James Rodgers has been the Principal Contrabassoonist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra since September 2001. Formerly, he was the Principal Bassoonist with the Jacksonville Symphony, Associate Principal Bassoonist with the Florida Orchestra, Second Bassoonist with the Houston Symphony, and Contrabassoonist with the Colorado Symphony. Summer activities have included the Grand Tetons Music Festival, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Colorado Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute and Tanglewood Music Center. He studied bassoon with Norman Herzberg at the University of Southern California, and with Benjamin Kamins at the Rice University Shepherd School of Music. He also studied bassoon with Andrew Radford, and contrabassoon with Gregg Henegar.

A founding member of the Pittsburgh Reed Trio, Jim has performed to critical acclaim with PSO colleagues Scott Bell (oboe) and Ron Samuels (clarinet). Their many and varied concerts have been heard locally, nationally, and abroad. An avid early music enthusiast, Jim likes to perform on dulcian whenever possible. As a pioneer of electric/acoustic bassoon and contrabassoon development, Jim is ever creatively exploring the possibilities of his instruments' capabilities, both in sound and genre.

Jim lives in Moon Township with his wife, Sue, a clarinetist and dietitian/diabetes educator, and their feline family.


  • University of Southern California
  • Rice University Shepherd School of Music

  • Member, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra