Wednesday, February 07, 2024

Changes in the San Francisco Symphony Bassoon Section

Davies Symphony Hall
January, 2024
Lit in blue the weekend of MTT's Mahler 5 concerts

About ten days ago, I noticed that SFS had an audition notice posted for principal bassoon, and I reached the obvious conclusion that this meant Stephen Paulson would be retiring.

Not so fast: I check it again, and now there is a note saying the following:
After a distinguished 48-year career as the Symphony’s Principal Bassoon, Stephen Paulson will be stepping into the Associate Principal role beginning with the 2024-25 Season.

So...I guess that means that Steven Dibner, currently the associate principal, is retiring, Paulson is stepping into that spot, and hence there's a need for a new principal.

With a tenure going back 48 years, I think that Paulson is the longest-serving member of the orchestra. A look around the musician page turned up a few players who joined between 1980 and 1984; as I've mentioned, the orchestra is very much in the midst of a generational change. 


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