Carolyn Beck

Lecturer in Music; Bassoon
With Pomona Since: 2002
  • Expertise


    Described as “a fearless player… as well as a musician with a keen sense of phrasing and color,” (Gramophone), Carolyn Beck is the principal bassoonist with the Redlands and San Bernardino symphonies, and performs with other ensembles in the Los Angeles area including playing baroque bassoon with period instrument groups. She has numerous recordings to her credit and in 2013 she co-hosted the International Double Reed Society conference.

    Beck has soloed with numerous symphonies and chamber ensembles, including the North/South Consonance and was formerly principal bassoonist with the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Orchestra Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias in Spain.

    • Orchestra performance: bassoon and contrabassoon 
    • Chamber music literature and performance for winds 
    • New music for bassoon, new music techniques 
    • Baroque and classical performance practice
  • Work


    Recent Solo Appearances

    • Soloist on Joan Tower’s bassoon concerto, Red Maple, with the Pomona College Orchestra
    • Soloist on Christopher James’ Bassoon Concerto, with the North/South Consonance in New York City (premiere)
    • Soloist on John Williams’ bassoon concerto Five Sacred Trees with the Redlands Symphony Orchestra in 2004
    • Appearances at several International Double Reed Society conferences.


    • "Beck and Call," solo CD, Crystal Records (2005)
    • "Notes from the Kelp,” music of Alex Shapiro on Innova (2007)
    • Recordings with Orquesta Sinfonica del Principado de Asturias, Spain
    • Recordings with North-South Consonance: “ the receding mist” and "Music at the Crossroads: New American Chamber Music," (1995) on North/South label; and “Latin American Composers in the U.S.” on Opus One (1987)
  • Education


    • Manhattan School of Music: D.M.A.
    • Yale University School of Music: M.M.
    • California State University, Northridge: B.A, cum laude

    Teaches bassoon at Pomona College, the University of Redlands, and the Idyllwild Arts Academy