Bassoons

Stephen Paulson

Principal

Stephen Paulson joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal Bassoon in 1977. Also a conductor, he has served as Music Director of Symphony Parnassus since 1998. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he studied bassoon with K. David Van Hoesen and Mordechai Rechtman, and composition with Samuel Adler. He performed with the Rochester Philharmonic for four seasons, including as principal bassoonist from 1968 to 1970, and from 1970 to 1977 he served as co-principal bassoonist of the Pittsburgh Symphony. He has appeared as soloist in his own Bassoon Concerto with the Rochester Philharmonic and the Pittsburgh Symphony. Mr. Paulson has appeared numerous times as soloist with the San Francisco Symphony and has given master classes at colleges worldwide, including the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory, and the Shanghai Conservatory. He has performed and taught at the Aspen Music Festival, New World Symphony, Grand Teton Music Festival, and the Symphony Orchestra Academy of the Pacific. In April 2009, he assisted Michael Tilson Thomas as woodwind coach and performer in the YouTube Orchestra Summit at Carnegie Hall. In 1995, he performed with the World Orchestra for Peace in Geneva, Switzerland, in celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations. Mr. Paulson is longtime Professor of Bassoon at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He has also served as a mentor and workshop leader for the SFS’s Community of Music Makers Program.

(March 2015)

Steven Dibner

Associate Principal

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.

Rob Weir

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.

Steven Braunstein

Contrabassoon

Steve Braunstein has served as a Symphony mentor in the SF Symphony Community of Music Makers program.