Daniel Matsukawa

Richard M. Klein Chair

Daniel Matsukawa

Daniel Matsukawa has been principal bassoon of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2000. He is on faculty at both the Curtis Institute of Music and Temple University and is the music director of the Independence Sinfonia Orchestra.

Mr. Matsukawa was born in Argentina to Japanese parents and his family moved to the United States when he was three years old. He studied at the Juilliard School and the Curtis Institute of Music, and his teachers were Alan Futterman, Harold Goltzer, and Bernard Garfield. Mr. Matsukawa has performed, and soloed, with various orchestras around the world. He has also conducted in the United States and Japan. Along with his orchestral and teaching positions, he serves on the Faculty Council at the Curtis Institute of Music and on the Advisory Board for the Pacific Music Festival in Japan, which was founded by Leonard Bernstein. In 2019 Mr. Matsukawa served as a judge for the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and was a member of the jury panel for the renowned ARD Competition in Munich, Germany. He has also been invited to serve as a judge for the 2023 Muri Competition in Switzerland.

In 2021 Mr. Matsukawa received the C. Hartman Kuhn Award given annually to “the member of The Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and the reputation of the ensemble.” He is also a Grandmentor for Musical Mentors Collaborative, a nonprofit that addresses structural inequities in music education. He was recently chosen to serve on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Advisory Commission for Asian Pacific American Affairs, and through empathy and intersectionality he hopes to advocate not only for Asian Pacific American communities but help amplify all BIPOC voices. He is also the co-chair of the Council for Inclusive Excellence at the Curtis Institute.

Mr. Matsukawa is deeply involved with The Philadelphia Orchestra’s community involvement and outreach programs such as Our City, Your Orchestra, which has helped promote cultural and social-service organizations throughout the Philadelphia region. He is also working to help increase accessibility to classical music for historically underrepresented communities. He has found music to be a form of communication, self-expression, and social commentary, bringing people together and lifting them up. Through his belief that art has the power to create conversations, healing, and change, he strives to create an empathetic and equitable society for everyone.


Photo by Jessica Griffin

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