Let’s hear it for the bassoon! That, loud and clear, is the message from the Royal College of Music, which hosted a celebration of International Bassoon Day at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Sunday.
The campaign, intended to raise awareness of the instrument, was founded by Laurence Perkins, principal bassoonist of the Manchester Camerata, who led the celebrations – he was joined by nearly 40 fellow players (above), who together played various works by Mozart including Eine kleine Nachtmusik.
In the October issue of BBC Music Magazine, we reported how a drop in the number of people playing the bassoon could have a significant effect on orchestras across the UK. Tom Hardy, a professional player who was supporting International Bassoon Day on Sunday, believes that the country-wide drop in funding for music education could exacerbate the situation. ‘We need more young people taking up the bassoon,’ he says.
For those who do choose to take up the instrument, the rewards are great, says Amy Harman, principal bassoon of the Philarmonia Orchestra. ‘It’s the best instrument to play in the orchestra,’ she explains. ‘You get to be all the different parts – you get to play with the cellos, the wind players and the horns, and you get all these lovely tunes. I think it’s amazing!’
The full interview with Tom Hardy can be heard via the BBC iPlayer.