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John Miller is currently the principal bassoon for the Minnesota Orchestra. He has been with the orchestra and been their principal bassoonist since 1971.
John was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Growing up, he played the piano. He soon decided that he wanted to start playing the English horn. Louis Skinner, a friend and famous bassoon player and reed maker, convinced him that he might rather play the bassoon. At age 12, he did begin playing the bassoon.
At the age of 14, John received a scholarship for lessons at the Peabody Conservatory in exchange for his playing in their orchestra. He played in their orchestra until he was finished with high school. John attended MIT and received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering and Philosophy. He only took occasional bassoon lessons, but while completing his studies at MIT, he knew he truly wanted to be a professional bassoon player. Upon completion at MIT, John went to Amsterdam to study with Thom de Klerk, principal bassoonist of the Concertgebouw. After a year in Amsterdam, John went to the New England Conservatory, where he studied with Sherman Walt of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. From the New England Conservatory, John received a Masters Degree in Music and an Artist Diploma in Bassoon Performance.
After finishing at the New England Conservatory in 1969, John did some freelance work before getting his first job as the principal bassoonist with the Minnesota Orchestra in 1971. He has been there ever since.
John started the Bubonic Quartet, which lasted from 1962-1969. A few years ago, John started its successor, the Neo-Bubonic Quartet, which in 2003 produced a recording through Fox Products. He also founded the Minnesota Bassoon Association in 1983 for professional and amateur players.
Outside of the music world, John loves gardening. He also enjoys bike riding. John has three children. John's favorite composers are Bach, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky. He wants young aspiring bassoonists to know that they need to get the best teachers they can find because what you learn in the earliest years stick with you and it is difficult to change if not taught the best and most correct techniques.