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When did famous musicians switch to Bassoon?

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

So you're a younger musician interested in learning more about the bassoon.

That's great!

However, maybe you have been playing another instrument for many years. Are you thinking,"Is it too late for me to make the switch?"

Well, there is definitely no need to worry. Many famous bassoonists all around the world started later in middle school or high school, when they were between 8 and 16 years old, after playing other instruments already for many years.

It's basically never too late to switch to bassoon.

In case you may be wondering, here are a few of the world's top bassoonists and when they switched to bassoon:

Norwegian bassoonist Ole Kristian Dahl started playing the bassoon at age 12. He is s currently professor at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst - Mannheim, and is a famous bassoon masterclass instructor.

Italian bassoonist Gordon Fantini started playing the bassoon when he was 14, after 5 years of playing the piano. Today he is Principal Bassoon for the Belgian National Orchestra.

American bassoonist Rebekah Heller started playing the bassoon when she was 9. She is currently bassoonist of the renowned International Contemporary Ensemble since 2008, and has premiered hundreds of new works by diverse creators on stages the world over.

American bassoonist Andrew Brady started playing the bassoon when he was 13. Today he is Principal Bassoon for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Venezuelan bassoonist Cristian Coliver started playing the bassoon when he was 10. He is currently a bassoonist with the Jalisco Philharmonic Orchestra, Contrabassoon for Lucerne Festival Academy, and the Orchestra of the Americas.

Netherlands bassoonist Simon Van Holen started playing the bassoon when he was 8. Today he is Solo-Contrabassoon of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and a highly sought after masterclass instructor.

Taiwan-born American bassoonist Catherine Chen started playing the bassoon when she was 14, after many years of playing the piano and cello. Today she is Principal Bassoon for the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Italian bassoonist Andrea Cellacchi started playing the bassoon when he was 10. He gained international prestige after winning the 1st Prize at the 10th Aeolus International Competition in Germany, and the 1st Prize at The Muri Competition 2016 in Switzerland.

Canadian bassoonist Nadina Mackie Jackson first started playing the bassoon when she was 14, and formally with a bassoon instructor at 16. She went on to win her first first job with the Montreal Symphony at the age of 22. Today she is the most widely recorded Canadian bassoonist in history with 13 solo albums and 8 chamber music recordings.

If you'd like to see even more in-depth profiles and backgrounds for famous bassoonists around the world, please navigate to the Famous Bassoonists section on this website.

To see stories of young aspiring bassoonists and how playing the bassoon changed their lives, feel free to check out the Supporter Spotlight section on the homepage.

If you are curious in learning more about the bassoon, please navigate the tabs at the top of the B.O.S.S. website, where you will find a variety of useful information about the bassoon. There you'll find bassoon videos, in-depth profiles of famous bassoonists, suggestions on where to buy bassoon supplies, blogs and articles about the bassoon, profiles for bassoon teachers and professors, educational materials, info on worldwide organizations that support bassoonists, online tutorials, and so much more.

B.O.S.S. is very fortunate to be supported by many bassoonists around the world, including the following countries:

UK, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Greece, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Australia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, Mexico, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the USA.

All of the information available on B.O.S.S. would not be possible without the ongoing support from many bassoonists who continue to contribute their time and energy, hoping to inspire tomorrow's generation of bassoonists.

To end this blog, we would like to leave you with a cool bassoon quartet video! Ever wonder what Frank Sinatra might sound like on the bassoon?

Retired Principal Bassoonist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Robert Williams and his quartet playing Frank Sinatra's popular song, "Fly Me to the Moon."

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