Gina Cuffari, bassoon


Bassoonist Gina Cuffari is a dynamic and versatile musician who performs a variety of roles in the New York City area as orchestral musician, chamber musician, soloist, new music advocate, administrator and educator. Praised for having a “sound that is by turns sensuous, lyric and fast moving” (Palm Beach Daily News), Gina is Co-Principal Bassoonist and Artistic Director/Personnel Coordinator of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. For over fifteen years, Gina has performed and recorded throughout the USA, Europe and Asia with this prestigious ensemble; she is thrilled to add the AD leadership position to her Orpheus roles. Gina is also the Associate Principal/2nd Bassoonist of the Lincoln Center-based Riverside Symphony, and is a guest performer with Orchestra of St. Luke’s, The Knights, American Composers Orchestra, Westchester Philharmonic, American Ballet Theater, and Iris Orchestra in Memphis, TN. An avid musical theater fan, Gina has appeared in the pit of recent Broadway productions of Fiddler on the Roof, Sunset Boulevard and My Fair Lady as a substitute bassoonist. 

Gina’s passion for chamber music has led her to collaborate with many outstanding musicians and ensembles over the years. She is currently a guest performer with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, a member of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players and Sylvan Winds, and founding member of Trio Cabrini, a clarinet, bassoon/voice, piano ensemble. Some favorite guest appearances include making music with the Exponential Ensemble, playing in various NYC restaurants with Tertulia, and performing with Camerata Pacifica in Santa Barbara, California. 

Gina has always had a keen interest in new music, and has endeavored to support composers throughout her career. She has been a longtime collaborator with Alarm Will Sound- performing as bassoonist, vocalist and keyboardist- and has worked with many composers over the years, premiering a plethora of new works with the group. In NYC she has performed with Argento New Music Project and ACME, and has commissioned and premiered several new works with Sylvan Winds, Quintet of the Americas and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. In an ongoing personal project, Gina has commissioned and premiered solo works that combine her two passions- singing and playing the bassoon- into one performing experience. Composers who have written for her include Jenni Brandon, Gregg August, Sunny Knable and Allison Loggins-Hull. 

As an educator, Gina holds Adjunct Professor of Bassoon positions at New York University and Western CT State University, where she teaches bassoon, coaches chamber music, and teaches a variety of other classes. She is a frequent guest clinician at Bard College for The Orchestra Now, has taught masterclasses at universities such as Yale, Auburn, and Louisiana State, and has coached chamber orchestras at the National Orchestral Institute + Festival. In a desire to share her unique perspective as a singing woodwind player, Gina presents “Singing Through Your Instrument” workshops at schools throughout the country – everywhere from the University of South Carolina to the University of Arizona Tuscon to Ohio University.  This summer, Gina is thrilled to be teaching and performing at the Mostly Modern Festival in Saratoga Springs, NY.