Karl Vilcins


Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

A Long Island native, bassoonist Karl Vilcins graduated from Ohio State University in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in Music Performance, studying with Christopher Weait.  In 2004 he received his master’s degree in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, with Frank Morelli.

In the fall of 2017 Vilcins joined the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as their new Second/Contra Bassoonist. Prior to his most recent appointment, he served as Guest Principal Bassoon with the orchestra for their 2011/12 season. From 2005 through 2011 Vilcins held the position of Principal Bassoon of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra. In 2012 he returned to New York City, where he began a career as a freelance musician, working with many groups including the Orchestra of St. Lukes, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, American Ballet Theater, and the American Composers Orchestra. In 2014, Vilcins was asked to join Orpheus on a two-week tour of Japan, playing in 12 of the Nation’s most prestigious concert halls, including Tokyo’s Suntory Hall.

Over the years, he has participated in numerous summer festivals, including the Tanglewood Music Festival, Attergau Festival in Salzburg, Steamboat Springs Strings Music Festival and the Sun Valley Music Festival in Sun Valley Idaho.