Conor Bell

Dr. Conor Bell enjoys a varied career as an educator, orchestral musician, and chamber musician. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Bassoon and Music Theory at Middle Tennessee State University.

Bell is a passionate chamber musician, currently performing with the Elicio Winds and the Æther reed quintet. Recent chamber performances include conferences for the College Music Society, the International Double Reed Society, the National Flute Association, and community outreach concerts at various venues throughout the South. 

Conor is also an active orchestral musician, having served as Principal Bassoon of the Owensboro Symphony since 2016, in addition to frequent appearances as a substitute bassoonist with ensembles including the Nashville Symphony and the Illinois Symphony. 

As a performer, Conor is particularly interested in new music, championing the works of living composers and pursuing opportunities to commission new works, especially as a means to promote pieces by artists from under-represented backgrounds. He has more than two dozen premieres to his name, many of which came about by commission or consortium. Conor and his wife—oboist Kathleen Carter Bell—were recently awarded one of three commissioning grants by the International Double Reed Society to commission a new trio for double reeds and piano by Afro-British composer Althea Talbot-Howard which was premiered at IDRS 2022. 

Conor holds a doctorate and master’s degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, with minors in music theory and arts administration. He is fortunate to have studied with many wonderful teachers, including William Ludwig, Kathleen McLean, Tina Carpenter.