Spring Events Update

Those of you who are joining us on Saturday 27th April for the 270th commemoration of Handel’s Musick For The Royal Fireworks will have received schedule details, and we have also updated the schedule here https://bdrs.org.uk/handel/  Don’t forget our sectionals are being led by two double-reeds legends, Sarah Francis for the oboes and Roger Birnstingl for the bassoons. These sectionals will take place from 1.00pm until 2.45pm in the Concert Room and the Angela Burgess Recital Hall respectively at the Royal Academy of Music. It’s going to be really exciting! Polite reminder that you will not be able to turn up and play on the day but do come along for the performance at 5.30pm if you can!

This is followed by the BDRS Five Day Course led by John Anderson and Laurence Perkins beginning on Tuesday April 30th at Park Place,  Wickham in Hampshire. The Five Day Course is almost fully booked but there are one or two places still available so come and bury yourself in the Hampshire countryside and live and breathe oboes and bassoons with John Anderson and Laurence Perkins; comfortable, quiet and relaxing times guaranteed, with some marvellous music making opportunities to be had.

Finally on Saturday, May 4th the BDRS Double Reed Day also at Park Place Wickham in Hampshire. You will find all the details on the BDRS website.  We have engaged for the Double Reed Day on Saturday May 4thtwo “historic” double reed specialists as a bonus. Oboist Joel Raymond will demonstrate various historic instruments and tell us how to make a baroque oboe out of a piece of wood! David Chatterton will perform similarly on the early bassoons and might be persuaded to bring along his “Beethoven Contra” which he constructed himself and is as tall as a Scots Pine. We are also planning to run the Handel Musick For The Royal Fireworks  again in a double reed version (without brass). There will also be several trade stands for you to visit during the day with instruments to try/buy, music publications, reeds and accessories, double reed literature.

We look forward to seeing you!

The London Handel Festival – Group Offers for BDRS Members

The London Handel Festival is offering BDRS members a discount on group bookings for their concerts.

Their programme can be found here https://www.london-handel-festival.com/ and they are pleased to offer our members 50% off on LHF lunchtime recitals for groups of 5 or more, and 10% off selected LHF evening concerts (subject to availability) for groups of 10 or more. The lead booker needs to provide their membership number.

If you would like to know more please contact the BDRS Secretary with your membership number and we will put you in touch with the Festival Administrator to reserve places.

Introducing Our Double Reed Day Guest – Baroque Oboist – Joel Raymond

We are delighted to announce that Joel Raymond is attending our Double Reed Day to demonstrate the baroque oboe and tell us about how they are made. Joel has played with the Oxford Bach Soloists, the Hanover Band, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Gabrieli Consort as well as playing abroad, notably with the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Joel had an early love of baroque music, coming to the recorder as a young player, and took up the oboe in his teens studying at Birmingham Conservatoire, when he took up the baroque oboe. Joel moved on to postgraduate study in historical performance at RAM London and attained the position of joint principal oboist in the European Union Baroque Orchestra. He has studied the instruments used in Bach’s orchestra and has even played some of them, and we are looking forward to a fascinating demonstration at our Double Reed Day on Saturday 4th May.

There is still time to sign up – https://bdrs.org.uk/course-app-form/course-app-form-2/

Photo © Graham Salter, BridgemanImages.com

The Lonarc Trio play a selection of rare and beautiful Viennese works for Oboe

 The Foundling Museum – Sunday Afternoon Concerts

The Lonarc Trio play Viennese Trios, including Wenth’s Petite Serenade Concertante in F major, first performed in 1793 for the Benefit of Widow’s and Orphans where a young Beethoven was in the audience.

Trio in F major ~ Josef Triebensee (1772-1846)  Allegro, Menuetto + Trio, Adagio, Rondo

Petite Serenade Concertante in F major ~ Johann Wenth (1745-1801) Allegro, Romanza, Menuetto + Trio, Adagio, Menuetto + Trio, Rondo

1920’s Medley ~ arr James Horan (b 1966)

“The players led by the outstanding Joseph Sanders, have such familiarity with each other and the music that they are able to take risks, to seamlessly blend and to introduce new repertoire to eager ears.” Celia Craig ARAM Principal Oboe Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Free to the public

Where – Foundling Museum, 40 Brunswick Square, London WC1N 1AZ

When – Sunday, February 24, 2019 3:00 PM — 4:00 PM GMT

Get In Touch – The Foundling Museum – 020 7841 3600

More at https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/events/viennese-trios/

BIG Double Reed Day in London, Sunday 17th February 2019

We are supporting the BIG Double Reed Day at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, in London on Sunday 17th February. If you spot one of our representatives there do say hello!  Visit their website to apply – but be quick – the deadline for applications is midnight on Friday 1st February (You can still apply after this date, but there will be an extra admin fee) https://www.bigdoublereed.com/about.php

Come and take part in a special Handel celebration!

*From 23rd March 2019 places are only available on a waiting list basis, but there is another opportunity to perform this music at our Double Reed Day in Hampshire on Saturday 4th May 2019.

It was on 27th April 1749 that the ‘Musick for the Royal Fireworks’ composed by Mr Handel was first performed in Green Park in London. This was a major event in the city – even the rehearsal, held a week earlier in Vauxhall Gardens, attracted more than 12,000 people, each paying half-a-crown (12½ pence – just over £15 in current-day money value), and the event caused major traffic jams on London Bridge! If only classical concerts attracted the same attention nowadays – but this astonishing response was because the music was indeed the ‘pop music’ of its time. With our modern categories of ‘classical’, ‘pop’ and numerous other genres, this work is now firmly in the classical category, but it remains one of the most popular of all works from the baroque era.

It is a major piece for double-reed players – the original performance featured 24 oboes and 12 bassoons (multiple players on each part), and the work is one of the earliest to incorporate the contrabassoon. Exactly 270 years (to the day) after this legendary first performance, BDRS will be promoting a performance of this great music in London to commemorate the anniversary – and if you play oboe or bassoon, YOU could be a part of this historic event!

This will be on Saturday 27th April and it will be held in the Duke’s Hall at the Royal Academy of Music. There will of course be the original Handel oboe and bassoon parts, which are suitable for players of around grade 7-8 upwards, but if you are not quite at this level, you can still come and play. The performing edition which I have prepared for this from Handel’s original also includes some easier parts for players of between grades 3-6 standard. All parts will be put up on the BDRS website in March for you to download, print and practice in advance.

Please note: this performance will be on modern instruments playing at A=440

Here is the outline timetable for the day:

Saturday 27th April

1300    Arrive at Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Rd, London NW1 5HT

1315    Sectional rehearsals (oboes with Sarah Francis, bassoons with Roger Birnstingl)

1445    Break

1500    Those not taking part in sectionals arrive, we are not able to access Dukes hall before 3.00pm

1530    Set up and Rehearsal of Handel ‘Musick for the Royal Fireworks’

1700    Break

1730    Informal public performance (free admission to audience)

1800    Event ends

This schedule enables players from many parts of the UK to travel and take part – the start and end times fit with  train services to and from many destinations.

Event fees: There are of course numerous costs involved in promoting an event of this kind, but we have kept fees down to a minimum – and interestingly, they are fairly similar to what people paid to come and listen in 1749!

Adult non-members £20

Adult members £15 ( including those joining on the day)

Full-time students £5 (no BDRS discount, as this is already subsidised)

Application: You may apply but you will be placed in the queue on our waiting list. You will not be able to turn up on the day and play. There is an opportunity to perform this music at our Double Reed Day on Saturday 4th May, another opportunity to perform and join in!

Please go to the menu options at the top of the BDRS home page, click on BDRS MUSIC COURSES and in the drop-down options click ‘Music Course Application Form’. Places on this event are limited by the size of the Dukes Hall platform, so book soon! Places need to be booked in advance – for security reasons, you need to be on the players list. If you turn up on the day without prior booking, you may not be able to take part – sorry!

Updates: Plans and details are still evolving for this event, so please do keep a close eye on the BDRS website for updates and any possible changes. The one detail that will not change is the finishing time – it will not go beyond 6pm on that day.

Be there! This is arguably one of the most important historical events in the calendar for oboe and bassoon players. It’s a fantastic celebratory piece to play, and will undoubtedly be a unique, special and very memorable day for everyone involved. So, make sure that YOU are a part of this!


We are very grateful to the Royal Academy of Music Junior Department for kindly hosting this event.

Photo credit © Gerald Coke Handel Foundation

Oboes in Concert 3rd Nov 7.00pm St James Piccadilly

With Melinda Maxwell (oboe)  Alison Teale (oboe)  James Turnbull (oboe)
Ian Crowther (oboe)
Festival Chamber Orchestra conducted by Stephen Barlow
& David Rees-Williams (piano)

A wonderful programme of music which features the oboe in varying musical genres from baroque to jazz
Intercession for 3 oboes
 – James MacMillan
St Paul’s Suite, for strings Op 29 No 2 – Gustav Holst
Adagio for oboe, cello and strings – Domenico Zipoli
Departure of the Queen of Sheba, for oboe, cor anglais and strings – Alan Roth
Capriol Suite – Peter Warlock
Concertino Pastorale (Threnody) for string orchestra – John Ireland
Concerto for 2 oboes and strings in F Op 9 No 3 – Tomaso Albinoni
Jazz inspired works for oboe and piano – Melinda Maxwell

A great opportunity to try these wonderful instruments.

Saturday November 3, 2018 at 7:00pm
St James’s Church, Piccadilly, London
Tickets £18 includes glass of wine at post concert reception

Tel: 01227 763965
Online: Oboes in Concert Tickets
Email: Ian@crowthersofcanterbury.co.uk