Lewis Lipnick joined the National Symphony in 1970. His professional musical training included studies at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. It was at Lipnick's suggestion that the National Symphony commissioned Gunther Schuller to compose his Concerto for Contrabassoon, the first concerto ever written for the contrabassoon. The world premiere took place in 1979 with Lipnick as soloist and Mstislav Rostropovich conducting the National Symphony Orchestra. Lipnick went on to perform the European and New York premieres of the Schuller concerto. In 2006, Lipnick commissioned and premiered Concerto for Contrabassoon by the Finnish composer Kalevi Aho with Andrew Litton conducting the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra in Norway. This world premiere was recorded live by the Swedish record company, BIS, and their CD release of this work has earned dozens of enthusiastic reviews from all around the world. Since then, Lipnick has since performed the Aho concerto in Helsinki, Turku, Lahti, and Kuopio in Finland, and the U.S. premiere at the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan.
In 2010, Lipnick switched from contrabassoon to the new Wolf/Eppelsheim Contraforte. He is the only player in a major US orchestra to adopt this new instrument. It has been met with unanimous acclaim by other members of the NSO, conductors, composers, and music critics in the U.S. and overseas. Lipnick has premiered several new works for solo contraforte and orchestra that were written specifically for him, including Noelia Escalzo's Tango Fantasy and Daniel Baldwin's Concerto for Contrabassoon and Strings.
Besides playing in the National Symphony, Lipnick has conducted seminars in contrabassoon and bassoon performance at several institutions of higher learning across the United States and at the prestigious Sibelius Academy of Music in Helsinki, Finland. Lewis is also internationally respected as a leading expert in the field of electronics and acoustics and has written numerous articles on these subjects for publications throughout the United States, Europe, and Russia. He has also served as a consultant to the United States Congressional Office of Technology Assessment.