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Timothy McGovern


In addition to his appointment as Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Illinois, Timothy McGovern is currently Principal Bassoonist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Chamber Orchestra, Principal Bassoon of the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, a member of the Prairie Winds Woodwind Quintet, and an active Chicago-area freelance bassoonist. He was Associate Principal Bassoon of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bassoon of the Montréal Symphonette, McGill Chamber Orchestra, and Ravinia Festival Orchestra. He has been a faculty member at Indiana University, McGill University, the University of Delaware, and St. Cloud State University. Professor McGovern has performed with the Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Delaware, Grant Park, and Chicago Opera Theater Orchestras, among many 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, and Seiji Ozawa.

He has recorded approximately thirty commercial recordings of orchestral, chamber, and solo repertoire with London/Decca, Albany Records, the Canadian Broadcasting Company, and other recording companies. Professor McGovern was the overall winner of the Performers of Connecticut International Solo Competition for Woodwinds and Voice and co-winner of the East/West Artists International Solo Competition in New York City. As a competition winner, he was invited to perform a New York City recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He has performed at numerous national and international conferences and festivals, on many public radio and television programs, at numerous universities throughout the United States, and on chamber music series in 30 of the 50 states. Tours with orchestras and chamber groups have taken him throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East.

His bassoon teachers include L. Hugh Cooper, Sherman Walt, Willard Elliot, Wilbur Simpson, and Ronald Noble. He attended Northwestern University and the University of Michigan and is the recipient of two Tanglewood Music Center Fellowships. His premieres of new solo and chamber pieces include works from composers Bill Douglas, Nikola Resanovic, James Stephenson, Arthur Weisberg, Elaine Fine, and many others.

. . . 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 . . . the 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)