A native of South Dakota, Aaron Apaza has held the positions of Principal Bassoon with the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra since 2013 and Lecturer of Bassoon at the University of Tennessee since 2016. Previously, he served as Acting Assistant Principal Bassoon with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Acting Assistant Principal Bassoon with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.
Aaron spent two years at the Interlochen Arts Academy, where he studied with the Cleveland Orchestra's Assistant Principal Bassoon, Barrick Stees. He received his Bachelor's Degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, and his Master's Degree from Yale University. His teachers include the Philadelphia Orchestra's retired Principal Bassoon, Bernard Garfield, and Frank Morelli, bassoon soloist, chamber musician, and educator. As a 2001 Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Aaron performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.
After completing his studies at Yale, Aaron was invited to join Miami's New World Symphony, where he performed under the direction of artistic director Michael Tilson Thomas. He has also performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and the Baltimore Symphony, among others.