Benjamin Kamins

Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Bassoon

1111 Alice Pratt Brown Hall

Since entering the world of professional music in 1972, Benjamin Kamins has enjoyed a distinguished career as an orchestral musician, chamber and solo performer, and educator. During his nine years as Associate Principal Bassoon with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mr. Kamins appeared as soloist with that orchestra and taught at St. Olaf and Macalester Colleges. In 1981 he was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Houston Symphony. As an active recitalist and founding member of the Houston Symphony Chamber Players, his life in Houston remained diverse and his artistic presence deepened in the community. Faculty appointments came at the University of Houston and then at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Now as a Professor at Rice University’s Shepherd School, Mr. Kamins continues his commitment to our young musicians and to classical music performance.


Mr. Kamins currently spends his summer teaching and performing throughout the U.S. He holds faculty positions at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and the International Festival Institute at Round Top in Round Top, Texas. Both programs pair faculty chamber music performances with their highly regarded teaching programs. He is also Principal Bassoon of the Sun Valley Summer Symphony in Sun Valley, Idaho, a superb orchestra comprised of leading musicians from the nation’s top orchestras. Other activities have included numerous festivals including Marlboro, Ravinia, Aspen, Pacific, Blossom and Tanglewood. In addition to his Minnesota and Houston orchestral positions, he has served as a Guest Principal Bassoonist with the Pittsburg Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Boston Symphony.

In addition to his performing engagements, Mr. Kamins is in demand for master classes, recitals and chamber performances throughout North America. An interest in new music has led to a recent series of commissions and tours that serve to enrich the repertoire for his chosen instrument.