Matthew Melillo

Scotch Plains, NJ

BM in Bassoon Performance — Northwestern University, 2021
MM in Bassoon Performance — Northwestern University, 2023

Matthew Melillo is a contrabassoonist and bassoonist who works in the Chicago area, where he studied with David McGill. He was recently appointed contrabassoon/bassoon in The Florida Orchestra, starting in September 2023. He was a member of the 2022 Lucerne Festival Contemporary Orchestra in Switzerland and will join them for their 2023 tour of Finland. Matthew is committed to increasing the general level of contrabassoon pedagogy.

What is something interesting that people may not know about you?
I like to pick up new hobbies whenever I can. During the pandemic I started breadmaking, leatherworking, and soapmaking. The one that’s been most useful to my music career is 3d modeling and printing. Over the last couple of years I’ve designed low-note extensions for bassoon and contrabassoon, as well as a few devices that assist in reedmaking.

Name three of your favorite composers:
Igor Stravinsky, Maurice Ravel, Dave Malloy

When taking a break from music-making, what is your favorite thing to do?
Cooking or sewing.

What are you most looking forward to this summer with the NRO?
I’ve spent a good portion of the last year playing in a wind ensemble, where I was seated at the very front of the stage. In this setting you can play precisely with the conductor, but in a large orchestra, those of us at the back of the ensemble have to anticipate the beat a little bit to account for the sound’s travel time. To make matters worse, many student ensembles play too reactively behind the beat, and there’s only so much one player can do to correct that. I trust that at NRO I’ll be able to practice rhythmically engaged playing alongside other musicians doing the same.