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. William has performed as soloist with the Vermont and Delaware Symphonies, as well as the New York Classical Players. He is the bassoonist in the Gotham Wind Quintet.

A dedicated teacher, William serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Temple University, as well as the Verbier Festival and Interlochen Arts Camp. He has presented classes at colleges and conservatories around the country and at conferences of the International Double Reed Society, for which he serves as an officer.

William has also performed and taught at the Lake Champlain, Lake Tahoe, Mostly Mozart, Stellenbosch (South Africa), Strings, and Twickenham Festivals. An occasional editor and composer, his works have been published by the Theodore Presser Company and 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 Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, and the Verbier Festival. Additional major teachers have included Jeanine Attaway, Kristin Wolfe Jensen, and William Lewis.

Institutions

I serve on the faculties of the following schools:

Please contact me if you would like to set up a sample lesson.

Philosophy

My goal is for students to develop the ability to make thoughtful and convincing musical decisions, achieve technical fluency, understand the principles of reed-making, and develop an inner dialogue to assist with continued learning after formal training has ended.

Music is first and foremost about expression, which is not a simple matter of "feeling" the music, but a skill that must be learned and internalized. However, expression without technical discipline allows technical demands to dictate musical decisions. Neither technique nor expression can exist in a vacuum; therefore, to allow maximum musical freedom, I emphasize a strong basis in fundamentals coupled with a system of reed-making that is based on understanding simple cause-and-effect principles.

The component of inner dialogue is intimately connected with the development of musical, technical, and reed-making abilities. It is a delicate balance of recognizing and addressing weaknesses and increasing confidence, which is achieved by starting from a point of success:

  • Slow, disciplined practice of short segments of music
  • Being willing to make mistakes
  • When mistakes do happen, learning to thoughtfully analyze their causes.

By taking these steps, one can address shortcomings and develop the confidence necessary to perform consistently at a high level.

Resources

Reed-Making Handout (William Short)

Long Tones (Benjamin Kamins)

Scales and Intervals (Benjamin Kamins)