Stephen Paulson joined the SFS as Principal Bassoon in 1977. Also a conductor, he has been Music Director since 1998 of Symphony Parnassus, which performs throughout the Bay Area. Mr. Paulson graduated from the Eastman School and studied with K. David Van Hoesen and Mordechai Rechtman, and composition with Samuel Adler. He previously held principal bassoon positions with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Mr. Paulson is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
SFS member since: 1983
Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI
Music schools you attended: Indiana University, the Juilliard School
Began playing music: At age 4
Musical inspirations: My two great teachers Leonard Sharrow and Stephen Maxym
If I were not a professional musician, I might be an: Actor or maître d’hotel
Favorite composers: Bach, Stravinsky, Ravel, Mozart
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Rimsky-Korsakov, Sheherezade; Ravel, Alborada del gracioso; all the late Mozart piano concertos
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Gardening, cooking and baking
Recent reading: Mademoiselle: Conversations with Nadia Boulanger, by Bruno Monsaingeon; The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster
On my CD player/iPod: Monteverdi, Vespers; Miles Davis, Kind of Blue
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Bay Area Discovery Museum, Exploratorium, Dahlia Garden in Golden Gate Park
Plus: I’m continuing to commission new chamber music featuring the bassoon. I feel my greatest joys and greatest challenges come from being a single adoptive dad to my son Pablo. My “baby” is a kindergartner now!
Steven Dibner has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
SFS member since: 1990
Hometown: Weyburn, Saskatchewan, CA
Music school you attended: Curtis Institute of Music
Began playing music: At age 6
Musical inspirations: Other kids and later mentors
If I were not a professional musician, I might be: In theatre one way or another
Favorite composers: Stravinsky, Bach, Adès, Barber
Favorite works featuring my instrument: Stravinsky, Rite of Spring; Barber, Knoxville, Summer 1915
When I’m not working, I enjoy: Family time, travel with family, golf, reading
Recent reading: Pnin, by Vladimir Nabokov; Interpreter of Maladies, by Jhumpa Lahiri
On my CD player/iPod: Hip-hop, soul, rap, jazz
Favorite things to do in the Bay Area: Walk in Golden Gate Park (it’s across the street from my house!); Walk on the beach (it’s six blocks away); all things outdoors and enjoying our great city.
Rob Weir has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.
Steve Braunstein has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.