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Music News

Players of integral orchestra instrument become endangered: pick one up now!

Players of integral orchestra instrument become endangered: pick one up now!

Of all the things you thought you may be reading on the first Monday of August, I can't imagine that a campaign to 'Save the Bassoon' would be very high on the list. 

Well, we're here to tell you that the integral woodwind instrument is approaching endangered status. 

Bram van Sambeek, a virtuoso bassoonist who often plays with the London Symphony Orchestra talks emphatically of the problem: “We have big plans for bassoon events of the kind that cannot necessarily be performed in a normal concert hall. I expect to have news soon of how we will link up with musicians and orchestras in other countries. The most important thing is to have more international events under the label of Save the Bassoon.”

“The name of the campaign is deliberately quite dramatic because we want people to think about whether the bassoonist could be as endangered as the panda. There is a danger. And there is a danger to the future of the orchestra as a result."

“At the moment, only about 1% of people on the street can even recognise this instrument,” he said. “I am always prepared for the fact that people won’t know what it is.”

van Sambeek will bring his rock version of Vivaldi’s bassoon music to London next year.

Managing director of the Barbican Centre in London and a former bassoon player Sir Nicholas Kenyon, had this to say. “Music’s place in young people’s lives has never been greater,” he said over this weekend. “They are fantastic creators and consumers, but the supportive structures need to be there for those who want to take up more unusual instruments. An increase in Saturday morning orchestra groups would be a great start, I think; then there is no need to worry about school curriculums.”

Save the Bassoon begins as part of the Holland festival, an annual arts event in Amsterdam run by British artistic director Ruth Mackenzie. 

Just look how cool you could be.


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