Musician Spotlight: Leyla Zamora, Bassoon

Leyla Zamora has been a member of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra since 2005.  Before coming to San Diego, Leyla held for 10 years, the position of principal bassoon with the Memphis Symphony. We caught up with Leyla as she was finishing up her Summer Vacation gallivanting around Europe and asked her about her time with the Orchestra and what she has her sights set on in this upcoming season. 

1. Tell us your story about how you came to play with the SDSO? 

For 10 years, I was the principal Bassoon with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. I have always loved playing the contrabassoon so I decided to start taking auditions for a position in which I would be able to perform on both instruments. I consider myself extremely lucky and fortunate to have obtained the position of 3rd bassoon and contrabassoon with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in 2005.

2. What is your favorite memory playing with SDSO so far?                                                                                                       

Some outstanding performances come to mind: the operas Wozzeck, Salome, Mahler's Symphony No. 2, Mahler's Symphony No. 9 and of course the unforgettable inaugural performance of the San Diego Symphony at The Rady Shell!

3. Who is your favorite composer?                                                                                                                                                   

Too hard to say but amongst others Igor Stravinsky, Gustav Mahler, Anna Clyne.

4. Do you have any hidden talents?                                                                                                                                                   

I just completed a workshop on how to perfect a French Macaron at the renowned Le Cordon Bleu at Paris, France. I adore making French Macarons! 

5. What are you most looking forward to in your second Carnegie Hall appearance with the San Diego Symphony? 

I am most looking forward to performing one of my favorite symphonies and one of the greatest parts in the contrabassoon repertoire at the Carnegie Hall in New York, Dimitry Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5. Touring with the orchestra is an uplifting and inspiring experience and I cannot wait to be on stage once again with my colleagues.

*This will be Leyla's second appearance at Carnegie Hall with the San Diego Symphony in 10 years. For more information and tickets please visit 

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