In addition to his appointment as Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Illinois, Timothy McGovern is currently Principal Bassoonist of the Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Illinois Chamber Orchestra and Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra and bassoonist with the Prairie Winds Woodwind Quintet. For seven years, he was Associate Principal Bassoonist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Principal Bassoonist of the Montreal Symphonette, McGill Chamber Orchestra and Ravinia Festival Orchestra. He is a recipient of two Tanglewood Music Center Fellowships. Professor McGovern has been a faculty member at Indiana University (Visiting Associate Professor) and McGill University. Early in his career, he was Assistant Director of Bands at the University of Delaware and St. Cloud State University. Tours with orchestras and chamber groups have taken him throughout North and South America, Europe, and the Far East. He has recorded approximately 35 CD’s of orchestral, chamber music and solo repertoire with London/Decca, CBC, Albany and Zephyr recording companies. He attended Northwestern University and the University of Michigan. His bassoon teachers included L. Hugh Cooper, Sherman Walt, Willard Elliot, Wilbur Simpson and Ronald Noble.
Professor McGovern has also 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 others.
McGovern was the Overall Winner of the Performers of Connecticut International Solo Competition for Woodwinds and Voice. The following year he was named the Co-Winner of the East/West Artists International Solo Competition in New York City. As a winner of this competition, he was invited to perform a New York City recital debut at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Robert Sherman, in a The 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.” The International Double Reed Society Journal reviewed his 2015 recording with John Dee and Cara Chowning as “The epitome of mature, thoughtful expression”. Henry Fogel (Fanfare Magazine and former Chicago Symphony President and CEO) wrote of McGovern’s recently released French recital music CD: “We rarely think of the bassoon as a bel canto instrument, but the finest bassoonists do. David McGill, now retired principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony, proudly stated that his musical idol was Maria Callas, and his playing reflected that taste. The same can be said for Timothy McGovern . . . At the core of his playing is his ability to produce a long-spun cantabile, a true singing line. He also possesses a brilliant technique.”