In addition to his appointment as Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Illinois, Timothy McGovern is currently Principal Bassoonist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Illinois Chamber Orchestra, and a member of The Prairie Winds Woodwind Quintet. He was Associate Principal Bassoon of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bassoon of the Montréal Symphonette, McGill Chamber Orchestra, and Ravinia Festival Orchestra. His bassoon teachers included L. Hugh Cooper, Sherman Walt, Willard Elliot, Wilbur Simpson, and Ronald Noble. During the spring term of 2008, Professor McGovern was a Visiting Associate Professor of Bassoon at Indiana University. He has also been a faculty member at McGill University, the University of Delaware, and St. Cloud State University. He attended Northwestern University and the University of Michigan, and is the recipient of two Tanglewood Music Center Fellowships.
Professor McGovern has performed with the Chicago, Boston, Toronto, Delaware, Grant Park, and Chicago Opera Theater Orchestras, among others. He has performed with many legendary musicians such as Itzhak Perlman, Cecilia Bartoli, Isaac Stern, Joshua Bell, Yo-Yo Ma, Mstislav Rostropovich, Kiri Te Kanawa, Leonard Bernstein, Sir Neville Marriner, Charles Dutoit, and Seiji Ozawa. His premieres of new solo and chamber pieces include works from composer’s Bill Douglas, Nikola Resanovic, James Stephenson, Arthur Weisberg, and many others.
He has recorded approximately 30 CDs of orchestral and chamber music repertoire with London/Decca, Albany Records, and other recording companies. Recent recordings have included Turbulent Winds with the Prairie Winds Woodwind Quintet. His recording of twentieth century solo and chamber works was released in April of 2015 with Professors Cara Chowning and John Dee on the Albany Records label. “Their experience shows in the technical assurance of their playing, the warm but vibrant tone, the expressive phrasing and the easy assumption of idiom” (Fanfare Magazine). “Everything is tonal, lyrical, imaginative, and truly beautiful . . . The Stockigt Sonatine for Bassoon and Piano is a short-yet-substantial work demanding real virtuosity and rhythmic buoyancy from McGovern, which he supplies in spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds . . . the playing in the Bertoni is spectacular” (Expedition Audio).
Professor McGovern was the Overall Winner of the Performers of Connecticut International Solo Competition for Woodwinds and Voice, which included 117 participants. The following year he was named the co-winner of the East/West Artists International Solo Competition in New York City (165 participants). As a winner of this competition he was invited to perform a New York City recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
He has performed at numerous national and international conferences and festivals, on many public radio and television programs, and at numerous universities and concert halls throughout the United States. Tours with orchestras and chamber groups have taken him throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East. Robert Sherman (New York Times review) said, “Timothy McGovern is quite an extraordinary talent. His playing was indeed consistently musical and compelling: It had expressive warmth, a natural feeling for line and phrase and, when needed, amazing agility.”