For the three seasons before his appointment at the Chicago Symphony, Miles Maner performed with the Kansas City Symphony in its new home, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. In addition to his position there as associate principal bassoonist and contrabassoonist, Maner was the principal bassoonist of the Breckenridge Music Festival, and has previously participated in such prestigious music festivals as the Pacific Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Center and the National Repertory Orchestra.

Why did you choose your instrument?

I didn’t! The Martin Middle School Band was desperate for a bassoon player and handed me one in hopes that it would channel a bit of my boundless energy.

What work are you most looking forward to performing this season, and why?

I am thrilled to be performing Symphonie fantastique by Hector Berlioz. I’ve never had a chance to play this wildly tricky music with any orchestra, and to be performing it with the CSO is a sensational event for me. Also, as a big brass instrument fan, I am really looking forward to the CSO brass section’s demonstration of limitless power! This piece gets loud and I know that the performances of Berlioz will pack a real punch.

Offstage, I like to:

Eat. I am new to Chicago and love to discover new restaurants all around town.

Describe an unforgettable musical moment (as a performer or as a listener) you had as a young musician.

When I was 11 years old, I broke my clarinet in half. I had been playing my clarinet in the car, left it on the floor, and when I jumped back in the car, I landed right on my clarinet. It was my first band instrument and I thought my life was over. While my life was not actually over, the image of my shattered clarinet was forever seared in my memory.

Favorite food or meal:

I absolutely love dessert. It is a passion that rivals my love of music. Tannin Wine Bar and Kitchen, a restaurant in downtown Kansas City, has a dessert described on the menu as a peanut butter cookie. But let me tell you, it’s way more than that! This “cookie” is a piping-hot shell of peanut butter dream filled with warm, rich chocolate fudge. Unbelievable!


HOMETOWN: Austin, Texas.


EDUCATION: University of Texas at Austin and Rice University.

FULL BIO here.