Born in England, in 1939, Bassoonist Christopher Weait is a composer, conductor, author and publisher. He is professor emeritus of bassoon at The Ohio State University where he taught from 1984 to 2006. He was twice honored by students at the Ohio State School of Music: "Distinguished Teacher of the Year" (1999) and Sigma Alpha Iota's "National Arts Associate" (2006). From 2010 to 2014 he was Adjunct Instructor of Bassoon at the Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, Ohio. In 2013, the International Double Reed Society conferred Honorary Membership on him “in recognition of his significant contributions to the world of double reeds”.
Before being appointed to the faculty at Ohio State in 1984, Weait was appointed a principal bassoonist of the Toronto Symphony by Maestro Seiji Ozawa. He served in that position for seventeen years under music directors Ozawa, Karel Ancerl and Sir Andrew Davis. Prior to joining the Toronto Symphony he was a member of the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia and the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. He has performed as a guest bassoonist in the Cleveland Orchestra, the Grant Park Symphony, the Montréal Symphony and the National Arts Centre Orchestra among others.
He has appeared as soloist on tour with the Toronto Symphony, the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia and with Keith Brion and His New Sousa Band. His solo repertoire includes hundreds of works and dozens of commissions and premieres. He was the bassoonist with OBOHIO and has been acting principal bassoonist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in all of the leading orchestral repertoire and for most of the important conductors on the world stage today.
His solo albums on compact discs are: "Bassoon with a View. Late 20th Century Bassoon Music" on Innova Recordings (Innova 520) and "Telemann for Bassoon" (Weait Music 9520). He also has chamber and solo recordings on the Crystal, Lyrichord, CBC, and Kneptune labels. As founder and director of the Toronto Chamber Winds he supervised notable recordings of the Mozart wind serenades for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. His wife, 'cellist Margaret Barstow produces their recordings. Her fabric creations are shown on the website under 'Padge's Products'.
Weait's teaching experience includes more than four decades as a private teacher, two years as a high school band director and ten years as woodwind section coach of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra.
He has been a visiting professor at the Eastman School of Music and twice at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. He has also been a guest teacher at the Festival at Sandpoint, the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, the Festival Internacional de Música de Buenos Aires in Argentina and at the Chilean National Youth Orchestra. He presents master classes at music schools and festivals on an annual basis and he is a four-time guest artist at the annual Glickman Popkin Bassoon Camp in Little Switzerland, North Carolina.
As a conductor he is known for his knowledge of wind repertoire and for solving ensemble problems for wind players. He has conducted in Germany, Canada and the United States and at the annual meetings of the International Double Reed Society. Between 1988 and 1999 he was Music Director and Conductor of the Central Ohio Symphony Orchestra and is now their Conductor Laureate. His special performing interest is in harmoniemusik.
Weait began arranging and transcribing instrumental music in high school. His theoretical and composition studies were with Aaron Bodenhorn, Arthur Frackenpohl, Edward Young and Donald Hunsberger. Just before graduation from Potsdam State Teachers College in 1961 he penned his first extensive, non-class-assignment composition, a processional march for concert band. He has more than 600 titles including compositions, editions of music, arrangements and transcriptions many of which are included on his website.
His works have been performed by the Toronto Symphony, The Ohio State University Symphonic Band and Wind Symphony, the Ohio State University Women's Glee Club and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Twelve works have been recorded by ensembles such as the New York Bassoon Quartet, the Aeolian Winds and the German Wind Soloists.
Recently he released “Making a Bassoon Reed” a two DVD set with a detailed, step-by-step demonstration of the reed making process for beginners or advanced players. His publications include musical works, recordings of music, literary works and articles. He is the author of the important teaching resources: "Bassoon Reed Making: an Illustrated Basic Method" (Weait, 2008), that has quickly become a standard text in the field, "Bassoon Warmups" (2nd Edition 2010, Emerson) and "Bassoon Strategies for the Next Level", (Weait, 2003). His ground-breaking report on vibrato was published in 1977.
Other publications include performance editions of Schubert's Wind Octet, D.72, and wind works by Johann Friedrich Fasch and Anton Reicha.
He is a member of the International Double Reed Society, for which he has served as an officer, a competition judge and meeting host and he is a lifetime member of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada.