Bassoonist Annie Lyle Mason
With a strong foundation and love of traditional repertoire, she has performed with the Illinois Symphony, Danville Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonia da Camera, Champaign-Urbana Symphony, and the Urbana Pops Orchestra. As a sought after bassoonist in New York City’s entertainment and theater world, she’s performed with Matthew Broderick and the company of Brigadoon on Broadway, and with singer-songwriter Randy Newman. In addition, she’s played with New York based orchestras including Ensemble 212, Mimesis Ensemble, and The Chelsea Symphony of TV’s Mozart in the Jungle fame.
Annie Mason has performed in nationally recognized venues including The Kennedy Center, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, Symphony Space, and Broadway’s Schubert Theater.
An avid chamber musician, Professor Mason performs regularly with the EIU Faculty woodwind quintet. She has performed with the Chautauqua Music School Festival Orchestra, St Martin Chamber Players and the Madeline Island Seminar for Advanced Chamber Music. Mason was co-founder of New York City based Kontraphonix, a unique double bass and bassoon duo. Her interest in contemporary and collaborative improvisational music is evident in her performances with Manhattan School of Music’s Tactus and NuArt Ensemble. She regularly premiered new chamber works with the Illinois Modern Ensemble.
Ms. Mason can be heard on recordings including Music for a Golden Sky, Winds of a Higher Order, and Dreams and Achievements with the University of Illinois Wind Symphony. She recorded Augusta Read Thomas’ work Astral Canticle with the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra and Oedipe with Sinfonia da Camera; as well as new works for bassoon with the Music =Equals ensemble including Matthew Hough’s Irreverent Overtones and Remembered States.
A champion of new music and living composers, Professor Mason has premiered numerous works for bassoon, most notably Gernot Wolfgang’s Low Agenda for double bass and bassoon in New York City where she also premiered her original solo bassoon composition, Onion Breath. She premiered Ralph Sylvester Lewis’ work, I Was on the Side of the Highway, for solo bassoon and his Drive to the Edge/of the Highway for bassoon and electronics at Slate Arts + Performance, Chicago.
Ms. Mason has concertized as soloist presenting programs for community engagement, fundraising, and youth educational outreach events in New York City, Baton Rouge; Champaign, Charleston and Peoria, IL.; always seeking freshness in the well-known body of established bassoon repertoire.
Abiding by the philosophy of ‘the complete musician’ of the 21st Century, Ms. Mason taught Bassoon Methods and coached chamber music at the university level. She is a teaching and educational outreach artist for AllScore Urbana, assisting students K-12 with music composition. She has taught Music Theory and Electronic Music and Composition on the middle-school level and currently maintains a thriving private teaching studio.
Professor Mason was a Teaching Assistant at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, served as Associate Professor of Applied Bassoon at Knox College and was a Guest Artist at Western Illinois University. She is currently Instructor of Bassoon at Eastern Illinois University where she has served since 2017.
Annie Lyle Mason holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, Louisiana State University, and the University of Illinois. Her teachers and coaches included Timothy McGovern, Martin Kuuskmann, William Ludwig, Grant Gillett, Anthony de Mare, Brian McWhorter, David Krakauer, Johnathan Keeble, Linda Chesis, and Mark Stewart.