Faculty & Staff

Midori Samson

Lecturer of Bassoon

NFAC 308



  • D.M. (in progress) - Current Collins Fellow at UW-Madison
  • M.M. - The University of Texas at Austin
  • B.M.A. - Juilliard School

Midori Samson is a bassoonist, educator, and activist. In addition to her new appointment at UWSP, she holds the positions of 2nd Bassoon in the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, and Principal Bassoon in the Beloit-Janesville Symphony. She is a former Fellow of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and previously performed with the Chicago, Omaha, Madison, Charleston, Austin, and New World symphony orchestras, Japan’s Pacific Music Festival, and the New York String Orchestra. As a chamber musician and soloist, she has performed at the Banff Centre, Norfolk and Bowdoin International music festivals, and composer Elliott Carter’s 102nd birthday party. Last year, she premiered a recital of new works she commissioned by composers from across Africa, and most recently was the inaugural winner of the UW-Madison Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition.

As an educator and activist, Midori travels annually to rural India to teach with Artists Striving to End Poverty. She is a founder of Trade Winds Ensemble, which has hosted composition workshops for children in Haiti, Kenya, and Tanzania, at a shelter for LGBTQ youth in Detroit, and at a refugee center in Chicago. She has facilitated similar community engagement work in Austin, New Orleans, New York City, Guatemala, and the Philippines. Most recently, she was invited by Yo-Yo Ma to serve on faculty with him at Youth Music Culture Guangdong in China. She is looking forward to travelling this year to Rwanda, where she will help produce an original interdisciplinary piece with local artists to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

Midori holds an undergraduate degree from The Juilliard School and a master’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a Collins Fellow at UW-Madison, pursuing a doctoral degree in bassoon and social welfare. She is particularly interested in researching the intersection of music education and social work practice. In her free time she enjoys caring for her rabbit, Fang, and cooking a meal from every country of the world (125 countries cooked so far!)