Frank Tiberi and Woody Herman - it just goes to show that bassoons don't always lurk at the back of an orchestra.

Frank Tiberi and Woody Herman – it just goes to show that bassoons don’t always lurk at the back of an orchestra. Photo by Tom Marcello

How many people recognise the bassoon? Would you be able to pick it out of a woodwind lineup?

According to professional bassoonist Bram Van Sambeek, the humble bassoon is a species under threat. Van Sambeek is at the forefront of a new campaign to promote the bassoon, and thus save the symphony orchestra. The campaign began this year at the Holland Festival in Amsterdam and Van Sambeek is planning a number of bassoon-related events in the coming months.

Bassoon teachers on The Tutorpages have written about how there’s always space for young bassoonists in orchestras, the great bassoon solos and the many problems bassoonists face when it comes to their reeds.

So why is there such a lack of young people learning this magnificent instrument? Is is the size, the repertoire, or simply that children and their parents don’t realise it’s an option?

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