Degrees: D.M.A., Bassoon Performance, Manhattan School of Music; M.M., Bassoon Performance, Yale School of Music; B.A., Bassoon Performance, California State University, Northridge

Office Hours: By appointment




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


Professional Profile

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 Offered at Redlands

  • Applied Bassoon

  • Bassoon Reed Making


Teaching Experience

  • Currently also an adjunct teacher of bassoon at Pomona College and Idyllwild Arts Academy

  • Woodwind Quintet instructor/coach for the Young Musician's Foundation Chamber Music Program, 2008, 2002

  • Assistant Professor of Bassoon, University of Texas at Austin, 1988-92

  • Assistant Professor of Bassoon and Music, University or Wisconsin, Oshkosh, 1987-88


Select Orchestra Positions

  • Principal Bassoon, Redlands Symphony Orchestra

  • Principal Bassoon, San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra

  • Principal Bassoon, Andrea Bocelli tours in California

  • Sub/extra bassoon and contrabassoon, San Diego Symphony

  • Principal Bassoon, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, 1996

  • Principal Bassoon, Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias, Spain, 1993-94

  • Bassoon extra, San Antonio Symphony, 1989-92

  • Washington Opera, Kennedy Center, 1984-86


Select Solo Performances and Chamber Music Affiliations

  • Western United States premiere of Concerto for Bassoon and String Orchestra by Joan Tower, Pomona College, October 2014

  • Chamber music and solo performances at Beverly Hills International Music Festival

  • International Double Reed Society Conference Performances: NYC, 2014; Redlands, CA 2013; Oxford OH, 2012; Phoenix, AZ 2011; Austin TX, 2005; Minneapolis, MN, 1993; Baltimore, MD, 1991; Baton Rouge, LA, 1989; Los Angeles, CA, 2978

  • Premiere of Bassoon concerto by Christopher James with North-South Consonance Chamber Orchestra, NYC, 2012

  • Chamber music with UR faculty ensembles

  • Cornucopia Baroque Ensemble, Pomona College Faculty Ensemble

  • Chamber Music Palisades, several performances

  • Concert of the music of Bill Douglas, with the composer, February 2007

  • Soloist with Redlands Symphony Orchestra, John Williams bassoon Concerto, 2004

  • Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music series, April 2004

  • Premiere of solo work, Society of Electro Acoustic Music in the United States National Conference, April, 1993


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


Professional Affiliations

  • International Double Reed Society

  • American Federation of Musicians

  • College Music Society

  • Chamber Music America

  • Early Music America


Awards and Honors

  • Fellowship and Scholarship, Manhattan School of Music, 1982-84

  • Award for Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to the School, Yale School of Music Alumni Association, 1982

  • Outstanding Orchestra Member, California State University, Northridge, 1979