cropped-3662968_orig.jpg  The BDRS acts as a national forum for debate and the exchange of ideas, information and advice on all aspects of double reed instruments. It also fulfils an important role in encouraging greater interest in the instruments, and securing their place in the wider cultural and educational environment.




A Memorial Celebration for John Whitfield

Many of you will have known and worked with John Whitfield, alongside him as an extraordinary bassoonist, or under his baton in one of the many outstandingly creative events he led from the early 1980s onwards.

After a long decline, John died at Trinity Hospice late on Monday 4th November – a day filled with music, especially Bach, in the company of his very good friend Will Casson-Smith, and in the evening Jane Salmon, who played Bach’s cello music to him on behalf of all his friends.

John was totally himself to the last, both his wicked wit and his devotion to music shining through all that he had to contend with. His last creative act was to conjure up a concert at the Wigmore Hall, which is to be at 12.00 noon on Thursday 5th December, where a distinguished line-up of musicians will perform two new arrangements by John, for winds and double bass, of Bartok and Brahms, surrounding a performance of Bach’s Chaconne for solo violin by Krysia Osostowicz. Now in effect a memorial celebration of John’s musical life, all are warmly invited to come, and afterwards to contribute to the Royal Society of Musicians, who have supported John and countless others when they have most needed it. Please see the Wigmore Hall’s website for further details Wigmore Hall

If you wish to attend John’s funeral on Thursday 21st November please contact secretary@bdrs.org.uk for details. Contributions to the Royal Society of Musicians are welcome – go to the Just Giving page on the RSM website. We are grateful to Quentin Poole for providing this update.


📍 BDRS is supporting Sound Festival, an annual festival in North East Scotland which aims to highlight contemporary music. This year it runs from 23rd of October until 3rd of November 2019 and you can find out more here Sound Scotland

This year the event will showcase the oboe, as part of its focus on “endangered instruments”, with performances from notable instrumentalists Christopher Redgate and Nicholas Daniel.


📍 Don’t forget our Park Place 2020 course is open for registration

21st – 25th April 2020 5 Day Oboe Course  More details
21st – 25th April 2020 5 Day Bassoon Course  More details


📍 The AGM of the BDRS will now be held at 3.30pm on Sunday, December 1st in London at the Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, 85 St George’s Road, London SE1 6ER. This supersedes the notice in Double Reed News – please note the proposed event on Oct 5th at the RWCMD has been postponed.


📍 The Sudbury Symphony Orchestra is looking to recruit an oboe player, they are a very friendly orchestra of 45+ members which rehearses weekly on Thursday evenings in Sudbury Suffolk and perform 3 times a year.  The orchestra has a professional conductor and leader and is currently looking for an oboe player to share the oboe desk and so feels equally at home playing as 1st oboe or as 2nd oboe.  The ideal player is grade 8 standard or above with a decent amount of orchestral playing experience.  Players who do not quite fit this player profile but feel they can grow with the orchestra as a player should still get in contact.  See http://www.sudburysymphonyorchestra.com/news/view/11 for more details or get in contact on events@sudburysymphonyorcestra.com.


📍 STOLEN BASSOON Can you help?  A Puchner bassoon was parted from it’s owner on a Northern Rail train on August 21st 2019 somewhere between Manchester Victoria and Chester – it is a Puchner model 23 serial number 6577. If you have any information which could help or seen this instrument for sale, please contact the BDRS Secretary by email. Thank you.


📍 2019 Highgate International Chamber Music Festival

This year’s Highgate International Chamber Music Festival has three pieces of music with oboe and bassoon included in the programme for Friday 29 November and a further oboe piece on Saturday 30th. Please see  www.chambermusicfestival.co.uk/2019-festival   for full information.

Friday 29th November – St Anne’s Church Early evening concert 6.15pm

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)  Quintet for Piano and Wind in E flat, Op. 16

Performers: Nicholas Daniel, oboe; Peter Sparks, clarinet; Amy Harman, bassoon; James Pillai, horn; Simon Callaghan, piano

Friday 29th November – St Anne’s Church Main concert 7.30pm

Francis Poulenc (1899 – 1963) Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano

Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875 – 1912) Nonet in F minor, Op 2 (oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello, contrabass and piano)

Performers: Priya Mitchell, violin; Benjamin Gilmore, violin; Gary Pomeroy, viola; Meghan Cassidy, viola; Ashok Klouda, cello; Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, bass; Nicholas Daniel, oboe; Peter Sparks, clarinet; Amy Harman, bassoon; James Pillai, horn; Simon Callaghan, piano

Saturday 30th November – St Anne’s Church GALA CONCERT 7pm

Gerald Finzi (1901-1956) Interlude for oboe & strings, Op. 21

Performers: Nicholas Daniel, oboe; Natalie Klouda, violin; Benjamin Gilmore, violin; Sara Wolstenholme, violin; Benjamin Roskams, viola; Robert Cohen, cello; Ashok Klouda, cello; Irina Botan, piano

The address of the venue, St Anne’s Church, is 106 Highgate West Hill, London N6 6AP  https://www.chambermusicfestival.co.uk/2019-festival   for online tickets per event and full Festival information


📍 As your summer copy of Double Reed News arrives, we relive that wonderful occasion on 29th of April 2019.

Earlier this year eighty double reed players joined junior members of the Royal Academy of Music in London, in a commemorative performance of Handel’s Musick for the Royal Fireworks, 270 years to the day after it’s first performance. Laurence Perkins led the massed ensemble, with Sarah Francis and Roger Birnstingl taking sectionals earlier in the day, and the audio recording of the massed performance in the Duke’s Hall is available for you to listen to below, in three parts.


More photographs of the massed ensemble performance are available in the current edition of Double Reed News, where you will be able to catch up with more photos and feedback from our other events – if you are not a member, do think about joining us to receive our magazine, save on course and event fees throughout the year and receive other supplier discounts!