Get to Know the DSSO: Bradley Bombardier, 2nd Bassoon

Name: Bradley A. Bombardier

Member of DSSO since: 1980

DSSO Position: Second Bassoon

Duluth East High School 1978
Bachelor of Music – University of Wisconsin-Superior 1982
Master of Music –  Bowling Green State University 1984

What made you decide to pursue a career in music? 
It’s what I love most, and it was a natural path starting in high school.

What has been the highlight of your career thus far? 
Several composition commissions from the DSSO, starting with my “Concerto for Orchestra” in 1989 (after being awarded a Bush Artist Fellowship for Composition), and most recently, “Antipode to Joy” in 2009

 What made you choose to play bassoon? 
I am primarily a saxophonist, but took up bassoon in order to play in symphony orchestras, where saxophones normally don’t exist.

What’s the most challenging thing about playing the bassoon?
Temperamental double reeds and crazy fingerings (I have 11 keys for my left thumb alone!)

Do you have a favorite piece of orchestral repertoire to play and/or listen to? 
Anything Shostakovich, Sibelius, Mahler, or Wagner. (There’s simply no way to pick a single piece!)

When you’re not performing, what do you do for fun? 
Compose, take saunas, play racquetball, attend Duluth Huskies games, play in “A Band Called Truman” and go for long motorcycle rides. And hang out with friends. Naps are also important.

What’s one thing you hope people take away from a DSSO concert? 
There is NO substitute for live music.

Do you have any advice for those looking to pursue a career in music? 
You must be dedicated, love to practice, and be OK with never getting rich.

For more information on Brad Bombardier, visit