Biography

Dr. David A. Wells teach­es bas­soon and music his­to­ry at Cal­i­for­nia State Uni­ver­si­ty, Sacra­men­to, where he also for­mer­ly served as Co-Direc­tor of the annu­al Fes­ti­val of New Amer­i­can Music (FeNAM). As a per­former, he plays both mod­ern and peri­od instru­ments in a wide vari­ety of ensem­bles and styles. On mod­ern bas­soon, he free­lances with orches­tras through­out North­ern Cal­i­for­nia, col­lab­o­rates with col­leagues in cham­ber groups, and plays with the swing sex­tet Hot Club Faux Gitane. On Baroque bas­soon, he has recent­ly per­formed with the Amer­i­can Bach Soloists, Pacif­ic Baroque Orches­tra (Van­cou­ver, BC), Sacra­men­to Baroque Soloists, Capel­la Anti­qua, at the Carmel Bach Fes­ti­val, and is a found­ing mem­ber of Sin­fo­nia Spir­i­tu­osa.

Wells serves as Co-Exec­u­tive Direc­tor for the Meg Quigley Vival­di Com­pe­ti­tion & Bas­soon Sym­po­sium, a bien­ni­al event focused on equi­ty and diver­si­ty with­in the pro­fes­sion. He is also active as a music schol­ar, hav­ing pre­sent­ed papers at the con­fer­ences of the Amer­i­can Musi­co­log­i­cal Soci­ety, the Soci­ety for Amer­i­can Music, and the Inter­na­tion­al Dou­ble Reed Soci­ety, on top­ics includ­ing the his­to­ry of the bas­soon in jazz, redis­cov­er­ing the bas­soon­ist who first played the Rite of Spring solo, the effects of World War I on Amer­i­can orches­tras, and cross-gen­der cast­ing in the operas of Lul­ly and Rameau.

Wells holds both a D.M.A. in Bas­soon Per­for­mance and an M.A. in Musi­col­o­gy from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wis­con­sin-Madi­son, and pre­vi­ous­ly stud­ied at Flori­da State Uni­ver­si­ty and Ari­zona State Uni­ver­si­ty. His prin­ci­pal teach­ers include Jef­frey Lyman, Jeff Keeseck­er, and Marc Val­lon. When not play­ing or teach­ing, he can be found swim­ming, tak­ing pho­tographs, col­lect­ing records, and try­ing to keep up with his super-librar­i­an/u­ber-yogi wife, Veron­i­ca.

Con­tact Dr. Wells at david.wells@csus.edu.