Todd Kuhns, Assistant Principal Clarinet, E-Flat Clarinet and Bass Clarinet

Todd Kuhns

Portland native, Todd Kuhns started playing clarinet at the age of ten and liked the instrument so much as a teenager that he was inspired to mow lawns in order to help pay for his private lessons with Catherine Palladino, former Oregon Symphony principal clarinetist. An active member of the Portland Youth Philharmonic, he not only performed as principal clarinetist, but also appeared as soloist with the orchestra and won its Aspen Music Festival scholarship. He continued his studies with Palladino at Portland State University, eventually earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1981.

It was during this time that he began to work professionally, playing in a wide variety of ensembles in Portland. He was a member of the Portland Opera, Ballet West, Oregon Ballet Theater, and West Coast Chamber Orchestras and played two seasons with Chamber Music Northwest. A musician of great diversity, he has also performed in pit orchestras for dozens of musical productions and played in such eclectic groups as the Hester Street Klezmer Band and, more recently, Tango Pacifica. For many years Kuhns spent his summers traveling around Oregon participating in music festivals including the Peter Britt, Oregon Coast, and Cascade Festivals. Currently he still performs every summer with the Oregon Bach Festival and played on that orchestra’s 2001 Grammy winning recording of Penderecki’s Credo.

Interested in further education, Kuhns went to graduate school at Temple University, studying with the Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal clarinetist, Anthony Gigliotti, and receiving a Master of Music degree in 1988. He also studied in Milwaukee with Russell Dagon. During these years away from Portland he performed with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, the Harrisburg and Haddonfield Symphonies, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Kuhns returned to Oregon and joined the Oregon Symphony Orchestra as Bass/ E flat Clarinetist in 1989. In 1998 he was featured as soloist with the Oregon Symphony in Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, and again performing Weber’'s Concertino, in 2004. He is also a member of the Third Angle New Music Ensemble with whom he recorded Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat and the chamber versions of Copland’s Appalachian Spring and The Tender Land. Kuhns’ other recordings include performances on Koch, Delos, Gagliano and Haenssler labels.

In his spare time, Todd Kuhns enjoys fixing up his 1917 bungalow in southeast Portland and perusing antique shops. He and his wife, violinist Margaret Bichteler, have a three year old daughter, Elizabeth.

For more about this musician, click here.

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