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Benjamin Kamins

 Benjamin Kamins
Instructor of Bassoon

About Benjamin

Benjamin Kamins is currently the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Bassoon at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University after serving for as Principal Bassoonist of the Houston Symphony for over two decades. He studied in his native Los Angeles with Norman Herzberg and began his professional career as associate principal bassoonist of the Minnesota Orchestra. In addition to his tenure with the Houston Symphony, he has served as a guest principal bassoonist with the New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony. As a soloist with the Houston Symphony, Kamins was often featured playing concerti of Mozart, Weber and Vivaldi, and in 2002, he played the world premiere of Pierrot, a concerto composed by Larry Lipkis and commissioned for him by the Houston Symphony. Kamins has been very active in chamber music having participated in such festivals as Marlboro, Tanglewood, and Ravinia. His students currently play in orchestras and teach in universities throughout the U.S. and abroad. A founding member of the Aurora and Epicurean Wind Quintets, Kamins is active nationally and internationally as a solo and chamber musician.

I believe in keeping information simple and understandable. I want my students to be self-sufficient and become their own best teachers.

Teaching positions:

  • 2013-present: Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Bassoon, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  • 2003-2013: Professor of Bassoon, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  • 1986-2003: Associate Professor of Bassoon, Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, Texas
  • 1982-1986: Faculty, University of Houston, Houston, Texas
  • 1973-1981: Faculty, St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota

Numerous master classes and clinics throughout North America, including:

  • Tanglewood Music Center
  • New World Symphony
  • Oberlin College
  • University of Texas
  • Louisiana State University
  • Florida State University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Minnesota
  • New England Conservatory
  • University of Southern California
  • Texas Music Festival

Professional orchestral positions:

  • 2014: Guest Associate Principal Bassoon, Boston Symphony, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2009- present: Bassoonist with Ars Lyrica, a period instrument orchestra, Houston, Texas
  • 2005-2015: Principal Bassoon, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Sun Valley, Idaho
  • 2008: Guest Principal Bassoon, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles, California
  • 2003: Principal Bassoon, Aspen Festival Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra, Aspen, Colorado
  • 2002: Guest Associate Principal Bassoon, Boston Symphony, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 1998: Guest Principal Bassoon, New York Philharmonic, New York City, New York
  • 1988: Guest Principal Bassoon, Pittsburgh Symphony, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 1981-2003: Principal Bassoon, Houston Symphony, Houston, Texas
  • 1975-2001: Principal Bassoon, Grand Teton Music Festival, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
  • 1972-1981: Associate Principal Bassoon, Minnesota Orchestra, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Alexander Technique teaching:

  • 2016- present: Two Alexander Technique courses at the Shepherd School of Music, Rice University
  • 2015-present: Spring semester undergraduate course at Rice University
  • 2014-present: Introductory Course to the Alexander Technique at Gibbs Recreation Center, Rice University
  • 2014-2015: Classes and private lessons at Festival Institute at Round Top
  • 2014-present: Introductory classes at Sam Houston State University, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church (Houston, Texas), Music Academy of the West (Santa Barbara, California)
  • 2014-present: Private lessons