A native of Canton, Ohio, assistant principal bassoon William Buchman holds degrees in physics and music. He studied bassoon performance at the Yale University School of Music with Arthur Weisberg and at the University of Southern California School of Music with Norman Herzberg.

Why did you choose your instrument?

I saw a fingering chart on the wall. It looked appealingly complex: The left thumb has nine keys to operate!

Offstage, I like to:

Play duplicate bridge, bake bread and study foreign languages.

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

Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 in May. It was the first large-scale Shostakovich symphony I ever played. I was captivated by the narrative as it unfolds over the course of the work, but mostly, of course, by the long bassoon solo in the first movement!

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

When I was 23, I was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center. We were rehearsing Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony with Leonard Bernstein, who was demonstrating the character he wanted in a rising passage in the first movement. “It’s like a child throwing a tantrum.  ‘I want it! I want it!! I want it!!!’ ” It was hilarious seeing this legend acting like a spoiled brat, but it got his message across indelibly, and it taught me how important the emotional narrative beneath the notes has to be.

What is your most memorable CSO performance?

There have been many memorable performances, but Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg with Sir Georg Solti stands out. To this day, I am on the edge of my seat through all five hours of that opera whenever I see it.

HOMETOWN: Canton, Ohio
EDUCATION: Brown University (B.S. in physics), Yale University School of Music, USC Thornton School of Music