Steve Magee was born in Hartlepool and studied bassoon at the Royal Northern College of Music before joining the Hallé Orchestra in 1997 as principal contrabassoon, a position he held for 18 years. He has performed with many of the UK’s major orchestras including BBC Philharmonic, RLPO, Royal Opera House, and the BBC Symphony Orchestra (including the 2013, 2014 and 2015 Last Night of the Proms).
In August 2015, Steve left the Hallé in order to take up his new position as principal contrabassoon of the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
Steve was heavily involved in the Hallé’s award winning education programme and has led workshops for BBC Learning, including the BBC Ten Pieces project. He is professor of bassoon and contrabassoon at the RNCM and for numerous years tutored at the Junior RNCM and Chetham’s School of Music.
His interest in conducting began in 1987 when he conducted the band on the quayside in Hartlepool to bid farewell to the newly restored HMS Warrior. He has since been involved in conducting and coaching many ensembles including the Birmingham Festival Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Hallé Youth Orchestra, RNCM Symphony and Chamber Orchestras and Chester Philharmonic. Steve has conducted all 65 performances of The Snowman for Carrot Productions over the last three seasons.
Away from the platform, Steve is a keen aviation enthusiast, obtaining his private pilot’s license in 1997. Perhaps most memorably, he flew a 1952 de Havilland Canada Chipmunk ‘in formation’ with a WW2 Spitfire, before performing aerobatics with a former Red Arrows pilot.