Cai Quirk (they/them or ey/em pronouns) is a bassoonist with interests in Latin American, classical, and new music who graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and the Eskenazi School of Fine Art in 2019. They are currently exploring new avenues of music in spiritual, folk, and folk-punk genres.

Quirk began playing the bassoon at age nine in fourth grade. In Ithaca, New York, they studied with three consecutive Ithaca College bassoon professors, Ed Gobrecht, Lee Goodhew Romm, and Christin Schillinger, attended Ithaca College bassoon repertoire classes for several years, and was the first and only high school student invited to join the Cornell University Wind Ensemble.

Interlochen Arts Academy, and the Interlochen and Curtis Summer Institutes included study with internationally esteemed bassoonists, such as Daniel Matsukawa, Christopher Millard, George Sakakeeny, and Eric Stomberg. Studies with William Ludwig atthe Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University included a variety of ensembles, including symphony orchestras, opera pit orchestras, bands, chamber ensembles, and the Latin American Ensemble.

Past summers included music and opera festivals in Mexico and the Czech Republic, with performances for international dignitaries and a production of Don Giovanni in the Estates Theatre where Mozart himself conducted the premiere, an internship at Interlochen Center for the Arts, and further study abroad programs in the arts. Quirk studied abroad in Vienna with bassoonists Sophie Dartigalongue and Marcelo Padilla, and after graduating from IU, Quirk studied privately with Marianne Ploger at the Blair School of Music. 

In addition to a primary focus on bassoon and photography, Quirk has taken classes in composing and arranging music, acoustics, metalsmithing, instrument repair, drawing, painting, and printmaking, and also enjoys dancing (salsa, contra, ecstatic), biking, climbing trees, living in a cooperative, being a Quaker and activist, and reading.

Visit Cai’s YouTube channel to hear them play.