ON THIS PAGE...
TOP - introduction to this 12-month project
MIDDLE - new recordings and videos featuring the bassoon
LOWER - events listing including bassoon concerts, projects etc. worldwide
A 12-month project to help raise awareness and appreciation of the bassoon, and to inspire and encourage more young musicians to take up the instrument.
Join leading UK bassoonists Laurence Perkins and Anthea Wood for a one-day event on Halloween in central London!
'Spooky Bassoons' is two events in one:
✽ A workshop and ensemble session for adult amateur bassoonists (all playing levels)
✽ A free-admission introduction for school-age musicians who don't play the bassoon!
For the adult amateur players - help with reed adjustment and technical tips, plus a chance to play fantastic bassoon ensembles, including the Hitchcock theme, Sorcerer's Apprentice and the Finale of the 1812 Overture! All playing levels are welcome. There will also be a short concert given by the two tutors, Laurence Perkins and Anthea Wood.
Course fee is just £20 for the afternoon and evening - fantastic value! Adult players should apply via the on-line APPLICATION FORM (click here).
For those who don't play the bassoon - come and try the instrument for the first time! School-age musicians need to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian - all free admission! Turn up any time from 4.30 onwards, and stay for the Introduction to the Bassoon at 6pm when you can join in the Chorus of Demons reed choir! No previous experience or skills needed, and you'll be given a free reed to blow spooky sounds with! Halloween dress competition - come along in costume and enter the dress competition with a prize for the winner!
Wednesday 31st October 2018, 3pm - 9pm
Regent Hall, 275 Oxford St, London W1C 2DJ
(Just one minute's walk from Oxford Circus tube station)
Event sponsored by Howarth of London
A trade stall will be at this event with a wide range of instruments and accessories.
Schedule for the day: 3pm adult players workshop / 4.30pm Young musicians can try bassoon - or young bassoonists can join in ensembles / 6pm Introduction to the Bassoon / 7pm ensemble rehearsal / 8.15 Informal concert - tutors and massed ensemble. 9pm End.
HEAR the Tchaikovsky 1812 Overture on bassoons here:
... and the legendary Hitchcock television theme will be played - is this the spookiest TV theme ever?
Recordings and videos
The Princess and the Bear
A brand new CD and download release from Hyperion, with a wonderful musical story by Richard Strauss for clarinet, bassoon and orchestra, plus inspiring trios by Beethoven and Glinka for clarinet, bassoon and piano.
For further details and audio samples, please click HERE
Leonard Bernstein - West Side Story
'Maria', 'Tonight', 'Somewhere', 'Something's Coming'
Laurence Perkins (bassoon), and Yoshiko Endo playing Leonard Bernstein's piano.
Released in the month of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, here is a celebration of some of his best-known music - and with a special link as well! For this recording of four songs from West Side Story (made in April 2018 in Hampshire, U.K.), Laurence teamed up with pianist Yoshiko Endo who plays a Baldwin grand piano that once belonged to Bernstein. Its warm but clear sound is perfectly suited to this music. The wonderfully vocal qualities of the bassoon’s sound is eminently suitable to this great music in the excellent performing edition by David J Elliot (published by Boosey and Hawkes, recorded here with the permission of the copyright owners).
BUY IT NOW - all four audio tracks - on CDBaby (click here) for just $2.99* and support the Year of the Bassoon project.
* Roughly £2.35 or 2.65 Euros. This recording will also appear shortly on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon download, but prices may be higher.
Bear Boogie is a fun piece, written by Laurence Perkins - a duet for bassoon (played by Laurence) and contrabassoon (played by Tim Whittick) with tambourine accompaniment (played by Anthea Wood). This is an open access recording, you don't have to buy it to hear in complete, so sit back and enjoy the fun - this is one of many great aspects of bassoon playing - humour and enjoyment! Click below to hear it.
Becoming a professional bassoonist...
This is the first instalment in the new BASSOON video series, looking at bassoonists from many walks of life, what it means to them and how it influences their life. This short film features Catriona McDermid who studied at Oxford and the Royal College of Music in London, and is now establishing herself as a young professional player. Her enthusiasm and energy for bassoon playing is an inspiration to us all - and especially for young musicians who might be interested in playing the instrument.
Explore exciting contemporary sounds for solo bassoon...
Lamento and Moto Perpetuo
for solo bassoon, by
'Lamento' and 'Moto Perpetuo' are two pieces for unaccompanied bassoon, written in 1979/80 by the Ukrainian composer Volodymyr Runchak. They are both powerful explorations of the expressive qualities of the bassoon. The first piece, 'Lamento' offers an extraordinary mix of desolation and anger, and the second piece, 'Moto Perpetuo' has an incessant and determined energy. This is a studio recording made in Manchester, U.K. in January 2018.
Sample the pieces on this video (click above) and explore a unique and special sound-world!
Download the full recording (both pieces on a single track) for roughly half the price of a cup of coffee! Available from
Click on the names above to link directly for purchase and download.
A special Anthem for the bassoon...
This Bassoon Anthem was the official launch of '2018 - Year of the Bassoon'! The Anthem can either be listened to as a conventional recording, or it can be performed live with pre-recorded backing by either one solo bassoonist or by an ensemble of four bassoons players. The recording and printed music material is being offered on a no-charge access basis.
If you don't play the bassoon...
Simply listen to the complete recording, enjoying all the amazing qualities and character of the bassoon. Maybe you might be tempted to take up the instrument? It can be done at any age, from six years old to retirement age - many people from many different areas of life derive so much pleasure from bassoon playing - and if you're keen to play with others in groups, bassoonists are frequently in demand because there is a shortage of players!
If you do play the bassoon...
You can play this Bassoon Anthem, either as a soloist or with a bassoon quartet, performing to a backing track! Below are PDFs of the solo part and the three accompanying ensemble parts, as well as backing tracks either without the solo line or without any of the bassoon ensemble parts. Have fun with it, and make sure you perform it to others to help pass the word round about bassoon playing!
Here is the full performance with the solo part:
Backing track 1 - no solo part
Below is the backing track without the solo part, but with the other three bassoon parts - this is for you to play as a SOLO performance:
Backing track 2 - no solo or bassoon ensemble parts
Here is the backing track with no solo part and no bassoon ensemble parts - this is for BASSOON QUARTET performance with one player as the soloist:
Public performance, sharing and copyright
Feel free to perform this music as a not-for-profit public performance, either as a soloist or with three other friends in a bassoon quartet playing to the backing track. This is all part of the project's aim to promote the bassoon. All recordings and music can be shared on a non-profit basis, which includes broadcast on established radio, television or other media channels. Please ensure that composer and performers are credited when sharing, performing or broadcasting. This material is copyright - sales or distribution for profit is prohibited, and would constitute an infringement of that copyright. If in doubt, please use the CONTACT form for verification.
Please send details of your bassoon event - anywhere in the world - for a free listing on this page!
Click HERE to go directly to the contact page.
Events must be focused on the bassoon, or significantly feature the instrument. Listings are free of charge, but are not guaranteed, and the final decision rests with the editor of this page. Please ensure that you include full date, time,venue and booking details including website links where possible.
All details are to be confirmed, and may be subject to change.
Latest updates appear in red typeface!
RECORDING - an amazing new bassoon version of the Teddy Bear's Picnic, as you've never heard it before!
RECORDING - 'Twilight' by Robin Walker, a 'soundscape' outdoors recording made in the English Lake District, a landscape and its natural sounds that inspired this evocative music.
13th October: Frank Jordan is performing the Weber Bassoon Concerto with the Market Harborough Orchestra Market Harborough Methodist Church - 7:30 pm
Thursday 25 October from 6:15pm at the Royal College of Music, London
As part of our 'Music and Ideas' series, Martin Gatt, former principal bassoon with the LPO, ECO and LSO, will be talking about his distinguished career in music, reflecting on his activities across performance, recording, teaching and arranging.
For information on how to book a ticket see http://www.rcm.ac.uk/events/details/?id=1525603
RECORDING - a powerful new version of the magnificent Chaconne by JS Bach for two bassoons with Laurence Perkins and Anthea Wood, recorded in the superb acoustic of a 16th century Cumbrian church.
9-11 November: Jean Owen is running a Benslow Bassoon Course (assisted by Shelly Organ) and have also commissioned a piece for bassoon ensemble - a chance for you to take part in the premiere performance!
Saturday 17th November at 7.30pm
Elgar Romance played by Graeme Rudland with the Stafford Sinfonia, in a concert of mainly early c20 English music at Rising Brook Baptist Church.
RECORDING - 'Little Bear in the Snow', a musical story for children of all ages! More details soon...
late December 2017
Cambridgeshire Holiday Orchestra Association, Bedfordshire Music Trust, Oakham School and Duxford Saturday Workshop Trust put on a "bassoon taster" session as part of their Christmas course from 27th to 30th December. 10 children started bassoon from scratch and had just 1 hour per day to see how far they can get! The sessions were booked out almost immediately after booking opened.
RECORDING - Bassoon Anthem! (See above)
Sunday 21st January
RNCM Young Bassoons (open to school-age bassoonists only, free admission) - Bassoon Anthem was performed, plus a contrabassoon feature.
We had a really enjoyable time yesterday helping my 14 new Year 5 bassoon pupils take part in two live concert performances of Purcell's "Fairy Queen" at Durham Cathedral. It was with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and hundreds of primary school singers and players. The OAE were superb performers clearly enjoying themselves and were so supportive of my young bassoonists. Great thanks to OAE Education Officer Cherry, OAE bassoonist"Andy W", Durham Music Service and all the organisers for making it happen. Photos will be posted when available. (from Andy Jakob)
RECORDING -postponed to March release.
A project link-up with Durham Music Service and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. It involves 14 primary school children aged 9-10 starting on bassoon since mid-November. They will play a small part of a performance of the Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell at Durham cathedral in February 2018.
Sunday 25th February
EVENT: RNCM Young Bassoons (open to school-age bassoonists only, free admission but application in advance is required - please click HERE for further details.)
23rd February: Mannheim, the studies of Max and Moritz , Wilhelm Busch, musicaly illustrated by the mannheim bassoon quartet. The venue is the Dalberghaus in Mannheim, the address is N3,4. Tickets at the entrance and in the Music library Mannheim, 15 Euros, 9 Euros reduced.
RECORDING Lamento and Moto Perpetuo by Volodymyr Runchak - a new recording on iTunes and CDBaby of this highly dramatic, powerfully-charged piece for solo bassoon.
Friday 16th March
An evening concert to showcase the bassoon, showing what it can do to a wider audience! The concert is titled Bassoon Classics and is an evening of popular classics arranged for bassoon small ensembles such as Barber Adagio for Strings for 5 bassoons, the Flower Duet for 2 bassoons and the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba for 3 bassoons. It will be at 7pm on the 16th of March at St Paul's Church, Birmingham, B31QZ and tickets are £5 which are available on the door.
Saturday 17th March
Halesowen Orchestra with Richard Tattam (bassoon) - Weber Concerto
7.30pm at The Cornbow Hall, 10 Hagley Street, Halesowen, West Midlands B63 3AF
Saturday 17th / Sunday 18th March
The Wordsworth Singers (a chamber choir based in Cumbria) with bassoonist Ursula Leveaux (Nash Ensemble, Academy of Ancient Music, London Sinfonia), performing Adrian Williams' My Heart is Steadfast written for chorus and bassoon. The concerts are Sat 17 March 7.30 and Sun 18 March 3.30 pm. More details on their website www.wordsworthsingers.org.uk,
Sunday 18th March
CONCERT Weber Concerto
Zoe Sayer, with the Inverurie Orchestra conducted by Paul Tierney
Tuesday 20 March at 1.05pm in the ULSTER HALL, Belfast
Ulster Orchestra Principal Bassoon Vahan Khourdoian takes the solo role in Weber’s lyrical and witty Bassoon Concerto. Tickets £7.50 - click HERE for details and booking.
Saturday 24th March at Cork School of Music
Howarth of London will be there with a full range of oboes, bassoons and accessories. A technician for minor repairs and adjustments will be available on the day.
Sunday 25th March
EVENT Northern Ireland Double Reed Day, to be held in Portadown Music Centre. It is being run by the Education Authority Music Service in partnership with Howarth of London. It will feature the 2 principal double reed players from the Ulster Orchestra - Christopher Blake (oboe) and Vahan Khourdoian (bassoon) - with their seconds taking junior player workshops. Just turn up on the day - it will include Recitals, Masterclasses, Mass Play and ‘Try a Cor Anglais’ / Contra Bassoon Sessions’!
Wednesday 28th March
The Genovia Bassoon Quartet is playing a lunchtime recital in Leeds on Wednesday 28th of March. Lots of original arrangements and a bit of both symphonic and jazz music. Here is a link to the event: https://www.leedsconcertseason.co.uk/whats-on/chamber-music/royal-conservatoire-of-scotland/2564 and to the Quartet's Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/genoviaquartet
VIDEO A new video (free access on YouTube) - the first of a series looking at bassoonists, bassoon playing and the lifestyle from numerous angles. More details shortly.
Monday 9th - Friday 13th April
COURSE 5-day bassoon course, led by Anthea Wood
Isle of Raasay, western Scotland
Tuesday 10th - Saturday 14th April
COURSE 5-day BDRS bassoon course, led by Laurence Perkins at Park Place, Wickham, Hampshire, ending in the BDRS Double Reed Day.
Click HERE for details
Saturday 21 April
Music in Lyddington
Castalian Quartet with Amy Harman [bassoon] DEVIENNE: Bassoon Quartet Op.73
SCHUBERT: String Quartet No.13 in A minor, D.804 Rosamunde
MOZART: Sonata in B flat, K.292, arranged for bassoon and piano
BRITTEN: String Quartet No.2 in C, Op.36 (1945)
Sunday 22 April
EVENT: RNCM Wind Festival, Manchester. Details HERE - events include an introduction to the bassoon (for non-bassoon players!) by Laurence Perkins between 2-3pm, and RNCM Bassoon Ensemble at 4.15pm.
Sunday 29 April
EVENT: RNCM Young Bassoons (open to school-age bassoonists only, free admission but application in advance is required - please click HERE for further details.)
June 11 - the chance to hear lots of performances of Timothy Bowers' recent Sonata for Bassoon and Piano at the Royal Academy of Music, London, with the composer adjudicating. Further details nearer the time. All are welcome to attend.
23 June in Stewartby
Bassoon and contra solos with Da Capo String Ensemble with Paul Sharrock - bassoon/contra (https://www.facebook.com/DaCapoStringEnsemble/). The programme will be repeated in Ampthill Great Park as part of the Ampthill Festival Gala Day. Music includes Jean-Gauthier Quintard “O Isis und Osiris”, variation on a theme by Mozart for contra and strings and also the Swedish “Walking Tune” (arr LP) for bassoon and strings.
24th June in Poznan, Poland
A concert entirely dedicated to the music of Adrian Williams, which includes all his and bassoon works - My Heart Is Steadfast (anthem. for SATB choir and solo bassoon), Seven Kilvert Sketches for solo bassoon, Sonata for Bassoon and Piano (Adrian Williams accompanying), Bassoon Concerto 'Spectrum' for bassoon and string orchestra with harp and percussionThe event is being organized by Arek Adamczek in his home city of Poznan, Poland, and he will be the soloist in all the bassoon works.
30th June 2018 at Huddersfield Parish Church
Guy Woolfenden Bassoon Concerto, played by David Robinson with Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Robert Guy. Programme also includes music by Arnold, Britten and Walton.
RECORDING - Two Arias for solo bassoon by the baroque French composer Michel Corrette, performed outdoors as a 'soundscape' recording by Laurence Perkins in beautiful night-time and morning woodland settings in the south of France. (download recording - see details and links above on this page)
RECORDING - Bear Boogie, a delightful duet for bassoon and contrabassoon written by Laurence Perkins who joins contrabassoonist Tim Whittick in this recording. (download recording - details soon)
EVENT: RNCM Young Bassoons (open to school-age bassoonists only, free admission but application in advance is required - please click HERE for details of events in 2018/19.)
An afternoon of music and memories to celebrate the life and work of Alison Pinder (1955-2018), at St Albans. Retiring collection for Cancer Research and Rennie Grove Hospice Care
RECORDING - West Side Story, celebrating the anniversary this month of Leonard Bernstein with wonderful versions of his music. Laurence Perkins is joined by pianist Yoshiko Endo, playing a Baldwin piano that once belonged to Leonard Bernstein!
RECORDING - a new CD release from Hyperion 'The Princess and the Bear'. It features the Duet-Concertino by Richard Strauss (a musical story of a princess and a bear), plus Trios by Beethoven and Glinka. The performers are Sarah Watts (clarinet), Laurence Perkins (bassoon), Martin Roscoe (piano) and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sian Edwards. The catalogue number is CDA68263 and it can be ordered as a CD or digital download from Hyperion <<click this link<<
10-18 August, Sardinia - a bassoon course led by Robin O’Neill
OTHER BASSOON-RELATED TOPICS OF INTEREST
"Floaty Fagotti" trios for beginners Grade 1-3 which work well with several on each part, and "Bassoon Bank" a series of duets aimed at offering ensemble choices for GCSE students. (from Andy Jakob)
A new Chamber Music piece for Double Bass and Bassoon by Alexandre Ouzounoff, “5 Bagatelles“ is just published at Editions DELATOUR this summer. Commissioned by the French Double Bass Association for the Final Master Exam at the Conservatory of Paris in 2017. Duration: 11’45’’ Details HERE