Martin Kuuskmann

Multiple Grammy-nominated Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso, Martin Kuuskmann’s charismatic and commanding performances throughout the world have earned him repute as one of today's leading solo instrumentalists. Kuuskmann is a Professor of Bassoon at University of Denver Lamont School of Music and previously taught at the Manhattan School of Music.  A graduate of Manhattan School of Music and the Yale School of Music, Kuuskmann’s mentors include Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, Rufus Olivier and Vernon Read.  

As soloist Martin Kuuskmann has performed with many of the worlds leading orchestras including MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, American Composers Orchestra, St. Lukes Chamber Orchestra, National Orchestra of Chile, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, under conductors such as Neeme, Paavo and Kristjan Järvi, Robert Spano, Tõnu Kaljuste, Risto Joost, Mihhail Gertz, Tobias Volkmann and in worldwide concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln and Kennedy Centers, Sala Sao Paulo.  Kuuskmann's exceptionally wide repertoire spans from traditional works to twelve concertos written especially for him by some of today's leading composers including Christopher Theofanidis, Erkki Sven Tüür, Tõnu Kõrvits, David Chesky, Eino Tamberg, Miguel Kertsman, the latter of which Kuuskmann recorded in 2017 with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Dennis Russell Davies.  

Praised for his versatility Kuuskmann has closely collaborated with jazz luminaries John Patitucci, Joe Zawinul.  For the last few years been collaborating on a Brazilian music project with the pianist/composer and multiple Grammy-nominee Jovino Santos Neto.  Kuuskmann’s recent CD which includes the much awaited Bassoon Concerto by Theofanidis was nominated for the 2017 Grammy in the “Best Contemporary Composition” category.  In 2007 Kuuskmann received a Grammy nomination in the same category for a bassoon concerto written for him by David Chesky. 

As an in-demand chamber musician Kuuskmann has often been invited as a guest member and soloist with the Berlin Philharmonic’s Ensemble Berlin and the Berlin Philharmonic Winds. His collaborating partners include Leif Ove Andsnes, Kirill Gerstein, Christoph Hartmann, Lars Anders Tomter, Ole Edvard Antonsen, Florian Donderer, Matt Hunt, Gordon Hunt.  Kuuskmann enjoyed a top freelance career in New York City, until his departure from the “big city” in 2003, performing with leading New York City-based orchestras including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Lukes, “Miss Saigon” on Broadway and many others.  Kuuskmann has been the solo bassoonist of the renown New York City-based Absolute Ensemble since 1995, and the principal bassoonist of the Estonian Festival Orchestra led by Paavo Järvi since 2011. His playing can be heard on numerous major movie soundtracks video games.

An avid educator, Kuuskmann regularly gives masterclasses in worldwide festivals and universities. Since 2010 he has been working closely with the Berlin based Baltic Sea Philharmonic as their woodwind coach. After years playing on a Heckel bassoon, Kuuskmann changed to be an artist of the German made Bernd Moosmann bassoons in 2011 and has been instrumental in the development of the Moosmann professional bassoon line. Kuuskmann is also an artist of Miller Marketing Company and the Legere Reeds, a company he has been working closely since 2011 in the development of their synthetic bassoon reeds.