Boulder Bassoon Quartet Bios

Who would be crazy enough to do this?
Let's find out.

Michael Christoph

Michael Christoph has been the Instructor of Bassoon at Metropolitan State University of Denver since 2010, teaching bassoon as well as music theory labs and music appreciation. As a performer, he is building a reputation for his rich, dark tone and heartfelt musicianship.

A dedicated chamber musician, Michael has enjoyed a variety of collaborations in Arizona and Colorado and serves as bassoonist of the Metro Faculty Woodwind Consort. He co-founded and organized the Among Friends mixed-media chamber music series in Boulder, and he was a founding member of the Elision Wind Quintet of Tucson, AZ. Since 2010, Michael has performed chamber music with Rufus Olivier, Jr. (principal bassoonist of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra), composer/pianist Bill Douglas, flutist Emma Shubin, and pianists Peggy Lyon and Noah Barkan; he also enjoys regular collaborations with several of MSU Denver’s faculty. In 2009, he coordinated a fully realized performance of Paul Hindemith’s Concerto for Trumpet, Bassoon, and String Orchestra.

Michael served as principal bassoonist at Opera in the Ozarks from 2004-2005, as well as principal bassoonist of the Boulder Symphony Orchestra 2010-2011. Other professional orchestral engagements have included appearances with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra and the Colorado MahlerFest Orchestra, as well as appearances with orchestras in the Nashville area. Michael has served as co-principal bassoonist at the Sewannee Summer Music Festival and the Colorado College Summer Chamber Music Festival. In addition to his primary teachers Yoshiyuki Ishikawa, William Dietz, and James Lotz, Michael has studied with Michael Kroth, Michael Burns, and William Winstead.

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Thomas Kent Hurd

Kent Hurd has enjoyed a variety of experiences as a bassoonist, performing in the metro area of Phoenix, Arizona, and more recently in the Front Range of Colorado. He is currently Co-Principal Bassoon of the Boulder Chamber Orchestra. Other appearances in the Front Range of Colorado include the Colorado Ballet Orchestra, the MahlerFest Orchestra, the Denver Philharmonic and the Longmont Symphony. He held the position of Co-Principal Bassoon with the West Valley Symphony in Phoenix until moving to Colorado in 2003. He also participated in a variety of freelance opportunities in Phoenix, including appearances with such orchestras as the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Opera, as well as with a variety of chamber ensembles for concerts, holidays and weddings.

In addition to exploring the solo repertoire for the bassoon, he has composed his own works for it, including a bassoon trio, “Excursions”, premiered at Arizona State University, a solo work for bassoon with piano accompaniment, “Three Psalms”, and most recently a work specifically for the Boulder Bassoon Quartet, “That So Suite”. The BBQ premiered the first movement of the work, “So Cliche”, at the IDRS convention in 2011. It is now available for purchase at TrevCo Music.

Also a proficient pianist, Kent has been seen occasionally performing at the piano, including two solo recitals in the mountains of Ouray County in southwestern Colorado. He was also appreciated for his piano skills within the Arizona State bassoon studio, where he was often pressed into accompaniment duties at discount rates. Kent has therefore had the unusual experience of performing both as the soloist and the accompanist of some of the standard bassoon solo works.

Kent received his bachelor’s degree in music performance from Arizona State University in 1997, where he studied with Dr. Jeffrey Lyman, and Jack Rausch. He attended Eastern Music Festival in the summer of 1992, where he studied with Marlene Mazzuca. He has also studied privately with Eric Ludwig.

Kent resides in Lafayette, Colorado. He is a software developer in his other life, and hits the ski slopes whenever time and finances allow. He lives with his wife, Mindy, who is a trained elementary school teacher, but spends her time coaching baton twirling, these days. They share their house with their young and energetic collie mix Kora.

Kent occasionally posts thoughts about playing the bassoon on his site.

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Brian Jack

Brian Jack is a bassoonist, educator, and music administrator living in Colorado. He is a member of Colorado Ballet Orchestra and has performed with ensembles such as the Colorado Music Festival, Colorado Symphony, and Colorado Springs Philharmonic. In 2013, he was a Guest Artist at the Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival in Alaska where he performed opera, ballet, symphonic works, chamber works, and the world premieres of new pieces.

A private teacher, Brian maintains a bassoon studio and has worked with dozens of young bassoonists. He earned his teacher certification in Colorado and New York and has taught elementary and middle school music. Dr. Jack coaches chamber music, reed-making, sectionals, and practicing techniques for young musicians. In 2014 he was Instructor of Bassoon and woodwind quintet coach at the University of Colorado Summer Music Academy.

Brian attended Ithaca College, and the University of Colorado. In addition to his studies with Dr. Lee Goodhew-Romm, Dr. Yoshiyuki Ishikawa, and Glenn Einschlag, Brian has performed in masterclasses and studied with Michael Sweeney, Christopher Millard, Peter Kolkay, and Kim Walker.

Brian is an active member of both the International Double Reed Society and the American Federation of Musicians Union. As one of only thirty invited participants, he completed the League of American Orchestras’ Essentials of Orchestral Management in New York City in January 2010.

Dr. Jack was instrumental in the creation of the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, the premier youth orchestra of the greater Boulder area. He serves as the Executive Director of this non-profit youth orchestra.

Brian's wife, Kaori Uno-Jack, is a bassoonist in the award-winning Antero Wind Quintet.

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Ethan Turner

Ethan Turner is a freelance bassoonist in his home state of Colorado. He began playing saxophone at age 11, bassoon at age 14, and has performed professionally in the Denver Metro area since age 17.

Ethan began studying with Dr. Yoshiyuki Ishikawa at the University of Colorado, where he later obtained his degree in Bassoon Performance. As a young musician, he played principal in the prestigious Denver Young Artists Orchestras.

Ethan toured Austria and Hungary under the baton of Adam Flatt, currently the conductor of Colorado Ballet, Tuscaloosa Symphony, the Newport Symphony in Oregon, and the Curtis Summerfest. While on tour, Ethan performed in some of Europe’s finest concert halls such as the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary.

As a saxophonist, he played in University of Colorado Jazz Combos during his studies. He also performed as principal bassoonist in the University of Colorado Opera.

Ethan earned his Certificate of Music Technology at CU Boulder where he studied audio engineering under recording engineer Kevin Harbison.

Awarded a research grant to study technological integration in live music performance, Ethan composed and performed a piece for saxophone, bassoon and electronics. The piece was performed in recital and as part of the University of Colorado’s new music concert series, Pendulum.

Currently, Ethan performs with various orchestras and chamber groups around Colorado in addition to the Boulder Bassoon Quartet.