midori samson

Judy and Scott McCue Bassoon Chair

Midori Samson is a bassoonist, educator, and advocate for the arts. She is currently a Fellow with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and is the newly appointed 2nd bassoonist in the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra. Previously, she performed in the Austin, Charleston and New World symphonies, New York String Orchestra, National Orchestral Institute, and on tour with the Pacific Music Festival in Japan. Her chamber music appearances outside of Trade Winds include performances at Canada's Banff Centre, Norfolk and Bowdoin International music festivals, and composer Elliott Carter’s 102nd birthday party. As a soloist, she has been heard with the Nairobi Orchestra, Oregon’s Metropolitan Youth Symphony, and in recitals at New York’s Philippine Consulate and Brevard Music Center. Most recently, she was the Texas young artist winner of the Music Teachers National Association solo competition.

A passionate educator, she has presented guest masterclasses at Wright State University, University of Santo Tomas, New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, and Philippine High School for the Arts. She has maintained a private studio for six years, and currently teaches at The People's Music School. Through organizations like Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP), she continues to volunteer and make music with children around the world, in places like New Orleans, New York, Guatemala, India, and The Philippines. She is an original member of Trade Winds, a project for which she won the Joseph W. Polisi “Artist as Citizen” Prize, and the McGraw-Hill Foundation Award for Music Education and Community Outreach. Last year, she created the Austin chapter of ASTEP and hosted a free arts camp with a local youth shelter. For this work, she was given the honor for a Great Blue Heron feather from the Indigenous Women’s Network, which she considers her greatest achievement so far. Also in Austin, she taught the Connecting Listeners and Music course at The University of Texas, helping graduate students design lesson plans which were presented at shelters and community organizations across the city. 

Originally from Portland, Oregon, Midori holds degrees from The Juilliard School and The University of Texas at Austin. In her free time, she enjoys caring for her rabbit Fang, and cooking a meal from every country of the world, week by week.