Bassoon & Contrabassoon
Fraser Jackson has been the contrabassoonist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1990. He has also performed with such groups as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, l'Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
In recent years, he has performed regularly with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Before joining the TSO, he was a member of l'Orchestre symphonique de Québec.
Fraser has co-founded two chamber groups, The Caliban Quartet and Musica Franca, whose recordings on the BIS, ATMA, and MSR Classics labels are known the world over for their inventive programming, virtuosity, and stylistic variety. Also in demand as a chamber bassoonist, Fraser performs regularly with New Music Concerts, Toronto’s elite new music group, and he was a long-time guest of the Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival where he collaborated with performers such as Malcolm Lowe, Desmond Hoebig, Andrew Dawes, and the St Lawrence String Quartet. In recent years, he has been a concerto soloist with the Bassoon Out Loud project and Burlington’s Symphony on the Bay. At least once a year, Fraser can be heard in recital with his wife, pianist Monique de Margerie. During the Covid lockdown, Fraser and Monique began a front porch music series and performed weekly recitals throughout the west end of Toronto.
Fraser taught bassoon for over 25 years at the University of Toronto and at The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory, and he coached the bassoon section of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra for many years. Currently, he teaches privately to students of all levels, from beginners to adult amateurs, and teaches at the Cammac Music Festival in Québec and at Ontario’s leading music camp for high school students, the Interprovincial Music Camp. He has given masterclasses at the Gatineau Conservatory, Ohio State University, Michigan State University, Indiana University, and the Université de Montréal. He holds music degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Southern California where he was one of the last students to graduate from the studio of Norman Herzberg.
Also known as a prolific arranger, Fraser has over 70 arrangements to his credit including several that have been published commercially and recorded by strangers. He enjoys renovating his house, reading, cooking, and talking to his cats.