Carolyn Beck

Artist Teacher, Bassoon
School of Music

Carolyn Beck


Fine Arts


B.A., California State University, Northridge
M.M., Yale School of Music
D.M.A., Manhattan School of Music

Areas of Expertise

  • Orchestra Performance: bassoon and contrabassoon 
  • Bassoon solo literature 
  • Chamber music literature and performance for winds 
  • New music for bassoon, new music techniques 
  • Baroque and classical performance practice


Described as “a fearless player… as well as a musician with a keen sense of phrasing and color” (Gramophone), bassoonist Carolyn Beck is the Principal Bassoonist with the Redlands and San Bernardino Symphonies, and performs with many other orchestras in the Los Angeles area. Her solo CD "Beck and Call" is available on Crystal Records. Recent solo appearances include the premiere of a Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra by Christopher James in New York City in June 2012, and appearances at several double reed conferences. She was the bassoon co-host of the 2013 International Double Reed Society Conference held on the University of Redlands campus. Dr. Beck is a devoted teacher and some of her former bassoon students have gone on to major music schools including Curtis, Eastman, Juilliard, and Manhattan School of Music. Some have won orchestra positions and others have become excellent music educators or excelled in other fields. When not playing, teaching, or listening to music, she enjoys reading, swimming, practicing yoga, and hanging out with her husband, trumpet player Bill Peterson.

Courses Taught at Redlands

Applied Bassoon
Bassoon Reed Making

Recordings and Publications

  • "Beck and Call" solo CD assisted by piano, viola, Crystal Records (published 2005) 
  • Music of Alex Shapiro: "Notes from the Kelp, Innova" CD 
  • Pete Christlieb: "For Heaven’s Sake" CD 
  • Recordings with Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias, Spain 
  • Recordings with North-South Consonance : the receding mist..., Vocal and Instrumental Music from the Americas; Music of Latin American Composers, Opus One label 
  • Co-editor of "Recollections of a First Chair Bassoonist; 52 Years in the Hollywood Studio" Orchestras by Don Christlieb, 1996