Dennis Michel is second bassoonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians. He serves as head of woodwinds at the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. Since 1988, he has spent his summers teaching and performing at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California. He previously held the position of principal bassoonist of the San Diego Symphony and San Diego Opera, and he was a founding member of the Arioso Wind Quintet.
He holds degrees from Eastern Washington University and Yale University. His principal teachers include Wendal Jones and Arthur Weisberg. In 1996, Michel was the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship for advanced study at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, where he studied with Milan Turkovic. During that time, he also performed with the Vienna State Opera.
An active chamber musician, he has performed with the Da Camera Society of Houston, on the chamber series at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, and at numerous summer festivals including Tanglewood, the Bard Festival in New York, Flagstaff Festival, Grand Teton Music Festival, San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival and Summerfest La Jolla, where he was a featured artist for 10 seasons.
He lives in Oak Park with his wife Peggy, an active freelance oboist and teacher, and together they enjoy cooking, traveling and spending as much time as possible with family and friends.