Susan Nigro is a true contrabassoon crusader. One of the world's very few soloists on this instrument, her numerous recitals and solo appearances have occurred in such places as Salzburg, Montevideo, Rome, and throughout the United States. She has been a featured artist many times at the annual conferences of the International Double Reed Society. Her solo performances are frequently accompanied by master classes, lecture-demonstrations, or workshops designed by her to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the contrabassoon's unique sound and surprising versatility.
Nigro's quest for contrabassoon solo literature has led her to commission and perform many new compositions, and she has premiered more solo works for this instrument than has any other musician. She has four solo CDs on Crystal, including this one. All have been received with great acclaim. Another solo CD, The Bass Nightingale, includes the first commercially available recording of the Contrabassoon Concerto by Gunther Schuller.
The winner of a Pro Musicas International Career Development Grant and a finalist in the Chicago Park District Talent Search, Nigro received an honorable mention prize in the Rome Festival Concerto Competition. Her orchestra experience includes performances with the Chicago Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and extensive freelancing in the Chicago area.
Nigro received bachelor's and master's degrees from Northwestern University and an additional graduate degree from Roosevelt University. Her teachers were Burl Lane, Ferdinand Del Negro, Willard Elliot, Leonard Sharrow, Sherman Walt, and Wilbur Simpson. For three summers she attended Tanglewood Music Center, where she was awarded the Henry B. Cabot Prize. She honed her ensemble skills in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
Submitted on 11/19/10 by JAMES R. OESTREICH, The New York Times