Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: making great music personal

Kenneth Munday

principal bassoon

Kenneth Munday enjoys an eclectic and varied career. He serves as principal bassoon with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, appointed by Sir Neville Marriner in 1976. He has collaborated as a soloist with all the subsequent music directors, performing concertos by Mozart and Vivaldi, as well as the world premiere of John Steinmetz’s Bassoon Concerto. He has performed Michael Daugherty’s Dead Elvis in full Elvis costume and improvised bassoon solos in Richard Todd’s ceLebrACıOn, a jazz-infused piece commissioned by the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s for its 40th anniversary. Ken has toured with the Orchestra to South America, throughout the United States and, to great acclaim in 2008, to Italy, Germany, Austria, France and Spain.

He has recorded Richard Strauss’s Duet Concertino with David Shifrin for Nonesuch Records and received international acclaim for his performance of Luciano Berio’s 19-minute Sequenza XII for Naxos. The piece includes many extended techniques including various tonguing techniques; long, slow glissandi; multiphonics and double circular breathing. He has performed and recorded with Krzysztof Penderecki, serving as principal bassoon on the GRAMMY®-winning recording of Penderecki’s Credo with the Oregon Bach Festival, conducted by Helmuth Rilling. He has also performed and recorded on Classical and Baroque period bassoons with numerous early music ensembles, including Portland Baroque Orchestra, Musica Angelica and Santa Fe Pro Musica, as well as on Houston’s Context series with Sergiu Luca.

As a founding member of the Baroque ensemble Musical Offering, he has appeared throughout the United States and Canada. The ensemble recorded three CDs representing Vivaldi, Telemann and all of the notable Bachs for Nonesuch Records.

Working as principal bassoon for many composers, including Danny Elfman, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Elmer Bernstein, John Debney, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Randy Newman, Joel McNeely, Alan Silvestri, Christopher Young, Miklós Rózsa, Trevor Rabin, Snuffy Walden, Hans Zimmer, Aaron Zigman and others, Ken has played on hundreds of film scores. He has participated in scoring workshops for film composition students from USC, ASCAP and BMI. His expertise in extended bassoon techniques has earned him respect among composers and wind players alike.

He has served on the faculties of CSUs Northridge and Fullerton, San Diego State University, UCLA and the University of Redlands. He has taught and performed chamber music at Idyllwild Arts Summer Program and founded the Strawberry Creek Music Festival.

Ken has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival for several summers, where he appeared as soloist with the Festival Orchestra conducted by legendary flutist Marcel Moyse. He has also performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music and Oregon Bach festivals, Bach Akademie Stuttgart, Chamber Music Northwest and many others.

In addition to his duties with LACO, Ken has performed as principal bassoon at the Mainly Mozart Festival and with the LA Opera, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Pasadena Symphony and orchestras of the American Ballet Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, and Joffrey and Kirov ballets.

Ken is a graduate of California Institute of the Arts.

Kenneth Munday

photo Michael Burke

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