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RPO Names Principal Bassoon Chair

RPO Principal Bassoon Matthew McDonald
Donna Hanson
RPO Principal Bassoon Matthew McDonald

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has announced the naming of its principal bassoon chair. It is The Ron and  Donna Fielding Chair.  It is made possible by a gift from the late Donna Fielding’s estate. Ron Fielding is a retired senior vice president of Oppenheimer funds.

“Classical music – like travel, theatre, and good films – was something we could share and enjoy together,” says Fielding. “Both of us played saxophone in high school, and maybe the sax has some related ‘funkiness’ to the bassoon, but mostly this naming is a commemoration of Donna's life…providing long term support to an important cultural institution.”

“The naming of a new endowed chair is a very special occasion in the life of an orchestra—and this one is especially meaningful in that it will honor, in perpetuity, two of Rochester’s most extraordinary philanthropists,” adds RPO President and CEO Charles Owens. “Donna Fielding’s philanthropic and community spirit will live on in beautiful music-making for generations to come. Today’s event is doubly special in that the naming of the chair coincides with the inaugural season of our brilliantly talented new principal bassoonist.”

New RPO Principal Bassoon Matthew McDonald was scheduled to  perform a recital  on Saturday afternoon.

An Alabama native, McDonald was previously Principal Bassoon of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Co-Principal Bassoon of the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus, Ohio.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.