Charles Ullery

Former SPCO Musician

Charles Ullery has been principal bassoonist of The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra since 1975. Prior to that, he was a member of the San Francisco Symphony and the Sixth Army Band at the Presidio in San Francisco. Many composers have written works for him, including Michael Daugherty, Daniel Sturm, Russell Platt, Jay Reise, William Wallace, Erika Foin, Akmal Parwez, and Daniel S. Godfrey. Ullery has appeared at the Sarasota Music Festival, the Utah Festival, the Rockport Festival, the Aspen Music Festival, the Carnegie Hall Festival, with the SPCO as soloist, and since 1976, as a principal bassoonist of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Jackson, Wyoming. He spent the 1987–88 season as a faculty member at Oberlin College, the 2008–09 season as a visiting lecturer at Indiana University, taught for a quarter at Northwestern University in Evanston in 2014, and has been an affiliate faculty member at the University of Minnesota. Ullery graduated with honors in mathematics from the University of Arizona at age nineteen and started graduate work in math at UCLA before entering the Army. The wonderful bassoon teaching of Norman Herzberg, Wendal Jones, and Gordon Solie made possible his “crossover” from math into classical music. His greatest pleasures include visiting his daughter, a post-doc faculty member at Harvard; spending time with his son, a violist with the Los Angeles Philharmonic; walking and biking with his wife, Elsa Nilsson; reading revisionist American history, and playing way too much online chess.