The American bassonist and music pedagogue, Michael McCraw, studied at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina (2 year, music education major with piano as major instrument, bassoon as secondary instrument; also played tenor sax in big band).
The American bassonist, Michael McCraw, began his career in New York City as a member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and as one of the pioneers in the field of Baroque performance with original instruments. From 1979 he lived in Cologne, Germany, playing with such ensembles as Musica Antiqua Köln (Director: Reinhard Goebel), Concentus Musicus Wien (Director: Nikolaus Harnoncourt), London Baroque (Director: Charles Medlam), Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra (Director: Ton Koopman), and Camerata Köln. He moved to Toronto in 1991 to take up the position of principal bassoonist with the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, a position he held through 2002. He has also played with Portland Baroque Orchestra. He is cited in the newest edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians as one of the most important early bassoon players and pedagogues of our time,
His recordings number more than 140 and include, among many other solo and chamber music recordings, a highly acclaimed CD of Antonio Vivaldi bassoon concerti with the Seattle Baroque Orchestra. The American Record Guide places this recording "top of the list for Vivaldi bassoon, without hesitation."
Also a gifted teacher, Michael McCraw has taught at festivals and workshops all over the world. Mr. McCraw continues to free-lance in North America and Europe and in the summers teaches at several of the world's most renowned workshops. He is also musical director of the Baroque double reed workshop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 2013, he was appointed as Director of the Early Music Institute at Indiana University: Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. Following a restructuring of the department, partners his leadership responsibilities with internationally respected viola da gamba virtuoso Wendy Gillespie. He currently lives in Bloomington, Indiana.