Richard Beene, Dean Emeritus of the Colburn Conservatory of Music, enjoys an active career as a teacher, soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral performer. In 2001, while serving as professor of bassoon at the University of Michigan, he was awarded the Harold Haugh Award for excellence in studio teaching and, in 2013, he was recognized by the University of Texas in their Distinguished Teacher Series. He has been invited to present master classes and teaching residencies at a number of institutions, including the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California, Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, McGill University, and many others. He has also served on the faculties of Michigan State University, Interlochen Arts Academy, and Wichita State University.
In addition to performing numerous times with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Beene has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. While maintaining his teaching schedule in Michigan, he also held the position of principal bassoon with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, where he performed many times as a soloist.
Music festival engagements have included the Saint Bart’s Music Festival, Festival de Musica de Santa Catarina, Colorado Music Festival, Strings in the Mountains, Savannah Music Festival, Sunflower Music Festival, Buzzards Bay Music Festival, Texas Music Festival, and many others.
Richard Beene currently serves as Chair of the Wind and Percussion Departments, and teaches bassoon and chamber music at the Colburn Conservatory of Music.