Margaret Phillips

Associate Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Margaret Phillips joined the Conservatory in 2014 and is an associate professor teaching bassoon and contrabassoon. In addition to private lessons, she also teaches reed making, holds a bassoon studio class, and coaches woodwind chamber music ensembles.

Phillips is on the faculty at Berklee College of Music and Boston University as well.

She has been a highly sought-after freelance bassoonist and contrabassoonist in Boston and the New England area for over 25 years. She has performed with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops since 1992 and has traveled extensively with both, performing under some of the world's finest conductors. As a performer with the Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Phillips has premiered and recorded hundreds of new orchestral works, including Grammy-nominated performances. She is a member of the Boston Philharmonic, the Portland Symphony, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and Odyssey Opera of Boston. Her award-winning chamber group, Chameleon Arts Ensemble, is well reviewed for its programming and polished performances. She has also performed in Equity Theatre and recorded with artists as diverse as Phish's Trey Anastasio and Danilo Pérez.
Phillips received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Michigan, where she studied bassoon with L. Hugh Cooper and contrabassoon with Lyell Lindsey of the Detroit Symphony. She studied in Amsterdam with renowned Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra contrabassoonist Guus Drall. Phillips went on to receive her master's degree from Boston University, where she studied with Boston Symphony assistant principal bassoonist Matthew Ruggiero and contrabassoonist Richard Plaster.

Career Highlights
  • Bassoonist and contrabassoonist
  • Member of the Boston Philharmonic, the Rhode Island Philharmonic, and the Portland Symphony
  • Performances with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra
  • Recordings on Koch, Pickwick, Titanic, and New Albin labels
  • B.M., University of Michigan
  • M.M., Boston University
In Their Own Words

"I think you can get a unique education in the Woodwind Department at Berklee, unlike a conservatory education of strictly classical lessons, for example. I love teaching students at Berklee because it's unlike any other place that I teach. The students come from such varied backgrounds, and every student who comes into my studio is so unique. Some are really advanced, some are not, but all are incredibly interesting to me."

"Most of my students are not performance majors, so I see them coming from all fields of study at Berklee, such as MP&E and music therapy. I focus on sound bassoon technique, great tone production, and the ability to sight read well, because you're only as good as your sight reading! I try to develop critical listeners, so that whatever field in which they end up, they still know what a good sound is. And studying bassoon at Berklee is fun; my students almost always leave class in a better mood than when they came in."

"My performing career is extremely varied, and my professional background includes years and years of teaching and performing experience. I'm in a different place every week, and I enjoy that because I never get bored. I've played in all kinds of different ensembles. I also play a lot in my lessons, I think that's effective and makes me a better teacher."