Skip to main content


Jessica KunttuDr. Jessica Kunttu (she/her) is a highly sought after performer and educator based in Raleigh, NC. As an orchestral player, Dr. Kunttu plays bassoon and contrabassoon regularly with the North Carolina Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Charlotte Symphony, Carolina Ballet, and North Carolina Opera, among others, and has appeared as Guest Principal Bassoon with the North Carolina and Charlotte Symphonies.

A proponent of new music, Dr. Kunttu maintains an ongoing collaboration with NYC-based Korean-American composer Seong Ae Kim, whose works center social justice issues. Two recent compositions include “Fever Dream” for bassoon and piano, which is an allegorical message for how to combat racism, and “Gravity-Levity” for solo bassoon, which symbolizes the coexistence of growth and depression. “Gravity-Levity” was premiered at the International Double Reed Society Conference in 2022.

Dr. Kunttu teaches bassoon at both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, and maintains a large private studio of middle school, high school, and adult students. Her approach to teaching involves creating a safe space for students to learn, grow, and make mistakes, but also helping students understand how to transfer skills learned in music to all areas of life. Dr. Kunttu also enjoys teaching chamber music and serves as a Faculty-Artist for the Chapel Hill International Chamber Music Festival and has served on the faculty of the North Carolina Chamber Music Institute (NCCMI).

As an advocate for fair working conditions for artists, Dr. Kunttu has served as Secretary-Treasurer for Local 500 of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) since 2017, and is President of the AFM Southern Conference of Locals for the 2021-2023 term. She believes in the collective power artists have in creating working conditions that are safe and equitable for everyone.

Dr. Kunttu earned a Doctor of Musical Arts and a Master’s of Music from Stony Brook University, where she studied with Frank Morelli. She received her Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts in Italian degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied with John Pederson and was a member of the inaugural class of Kenan Music Scholars. She received a high school diploma with concentration in Bassoon Performance from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where she studied with Mark Popkin.

In her rare moments of free time, Dr. Kunttu enjoys knitting, sewing, house renovation projects, and spending time with her husband and dog.