Michael Severance joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra in 2014. A San Francisco native, he began playing the bassoon at the age of 17, studying with Stephen Paulson. He studied with Kristin Wolfe Jensen at the University of Texas and Benjamin Kamins at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music. He has performed with many orchestras, including the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic and the Houston Symphony. His solo performances at the Shepherd School of Music include the first public performance of Alain Bernaud's "Fagkonzert" in 2013 and as the winner of the Sheperd School Concerto Competition, the Rossini Bassoon Concerto with the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra in 2015.