Donald A. Shore, principal bassoonist of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra and the Washington National Opera Orchestra for 30 years, died Oct. 9 at his home in Washington. He was 52.
The cause was brain cancer, said his brother, Tony Shore.
At 23, Mr. Shore became one of the youngest members and principal musicians of the Kennedy Center’s Opera House Orchestra. There, he accompanied prestigious ballet organizations including the Bolshoi and Mariinsky ballets and performed in numerous concerts.
With the Washington National Opera, he collaborated with opera stars such as tenors Plácido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli. In the Washington area, he was principal bassoonist of the Wolf Trap Opera and the Post Classical Ensemble, and he performed with the Virginia Chamber Orchestra and National Gallery Orchestra.
Reviewing a 1989 concert of the Virginia Chamber Orchestra, Joseph McLellan wrote in The Washington Post that Mr. Shore “showed virtuoso technique” in performing the “Bachiana Brasileira” No. 6 of Heitor Villa-Lobos.
Domingo, who had served as the Washington National Opera’s music director from 1994 to 2011, said in a statement that Mr. Shore was “a great artist.”
Donald Allen Shore, a third-generation Washingtonian, was born Nov. 30, 1961. He began playing the bassoon at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, where he graduated in 1979.
He studied at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore before transferring to the University of Toronto, where he received a bachelor’s degree in music and bassoon performance in 1984. As a senior, he won the National Symphony Orchestra’s Young Soloists’ Competition.
Survivors include his companion of nine years, David Peiffer of Washington; two brothers, Tony Shore of Chevy Chase, Md., and Francis Shore III of Fort Myers, Fla.; and two sisters, Lynne Grace of Eastbourne, England, and K.C. Shore of Auckland, New Zealand.