Steve Vacchi is professor of bassoon at the University of Oregon, where he also coordinates the chamber music program. His teachers have included C. Robert Reinert, Rebecca Eldredge, Matthew Ruggiero, K. David Van Hoesen, Stephen Maxym, Frank Morelli, and William Ludwig. He holds degrees in performance from the Eastman School of Music (B.M. with high distinction/Performer’s Certificate), The Hartt School (M.M.), and Louisiana State University (D.M.A.), where he held a Board of Regents Fellowship. He also studied at the Yale School of Music. His dissertation is a “how-to” for bassoonists on fluttertongue and singing while playing; it focuses on five solo works requiring both techniques.
A member of Pi Kappa Lambda and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, he was formerly a faculty member at Wichita State University (KS) and the Brevard Music Center (NC). He has presented masterclasses at high schools, conservatories, and universities throughout the United States, South Korea, and China, and served as a faculty sabbatical replacement at Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music in 2014-15.
Vacchi’s recording credits include Argo, BMG Classics, Mark Records, Innova, Bridge Records, Centaur, NMC (Israel), North Pacific, Sony Classical, Edward Hines Music, Equilibrium, 8 Bells Records, Origin Classical, Quadre Music Group, AFKA Records, PentaTone, Parma Records, Orange Mountain Music, and Imagine Music. He has performed in 24 countries throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. In the U.S., Vacchi has performed with The Florida and Sarasota Orchestras, Santa Fe ProMusica, the Rhode Island, Tulsa, and Rochester Philharmonics, and the Saint Louis, New World, Baton Rouge, Colorado, Honolulu, Kansas City, Oregon, New Haven, and Wichita Symphony Orchestras. A member of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, and Music on the Hill (RI), he has performed in backup groups for such diverse artists as Michael Brecker, Victor Borge, Garrison Keillor, Luciano Pavarotti, Tony Bennett, The Moody Blues, and Peter Schickele. Vacchi has been a featured soloist in works by Haydn, Mozart, Strauss, J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Lindpaintner, Jurriaan Andriessen, Michael Daugherty, Walter Hartley, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Walter Mays, James Stephenson, and Peter Hope.
An advocate of new music, Vacchi has performed nearly 500 recently-composed works, including more than 150 premieres. A member of the Arcturus and Oregon Wind Quintets, he also performs with Douglas Detrick’s AnyWhen Ensemble, which features contemporary improvisation and jazz chamber music. Vacchi maintains interests in instrument collecting and early music, performing on dulcian, Baroque, Classical, and French bassoons, as well as heckelphone and contrabass clarinet. He has performed throughout the west coast as a Baroque bassoonist, including appearances with the Portland Baroque Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Vancouver's Pacific Baroque Orchestra, and with members of Seattle Baroque.
- Douglas Detrick's AnyWhen Ensemble: Rivers Music (Origin Classical 33012)
- Douglas Detrick's AnyWhen Ensemble: The Bright and Rushing World
- Portland Opera/Anne Manson: Philip Glass, Galileo Galilei (Orange Mountain Music)
- Douglas Detrick's AnyWhen Ensemble: Walking Across (8bells records 017)
- Tomas Svoboda: Chamber Works- vol. I with clarinet (North Pacific Music LD 016)
- Trio 335: J.S. Bach- The Art of the Fugue (Equilibrium 48)
- New World Symphony/Michael Tilson Thomas: The Music of Ingolf Dahl (Argo 444 459-2)|
- Eastman Wind Ensemble/Donald Hunsberger: Live in Osaka (Sony Classical SK47198)
- American-Soviet Youth Orchestra/Leonard Slatkin: Dvorak, Symphony No. 9 "From the New World" RCA Victor/BMG Classics 09026-60594-2)
- American-Soviet Youth Orchestra/Catherine Comet and Leonid Nikolayev: Live from Bolshoi Hall and Finney Chapel (Imagine Records IBW 94901)
- Chorus Civitas Chamber Orchestra/Robert Taylor: Vaughan Williams, An Oxford Elegy (Centaur CRC 2299)
- Steve Vacchi, solo bassoon on An American in Istanbul: The Yeni Makam Series of Edward J. Hines (Edward Hines Music EHM 7799)
- Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra/Timothy Bergman: A Holiday Symphony (from BRSO)