a member of the Prairie Winds Woodwind Quintet. He was Associate Principal Bassoon of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bassoon of the Montréal Symphonette, McGill Chamber Orchestra, and Ravinia Festival Orchestra. His bassoon teachers included L. Hugh Cooper, Sherman Walt, Willard Elliot, Wilbur Simpson, and Ronald Noble. He has been a faculty member at Indiana University, McGill University, the University of Delaware, and St. Cloud State University. He attended Northwestern University and the University of Michigan and is the recipient of two Tanglewood Music Center Fellowships.

McGovern has performed with the Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Delaware, Grant Park, and Chicago Opera Theater Orchestras, among others. He has performed with many legendary musicians such as Renée Fleming, Andrea Bocelli, Itzhak Perlman, Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovich, Kiri Te Kanawa, Leonard Bernstein, Charles Dutoit, and Seiji Ozawa. His premieres of new solo and chamber pieces include works from composers Bill Douglas, Nikola Resanovic, James Stephenson, Arthur Weisberg, and many others.

McGovern has recorded approximately 30 CDs of orchestral, chamber music, and solo repertoire with London/Decca, CBC, Albany Records, and other recording companies. His recent recording of twentieth-century solo and chamber works was released in April of 2015 with Professors Cara Chowning and John Dee on the Albany Records label.

McGovern was the overall winner of the Performers of Connecticut International Solo Competition for Woodwinds and Voice. The following year, he was named co-winner of the East/West Artists International Solo Competition in New York City and invited to perform a New York City recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.

He has performed extensively. Tours with orchestras and chamber groups have taken him throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East.

. . . the Bertoni clearly offers Timothy McGovern the opportunity to showcase his considerable resources: warm rich tone; long, singing line; core homogeneity throughout his instrument’s considerable range. . . . the epitome of mature, thoughtful expression . . . (The International Double Reed Society, The Double Reed Journal)

Timothy McGovern is quite an extraordinary talent. His playing was indeed consistently musical and compelling: It had expressive warmth, a natural feeling for line and phrase and, when needed, amazing agility. (The New York Times)

Everything is tonal, lyrical, imaginative, and truly beautiful . . . The Stockigt Sonatine for Bassoon and Piano is a short-yet-substantial work demanding real virtuosity and rhythmic buoyancy from McGovern, which he supplies in spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds . . . his playing in the Bertoni is spectacular. (Expedition Audio)

Their experience shows in the technical assurance of their playing, the warm but vibrant tone, the expressive phrasing and the easy assumption of idiom. (Fanfare Magazine)