Bassoonist Samuel Banks joined the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in September, 2009. Previously he was a member of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, a position that he held for five years. As an orchestral musician he has performed with the National Repertory Orchestra, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and as a substitute musician with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He has performed at the Breckenridge, Blossom, Peninsula, and Ravinia festivals.
A native of California, Samuel Banks took up the bassoon at the suggestion of his middle school band director, and was immediately captivated by its dark tone and challenging technique. He played in local wind ensembles and youth orchestras, and was very lucky to be accepted into the University of California's Young Musicians Program, which he attended during his high school years. He then attended Northwestern University, where he studied with Robert Barris. After graduation, he performed as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.
As a soloist, Banks made his New York debut in 2008, performing Mozart's Bassoon Concerto with the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. He has performed recitals and master classes across the United States and Canada. He is dedicated to engaging new audiences to music, and has participated in public school projects and performances through the Indianapolis and Toronto symphony orchestras as well as the Barossa Quintet, of which he was a member in Chicago.
Away from music, he enjoys cooking, travel, and long-distance running.