About 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 and a member of the Prairie Winds Woodwind Quintet. He was Associate Principal Bassoon of the Montrèal Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bassoon of the Montrèal Symphonette, McGill Chamber Orchestra and Ravinia Festival Orchestra. His bassoon teachers included L. Hugh Cooper, Sherman Walt, Willard Elliot, Wilbur Simpson and Ronald Noble. During the spring term of 2008, Professor McGovern was a Visiting Associate Professor of Bassoon at Indiana University. He has also been a faculty member at 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.
Professor 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 Itzhak Perlman, Cecilia Bartoli, Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovich, Kiri Te Kanawa, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Neville Marriner, Charles Dutoit, and Seiji Ozawa. His premieres of new solo and chamber pieces include works from composer’s Bill Douglas, Nikola Resanovic, James Stephenson, Arthur Weisberg and others.
He has recorded approximately 30 CD’s of orchestral and chamber music repertoire with London/Decca, Albany Records and other recording companies. Recent recordings have included “Turbulent Winds” with the Prairie Winds Woodwind Quintet. His recording of twentieth century solo and chamber works was released in April of 2015 with Professor’s Cara Chowning and John Dee on the Albany Records label. “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). “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).
Professor McGovern was the Overall Winner of the Performers of Connecticut International Solo Competition for Woodwinds and Voice, which included 117 participants. The following year he was named the co-winner of the East/West Artists International Solo Competition in New York City (165 participants). As a winner of this competition 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. Robert Sherman, in a The New York Times review, said, “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 most important goal for me as a teacher is to guide the development of my students’ musical growth, so that they may reach their maximum potential as both musicians and teachers. This means finding their own artistic voice. It means learning to project their ideas successfully to an audience and to also orally express these ideas to others. Students must conquer the demands of technique, rhythmic accuracy, flexibility of intonation and tone, projection of sound, dynamic control, and reed making. I strive to inspire and teach my students by example, and to be a positive, candid, and supportive mentor. I demand that students in the bassoon studio are also positive and supportive of each other. I endeavor to expose my students to a wide variety of contrasting ideas. Recent guest artists have included bassoonists from the Concertgebouw Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Hungarian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra.
BME and MM (bassoon performance), Northwestern University (student of L. Hugh Cooper, Sherman Walt, Willard Elliot, and Wilbur Simpson)