With a focus on music that appeals to all audiences, Dr. Jefferson Campbell has commissioned and premiered over 20 new works for the bassoon in recent years. His New York City debut recital at Symphony Space in January of 2012 was titled “21st Century Bassoon: music that’s fun to play” and featured music composed since 2003. His collaborations with composers Jess Hendricks, Justin Rubin, Steven Moellering, and marimbist/composer Gene Koshinski have resulted in a series of popular new pieces featuring the bassoon in a variety of settings including bassoon alone, with piano, with electronic playback and with various combinations of percussion. The recently popular funk bassoon duet “Get It!” by Koshisnki was the result of a commission from Campbell in 2007. Dr. Campbell has appeared several times on Nebraska Public Radio, and North Carolina Public Radio. Among his several compact disc recordings, Nostalgia (Innova), which features Dr. Campbell as soloist and chamber musician, was a Grammy Award semifinalist in 2009. He has performed with the Bowling Green Symphony Orchestra, Lincoln Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Owensboro Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Sioux City Symphony, Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Richland-Kennewick Symphony, the Chengdu Philharmonic, Minnesota Ballet Orchestra, and the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Campbell has presented master classes at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music in Chengdu, China, the Conservatoire Regionnale Rayonnement Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, France, the Conservatoire Regionnale Rayonnement Lyon in France, the Conservatorio de Tatui in Brazil, the Glazunov Conservatory in Petrozavodsk, Russia, the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in North Carolina, Florida, South Carolina, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kentucky, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. He has performed as a recital soloist in Florida, California, Colorado, Kentucky, North Carolina, New York, South Carolina, Nebraska, Minnesota and also Germany, France, Brazil, Russia and China. Dr. Campbell is a member of the International Double Reed Society, has been published in the Double Reed, and has performed and presented at the IDRS Annual Conferences in 2003 (Greensboro), 2006 (Muncie), 2007 (Ithaca), and 2015 (Tokyo, Japan). Recently, Dr. Campbell was a featured soloist with the Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra in performances of Vivaldi’s Concerto in E Minor and Michael Daugherty’s Dead Elvis in July, 2016, and appeared as soloist on Jean Françaix’s Divertiseement for Bassoon and Strings with the Nebraska Chamber Players in 2018. Dr. Campbell has served as adjudicator for the 2012 and 2017 Bassoon Chamber Music Composition Competition, the Silver Sounds International Chamber Music Competition in Russia, the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association All-State judge for bassoon, and in March of 2013, he performed as soloist at the College Music Society Rocky Mountain conference at the University of Denver. His upcoming projects include a revision of his instructional text Training Wheels for the Bassoon for its 15th Anniversary, and a compact disc recording of newly-commissioned music for the bassoon in 2018. Dr. Campbell has just completed a performance and teaching tour of Texas and Oklahoma where he presented recitals of music from this recording project. His academic research interests lie in the area of music for film, where he has developed and instructs a course on this topic at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Additionally, Dr. Campbell is an authority on the music of the Star Wars saga, and frequently presents a lecture-presentation called “John Williams: The Other Star Wars Storyteller” in academic and public settings throughout the country. He is an advocate of film music and raising audience awareness of its importance as an element of film and for its own artistic merit.
He holds the Bachelor of Music in Music Education degree from Western Kentucky University, the Master of Music degree in Bassoon Performance and Chamber Music from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the Doctor of Music Arts degree in Bassoon Performance from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His primary teachers were Cynthia Estill, C. Larry Long, Mark Popkin, Gary Echols and Dr. Albie Micklich. His dissertation topic was a performance and theoretical analysis of the Duo Sonata for Two Bassoons by Sofia Gubaidulina including a microtonal fingering chart and performance practice for extended techniques. It was the first academic paper on that composer’s work for bassoon. Dr. Campbell is currently Professor of Bassoon in the Department of Music and serves as Associate Dean for the School of Fine Arts at the University of Minnesota Duluth.
“Campbell is an excellent musician, and just as Rubin has provided him with a broad range of musical styles, Campbell plays these works with ample sensitivity to their differences. He can bumble with the best of bassoonists, but works such as Un temps calme reveal that he also has a troubadour's soul.”-Fanfare magazine
“Campbell’s rich and resonant sound on this and the other works is quite appropriate, especially on Nostalgia” -American Record Guide
“The bassoonist Jefferson Campbell is the heart of the project: in the performance itself, as well as in the inspiration behind some of the pieces. His playing is indeed inspired and inspiring, technically brilliant and expressive. “- MusicWeb International
“This is certainly abetted by Campbell’s sensitive, seamlessly accurate playing. He strikes just the right tone on the title work, allowing its gentle melodies to be poignant but never overwrought. He performs with considerably incisive flair on the wide-ranging and intriguing solo piece Recitative Styrienne and with percussionist Gene Koshinski on a series of elegantly neoclassical Bagatelles for Bassoon and Marimba. “ -Sequenza21
Tragic Animals, Alias Records 1997: Soloist, chamber musician
Nostalgia, Innova 2008: Soloist, chamber musician *Grammy Award Semi-Finalist, Chamber Music Composition