Judith Farmer

Adjunct Associate Professor

  • Program:
    Winds and Percussion
  • Division:
    Classical Performance and Composition
  • Instrument:


GRAMMY Award-nominated Judith Farmer enjoys a rich and varied career as a chamber musician, orchestra musician, soloist and teacher. She received her education at Indiana University and at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Vienna. From 1984-1996, she was principal bassoonist of the Austrian Radio Symphony Orchestra, performed and toured regularly with the Camerata Academica Salzburg under Sandor Vegh and with numerous chamber music ensembles in Vienna. Ms. Farmer has appeared as a soloist in the U.S. and in Europe, including the Salzburg Festival, and has participated in chamber music festivals in Prussia Cove (UK), Martha’s Vineyard (MA), Salem (NY), La Jolla (CA), Oaxaca (Mexico), Beverly Hills (CA) and Garth Newel (VA). For the 1995-96 season, she held the position of visiting professor at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Graz, Austria. She has also taught at the International Mozart Academy in Prague, the Chautauqua Music Festival and the Henry Mancini Institute.

In 1996 Ms. Farmer moved to Los Angeles and since then has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, including as guest associate principal in spring of 2009. She has played on the scores of over 200 major motion pictures and recorded with such artists as Daft Punk, Josh Groban, Billy Childs, Barbra Streisand and Neil Young. She is currently principal bassoonist of the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, a member of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and the Long Beach Symphony.

She is an avid chamber musician, who enjoys collaborating with composers on new works and has had numerous works written and dedicated to her.

Her recordings as a soloist and chamber musician are available on Albany, Centaur, Ex-House and Orfeo Records.

Critics have described Farmer’s playing as “impeccable” (American Record Guide), “masterly” (Fanfare Magazine) and “brilliant” (Kronenzeitung, Austria).

Barnaby Rayfield also noted in the July/August 2011 issue of Fanfare Magazine, “The playing on [composer Gernot Wolfgang’s CD Short Stories] is uniformly excellent, especially from Judith Farmer on bassoon, finding expressive extremes of that instrument I didn’t think possible.”

Farmer’s playing on clarinetist Gary Gray’s recently released chamber music CD, Shades of Gray, elicited the following responses from critics: “The most amazing bassoon playing I have heard in a long time – superb tone and articulation with a very attractive use of vibrato.” (Kenneth Morris in Clarinet & Saxophone);  “Of special note is the beautiful bassoon playing of Judith Farmer.” (Raphael Sanders in The Clarinet)

Professional experience

Career Highlights:

  • Principal bassoon, Radio Symphony Orchestra (RSO) Vienna, Austria 1984-1996
  • Principal bassoon, Camerata Academica Salzburg, Austria 1988-2001
  • Performance of Haydn Sinfonia Concertante at the Salzburg Festival, 1996
  • Visiting professor, Hochschule fuer Musik in Graz, Austria 1995-1996
  • Principal bassoon, State Theater Orchestra Braunschweig, Germany 1979-1984

Honors, Awards & Competitions:

  • 2017 GRAMMY® nomination for co-producing composer Gernot Wolfgang’s chamber music CD “Passing Through”
  • Semi-finalist, Geneva Competition 1980

Music Festivals:

  • La Jolla Chamber Music Society
  • Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society
  • International Musicians Seminar Prussia Cove, UK
  • Beverly Hills International Music Festival
  • Chautauqua Institution


  • CD “Passing Through” of chamber music by Gernot Wolfgang (Albany Records, 2016) – GRAMMY® nomination
  • CD “Short Stories” of chamber music by Gernot Wolfgang (Albany Records, 2011)
  •  CD “Autumn: In Moving Pictures” of jazz chamber music by Billy Childs (ArtistShare, 2010)
  • CD “Short Stories” of chamber music by Gernot Wolfgang (Albany Records, 2011)
  • CD “Common Ground” of chamber music by Gernot Wolfgang (Albany Records, 2006)
  • Haydn’s Sinfonia Concertante Hob. I/105, Camerata Academica Salzburg (Orfeo, released in 2000)
  • Symphonies of Schubert and Mozart, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra (2000)
  • Herbsttag and Hexen by Miguel Del Aguila, American Music Ensemble Vienna (Albany Records,  1991)

Academic degrees

  • Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna, Austria 1979
  • Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington, IN, 1978

Other academic experience:

  • Instructor at the Henry Mancini Institute, 2006
  • Instructor at the Chautauqua Institution, 2003
  • Visiting Professor, Hochschule fuer Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Graz, Austria 1995-1996
  • Instructor Prague Mozart Academy, 1993
  • Instructor seminar for chamber music Kumberg, Austria, July 1992 and 1993

Studied with:

  • Leonard Sharrow, former principal bassonist Chicago Symphony
  • Karl Oehlberger, former principal bassoonist Vienna Philharmonic
  • Mordechai Rechtman, former principal bassoonist Israel Philharmonic