Professor of bassoon at the University of Oregon since 2000, Steve Vacchi joins the Oregon Symphony as acting utility bassoonist and contrabassoonist for the 2019/20 Season. His teachers included C. Robert Reinert, Rebecca Eldredge, Matthew Ruggiero, K. David Van Hoesen, Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, and William Ludwig. He holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. with high distinction/Performer’s Certificate), The Hartt School (M.M.), and Louisiana State University (D.M.A.), where he held a Board of Regents Fellowship. He also studied at the Yale School of Music. He has presented masterclasses at high schools, conservatories, and universities throughout the United States, South Korea, and China, and served as a faculty sabbatical replacement at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in 2014–15.
Vacchi’s recording credits include 26 releases spanning solo, chamber, and orchestral repertoire from J.S. Bach to the present. He has performed in 25 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, and the Middle East. In the U.S., Vacchi has performed with The Florida Orchestra, Santa Fe ProMusica, the Rhode Island, Tulsa, and Rochester Philharmonics, and the Saint Louis, New World, Baton Rouge, Colorado, Honolulu, Kansas City, Eugene, Sarasota, New Haven, and Wichita symphony orchestras. A featured soloist in works by Haydn, Mozart, Strauss, J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Lindpaintner, Jurriaan Andriessen, Michael Daugherty, Walter Hartley, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Walter Mays, Peter Hope, and James Stephenson, Vacchi has performed nearly 500 recently composed works, including more than 150 premieres. A member of the Oregon and Arcturus Wind Quintets, Vacchi has performed on historical bassoons with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, and Vancouver's Pacific Baroque Orchestra. He occasionally gets to perform on rare instruments like the heckelphone and contrabass clarinet, and in his free time he enjoys good food, visiting wineries, travel, and distance swimming.
Photo: Ashley Courter