Introduced to the bassoon in the Massapequa, NY public schools, Frank Morelli studied with Stephen Maxym at the Manhattan School of Music and later became the first bassoonist to be awarded a doctorate by the Juilliard School. He has made nine appearances as soloist in New York’s Carnegie Hall playing concertos, Sinfonias concertantes, and even a solo ballad with the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. The Miami Herald has hailed his "breathtaking virtuosity" and the Toronto Globe and Mail proclaimed his performance: "the kind of Mozart even the most tireless concertgoer is lucky to hear once a year."
Morelli has four solo CDs on MSR Classics: From the Heart: 20th Century Music for Bassoon and Piano and Romance and Caprice, with pianist Gilbert Kalish, Bassoon Brasileiro with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and guitarist Ben Verdery and Baroque Fireworks, which features harpsichordist Kenneth Cooper and bassoonist Harry Searing. The magazine, Gramophone proclaimed: “Morelli’s playing is a joy to behold.” The American Record Guide stated: “the bassoon playing on this recording is a good as it gets.” Of his DG recording of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with Orpheus, Gramophone Magazine noted the "delicacy of articulation and colouring, [and] the lyrical warmth of the Andante." Fanfare Magazine added that this recording "reset a reviewer's standards at too high a level for comfort in a world more productive of ordinary music making." The Orpheus CD "Shadow Dances," which features Frank Morelli, won a 2001 Grammy Award.
A prolific chamber musician, Frank Morelli appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center on numerous occasions, including at the Whitehouse for the final State Dinner of the Clinton Presidency. He has participated in many major music festivals, including the Norfolk and Sarasota Chamber Music Festivals, Marlboro, Banff, Angel Fire, Casals Festival (France) and Music@Menlo. He is a member of Festival Chamber Music and the woodwind quintet, Windscape, in residence at the Manhattan School of Music with whom he has recorded two recent CDs, one featuring the music of Antonin Dvorak and the other music of Maurice Ravel (which includes his transcriptions of “Mother Goose” and “Valses Nobles et Sentimentales” both published by TrevCo).
Chosen to succeed his teacher, Stephen Maxym, Mr. Morelli serves on
the faculties of the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music and
the Yale School of Music, SUNY Stony Brook, and is Distinguished Lecturer in Woodwinds at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College, CUNY. Morelli’s
students are active in major orchestras and on important faculties
throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, the Far East, and Europe. He is
editor of Stravinsky: Difficult Passages for Bassoon, a landmark excerpt
book for bassoon and contra bassoon published by Boosey & Hawkes,
and has several transcriptions for bassoon, woodwind quintet and other
ensembles to his credit, published by Trevco Music. His unprecedented
edition, The First Complete Weissenborn Bassoon Method and Studies
Op. 8 Vols. 1&2 and Ludwig Milde’s Scale and Chord Studies Op. 24, is
now available worldwide, published by Carl Fischer. Mr. Morelli
performs exclusively on the Leitzinger Bassoon Model 1.