Skip navigation

College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences

Lamont School of Music

Newman Center for the Performing Arts


Martin Kuuskmann

Martin Kuuskmann  Photo: Karl J Kaul

Assistant Professor, Bassoon & Chamber Music

Newman Center for the Performing Arts, Room 403
[email protected]

An Estonian-born bassoon virtuoso with two Grammy nominated albums, Martin Kuuskmann's charismatic and commanding performances throughout the world have earned him repute as one of the leading solo instrumentalists today. Kuuskmann received his M.M. from Yale School of Music and B.A. from the Manhattan School of Music having been a full scholarship recipient at both schools. His mentors include Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, Rufus Olivier and Vernon Read.

Professor Kuuskmann joined the Lamont faculty in September, 2016.

As soloist Martin Kuuskmann has appeared with conductors Neeme, Paavo and Kristjan Järvi, Robert Spano, Tõnu Kaljuste, Risto Joost, Nikolay Aleksejev, Anu Tali, Kirk Trevor, Leonid Grin and with orchestras such as Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Chile, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Lukes, Estonian Festival Orchestra, Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra, Macao Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Absolute Ensemble, 1B1 Ensemble, Symphony Orchestra of the Norrlandsoperan and many others.

Constantly pushing the boundaries for new artistic and technical possibilities, Kuuskmann has premiered 11 bassoon concertos, all written and dedicated to him by some of the foremost composers of our time, including Erkki-Sven Tüür, Christopher Theofanidis, Eino Tamberg, Tõnu Kõrvits, Ülo Krigul, Gene Pritsker, David Chesky, Gregor Huebner and Charles Coleman. Kuuskmann's collaboration with composers including Daniel Schnyder, Helena Tulve and jazz icon John Patitucci have led to numerous new solo works from bassoon and string quartet to amplified bassoon and electronics. In 2013 Kuuskmann made his highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall concerto debut in Zankel Hall with the Christopher Theofanidis Bassoon Concerto and the American Composers Orchestra. Known for his deft performances of the monumental solo work by Luciano Berio, Sequenza XII, Kuuskmann was invited as a soloist in 2008 for the New York Philharmonic's "Day of Berio" in Rose Theater at Lincoln Center. Since 2011 Kuuskmann has been invited annually as a concerto soloist at the International Double Reed Society Conventions.

Kuuskmann has been the principal bassoonist of the Estonian Festival Orchestra led by maestro Paavo Järvi since its inception in 2011, and has been a valued guest artist in Bremen Musikfest, Landsberg, Kuhmo, Gaia, Umeå, Victoria, Nargen, Menuhin Festival Gstaad Festivals, to name a few. As an avid chamber musician Kuuskmann is a co-founder of the Berlin based Trio Mann along with oboist Christoph Hartmann (Berlin Philharmonic) and pianist Hendrik Heilmann. Kuuskmann has been a guest member and soloist of the renown Ensemble Berlin of the Berlin Philharmonic in several international tours. His chamber music partners have included Kirill Gernstein, Stephen Williamson, Riccardo Morales, Gordon Hunt, Maarika Järvi, Ole Edvard Antonsen, David Taylor, Ron Patterson, Matthew Hunt, Jovino Santos Neto, John Patitucci, Daniel Schnyder, Miguel Kertsman and many other esteemed artists. Kuuskmann is a founding member and solo bassoonist of the New York City based Absolute Ensemble.

As a recording artist, Kuuskmann received a 2007 Grammy Nomination for his recording of David Chesky's bassoon concerto. Kuuskmann's acclaimed solo cd Nonstop and other solo albums are available on ERP, Simax, Erdenklang, CCn'C and Chesky record labels, including his most recent Bassoon Concertos on ERP label with the much awaited recording of Christopher Theofanidis' Bassoon Concerto along with live concert recordings of Mozart and Hummel Concertos. Kuuskmann's recordings and performances of transcribed works have created several publications for bassoon and piano, including Arvo Pärt's luminous "Spiegel im Spiegel" on Universal Editions and Daniel Schnyder's Bassoon Sonata on Editions Kunzelmann. Kuuskmann's live and archived solo performances have been broadcast regularly on radio stations across the world. In addition to numerous major movie soundtracks and video games, Kuuskmann's has recorded the entire bassoon sound library for the acclaimed Cinesample Cinepro Winds online software.

An avid educator, Kuuskmann has taught at the Manhattan School of Music and is actively giving masterclasses worldwide. He has been a regular faculty in Pärnu Music Festival's Järvi Academy since 2011, as well as in South-America's leading festivals of Campos do Jõrdau, Curitiba and Sesc Pelotas festivals in Brazil. Kuuskmann taught for several years at the Arosa Music Academy in Switzerland. Since 2010 Kuuskmann as been the woodwind coach of the Berlin based Baltic Sea Youth Philharmonic led by Kristjan Järvi. In 2016 Kuuskmann will make his debut as the faculty of the Youth Orchestra of the Americas.

Martin Kuuskmann is an artist of Bernd Moosmann bassoons, Miller Marketing Company and Legere Reeds.