Preman Tilson was appointed to the bassoon section of the Lyric Opera Orchestra in 2005. He lives in Chicago during the Lyric season, where he also works regularly with the Chicago Philharmonic and Music of the Baroque. He spends the other half of each year in Wellington, New Zealand, where he is Principal Bassoon of Orchestra Wellington and teaches at the New Zealand School of Music.
Preman was Principal Bassoon with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra from 1993 until 2007. He was a soloist with the orchestra several times, including during the NZSO's visit to the World Expo in Aichi, Japan. He toured New Zealand extensively in 2006 with the chamber group Divertissement, for which Anthony Ritche was commissioned by Chamber Music New Zealand to compose "Rites of Passage" for bassoon and string quintet. Also commissioned for him was "Winterlight" for bassoon and orchestra by Martin Lodge, which he premiered with the NZSO. He recorded the Elgar Romance for bassoon and orchestra with the NZSO on the Naxos label.
Before coming to New Zealand, Preman held positions with the Grant Park Festival Orchestra (Chicago), the Memphis Symphony and the Arizona Opera Company. He has also performed with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and as guest principal with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He attended the Berkshire Music Festival at Tanglewood, as well as conservatories in New York, Boston and Arizona. He received a Master's Degree in Music and studied under Arthur Weisberg and Sol Schoenbach.