Kathleen McLean received her musical training at the Curtis Institute of music and has been associate principal bassoon of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1992. She is a much sought after chamber and orchestral musician recognized internationally and has participated in many chamber music festivals including the Evian International Festival, Vancouver Chamber Music Festival, Scotia Festival and the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival. She performs frequently with New Music Concerts, Amici Ensemble and is a founding member of the Caliban quartet, Toronto Wind Quintet and the Canadian Winds and most recently a performing guest and Judge for the International Double Reed Society.
She was principal bassoon with the Canadian Opera Company and has been guest principal with the London Symphony Orchestra (UK) and with the NAC orchestra. She has been soloist with both the Calgary Philharmonic and the Saraste Chamber Players.
Kathleen has had the honour of being invited to perform with the World Orchestra for Peace under the baton of Maestro Valery Gergiev. The musicians who make up this orchestra are a selection of the finest players drawn from top international orchestras. She has toured extensively with them around the world since 2001. She is a strong advocate of Canadian music and recently commissioned 3 new works for solo bassoon , harp and strings with Erica Goodman and the Accordes String Quartet for a recording entitled Nightsongs released in May 2008.
She has been instructing bassoon since 1986 and has been on faculty at the University of Victoria, University of Toronto and at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.