Joseph Merchant currently resides in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2001, he played
the clarinet for roughly two weeks. After picking up the bassoon, he quickly found himself amused by
the new found attention one receives when holding an instrument that towered over him. Joe still
finds a sense of amusement every time he picks up the instrument, and his love of the bassoon has
manifested itself into a career as a performer and educator.
Joe completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of
Music under the tutelage of William Winstead. He then received a master’s degree in Los Angeles
as a student of Richard Beene.
Continuing throughout recent years, Joe has had the privilege to perform with symphony orchestras
across the country, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic,
Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and San Diego Symphony. He also spent multiple summers as a
fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center and the Aspen Music Festival and School.
When not engaging in musical activities, Joe can be found taking walks, tending to his aquariums, or
driving a school bus.