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Miles Maner: “Look Anywhere and Everywhere for Inspiration”


This interview with musician Miles Maner provides an insightful exploration of his journey into the world of music, tracing his development from early experiences with the piano and clarinet to becoming a distinguished bassoonist. Maner discusses his diverse musical background, encompassing piano, clarinet, and trumpet, highlighting the pivotal moment when he transitioned to the bassoon in response to the needs of his middle school band. The narrative unfolds through his academic pursuits, from earning a bassoon performance degree at the University of Texas at Austin to completing his master’s degree at Rice University under the tutelage of Kristin Wolfe Jensen and Ben Kamins.

Maner delves into the specifics of his instrumental choices, detailing the characteristics of his Heckel bassoon and Mollenhauer contrabassoon, shedding light on the nuanced considerations that inform a musician’s selection of instruments. The interview further explores Maner’s professional trajectory, from joining the Kansas City Symphony to eventually winning the coveted contrabassoon position in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The narrative underscores the role of serendipity, professional connections, and the significance of being prepared for unexpected opportunities in shaping Maner’s orchestral career.

In the final section, Maner provides valuable insights into his practice routines, emphasizing essential technical exercises such as Herzberg scales and long tones. He shares reflections on the inspiration drawn from his colleagues, the team dynamics of orchestral performance, and the influence of jazz pianists on his musical sensibilities. Offering advice to aspiring bassoonists, Maner encourages them to seek inspiration from diverse sources, both within and beyond the realm of music, highlighting the importance of perseverance and the satisfaction derived from witnessing personal progress in the pursuit of musical excellence.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music