Symphony Principal Bassoonist Bonnie Wolfgang Announces Retirement After 42 Seasons

Friday May 25, 2018

PHOENIX—Principal Bassoonist Bonnie Wolfgang announces her retirement at the end of this season. She has been a member of The Phoenix Symphony since 1976, and has performed under six Symphony conductors. This 70th Anniversary Season featured Wolfgang in its Opening Night concert, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, on the famous introductory solo. Her final concert will be the Classics Season finale, Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony.

 “Bonnie is a world-class musician, and our community has been very fortunate to enjoy her talents in her 42 years of service in The Phoenix Symphony,” says Virginia G. Piper Music Director Tito Muñoz. “Her talent, dedication and collegiality has helped make our wonderful orchestra a beacon of excellence among orchestras in our country. We have been privileged to have Bonnie as a member of The Phoenix Symphony, and she will be dearly missed.”

Raised in a musical family in Pennsylvania, Bonnie Wolfgang was playing bassoon with the Wilkes-Barre Symphony at age 15. She received a scholarship to Oberlin Conservatory, during which time she performed in the festival orchestra under Igor Stravinsky. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Sol Schoenbach, former principal bassoonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Following her graduation, Eugene Ormandy selected Wolfgang to solo with the Philadelphia Orchestra, a performance that gave her national recognition.

Prior to joining The Phoenix Symphony, she performed as guest soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of El Salvador which was followed by a series of performances within the US. She also presented master classes in reed-making and gave recitals under the management of Albert Kay. In addition, she performed with the Pablo Casals International Festival in Mexico City with Zubin Mehta, Sergiu Commissiona and Eduardo Mata. She resides in Scottsdale where she also teaches piano and bassoon.

Bonnie Wolfgang will be recognized at her final performance of Rachmaninoff’s Second Symphony on June 1st and 2nd. Tickets can be found at phoenixsymphony.org.

About The Phoenix Symphony

Celebrating its 70th Anniversary Season, The Phoenix Symphony has been proudly serving the citizens of the Phoenix metropolitan area and Arizona since 1947. The Phoenix Symphony presents an annual season from September through the beginning of June, featuring full-length classical and pops concerts at Symphony Hall in downtown Phoenix, as well as concerts in Scottsdale, Mesa, Prescott and throughout central Arizona. The Symphony performs for more than 125,000 students and children, helping to introduce music to new generations through a variety of education and youth-engagement programs. For more information, visit phoenixsymphony.org