George Goslee, Longtime Principal Bassoonist of Cleveland Orchestra, Dies at 89

Classic Arts News   George Goslee, Longtime Principal Bassoonist of Cleveland Orchestra, Dies at 89
George Goslee, the Cleveland Orchestra's longtime principal bassoonist, died on October 19 at age 89, reports The Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

Goslee, whom the paper calls "a musician of enormous sophistication and tonal beauty," was appointed principal bassoon in 1943. He left after two seasons to become principal bassoon of the Philadelphia Orchestra, butut he returned to Cleveland soon after, in response to an invitation in 1946 by George Szell.

Ronald Phillips, a Goslee student who played in the orchestra's bassoon section for four decades, told The Plain Dealer that Goslee "was really a consummate musician in a very refined way, as well as having this gorgeous sound. He got on well with Szell, which was wonderful to see. Szell could be so darned cantankerous."

Goslee can be heard on several Szell recordings, including Beethoven, Brahms and Schumann symphonies. He later played under music directors Lorin Maazel and Christoph von Dohnšnyi and appeared frequently as soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra — the last time in July 1988, a month before his retirement, according to the paper.

Goslee was born in 1916 in Ohio and grew up in Cleveland. He took up the bassoon at age 12 and studied with Charles Kayser, a member of the Cleveland Orchestra. He went on to study at the Eastman School of Music and played in the Rochester Philharmonic and the Rochester Civic Orchestra.

In 1962, Goslee was appointed chairman of bassoon studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music; he also served on the faculty of the Blossom Festival School from its founding in 1968.

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