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.


I serve on the faculties of the following schools:

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


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.


Reed-Making Handout (William Short)

Long Tones (Benjamin Kamins)

Scales and Intervals (Benjamin Kamins)