Bassoonist Ben Yingst has played music since he was seven years old. In his youth he primarily studied piano and clarinet before deciding to concentrate on bassoon in high school. His first experience playing in an orchestra was as a member of various groups within the Phoenix Symphony Guild Youth Orchestras. He won the audition for second bassoon of the Tucson Symphony in 2012, and has been a member of the TSO Wind Quintet since 2017.
In addition to the Tucson Symphony, Ben plays regularly with True Concord Voices and Orchestra. He has played in the Debut Orchestra in Los Angeles, the Phoenix Symphony, the Scottsdale Arts Orchestra, the Orquesta Sinfónica UANL in Monterrey, Mexico, and the West Valley Symphony in Sun City, Arizona. Ben has also made appearances with two different chamber groups in the Phoenix area: the Paradise Winds and the Mill Avenue Chamber Players. Besides his performing duties, he has worked at Interlochen Center for the Arts as a teaching assistant during their summer camp. He also spent two years teaching bassoon at Glendale Community College in Glendale, Arizona.
Ben holds a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California, both in bassoon performance. His principal teachers have been Jeffrey Lyman, Judith Farmer, and Bonnie Wolfgang.
More of Ben’s bassoon playing can be heard on his YouTube channel, where he continues to add his recordings of etudes and other solo and chamber pieces on a regular basis.
“My earliest musical memory is my dad bringing my twin brother and me into his recording studio at home to record the two of us singing children’s songs. I believe this started when my brother and I were about three or four years old.”
“One of my greatest heroes in classical music is Shostakovich, for writing such powerful music while living through the horrors of a brutal dictatorship. I’m also a huge admirer of bands such as Dream Theater for bringing a lot of the complexities of classical music into the world of rock music.”
“During the cooler part of the year, my favorite thing about Tucson is the wide variety of hiking trails. And during the summer my favorite thing is the proximity of Summerhaven.”