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Nathaniel Hale

Nathaniel (Nate) Hale is a performing member of the Chicago Philharmonic. He lives in Madison and has been freelancing on bassoon and contrabassoon in the Midwest since 2009, where he has performed extensively on contrabassoon and bassoon with orchestras across the region. These have included extended contracts with the Milwaukee and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, as well as extensive work as Principal Bassoon with the Chicago Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony Orchestras. His career as a full-time bassoonist began in 1999 with a Fellowship in the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami Beach, Florida and then as a bassoonist with several Scandinavian orchestras, including as Second Bassoon with the Bergen Philharmonic and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestras, as well as Principal Bassoon with the Malmö Opera and Theater Orchestra.

Nate was drawn to the joy of performing orchestral and chamber music while a high school student through weekend rehearsals and performances with his regional youth orchestra, the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra. Nate was later accepted to Yale University for undergraduate studies, but chose to attend his hometown University of Wisconsin-Madison instead on a full-tuition Music Clinic scholarship. There Nate eventually became a winner of the UW-Madison School of Music’s Concerto Competition in and soon after won the Aspen Music Festival’s Woodwind Concerto Competition. He then pursued a Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School, as well as summer engagements with the Tanglewood Music Center, the European Academy of Music at Aix-En-Provence (France), The Verbier Festival (Switzerland), and The Netherlands Youth Orchestra. 

Nate has also recently earned both a Master of Divinity and a Master of Counseling Ministries degree from Trinity International University (also known as Trinity Evangelical Divinity School). In 2020 he married Erin and they have three foster sons who live in South Africa where she was working as a missionary and they continue to make frequent visits. In his free time he especially enjoys church work, and is excited about training his pointing dog to hunt with him, an energetic, affectionate and endlessly playful Irish Setter named Ghillie!