William Short

William Short was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 2012. He previously served in the same capacity with the Delaware Symphony Orchestra and has also performed with the Houston Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

A dedicated teacher, William serves on the faculties of The Juilliard SchoolManhattan School of Music, and Temple University. He has presented classes at colleges and conservatories around the country and at the 2014 International Double Reed Society Conference.

William has performed and taught at the InterlochenLake ChamplainLake TahoeMostly MozartStellenbosch (South Africa), StringsTwickenham, and Verbier Festivals. In 2015 he made his solo debut with the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, performing David Ludwig's Pictures from the Floating World.

William has toured the United States with Curtis on Tour and has performed and taught in Belize, Cuba, Guatemala, and Nicaragua with the Philadelphia-based wind quintet Liberty Winds. His performances have been featured on American Public Media's “Performance Today” and on WHYY’s “Onstage at Curtis.” An occasional composer, his works have been published by TrevCo-Varner Music.

Committed to forging connections between audiences and performers, William's articles on the subject can be found on the MET Orchestra Musicians' website, which has been lauded not only by The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, but also by noted arts consultant Drew McManus and prolific cultural commentator Norman Lebrecht.

William received his Bachelor of Music from the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Daniel Matsukawa and Bernard Garfield, and his Master of Music at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where he studied with Benjamin Kamins. He attended festivals including the Music Academy of the West, Pacific Music FestivalSpoleto Festival USA, and the Verbier Festival. Additional major teachers have included Jeanine AttawayKristin Wolfe Jensen, and William Lewis.

7 Tips for Flying with an Instrument

The following are guidelines I’ve found to make traveling with an instrument easier and a bit more pleasant. (Disclaimer: These tips are for flying within the US with instruments that fit in overhead bins. I have no experience flying with larger instruments.)

1. Book a seat close to the back of the plane. Most airlines board from the back of the plane, so this will help the ensure that there will be room in the overhead bins for your instrument.

2. Print out the final ruling of the Department of Transportation and carry it in your case. I have highlighted the relevant sections in the linked file. Note that it requires airlines to allow you to carry on a musical instrument only if there is room for it onboard. This makes boarding early very important.

3. If possible, make your instrument your only carry-on. This will simplify your travel and make any request you make for “special” treatment even more reasonable. If this isn’t possible, make sure that your second carry-on is smaller than your instrument. It will have to fit beneath the seat in front of you, since only one of your bags is allowed in the overhead bin.

4. To further ensure that you’ll be able to find room in the overhead bins, pay for early boarding. If this isn’t possible, approach the gate agent and ask if there is usually overhead bin space by the time your row or boarding group boards. If they say yes, believe them. If they say no, politely explain that you are traveling with a valuable, fragile musical instrument and ask if it might be possible for you to board early.

5. Try to board near the front of your group.

6. Always be courteous to airline employees. If there is no more room in the overhead bin space, politely explain that you are traveling with a valuable, fragile musical instrument and ask if there’s a space onboard (such as a closet where the flight attendants store their belongings) where you could put your instrument. If that fails, ask other passengers if anyone would be willing to check their bag that is in the overhead bin. As a last resort, I sooner walk off a plane than gate check my instrument.

7. If possible, stow your instrument in an overhead bin directly across the aisle from your seat. This way, you can keep an eye on it and make sure other passengers don’t try to move (or remove) it.

Additional information to carry with you, especially when traveling internationally:

  • Proof that you own your instrument and purchased it in your home country
  • A CITES passport if your instrument contains protected materials, such as elephant ivory (useful guide here)

The Department of Transportation has also provided these travel tips.