Legends of Reed is an interview series conducted by Jo Anne Sukumaran with top double reed musicians from around the world. The aim of this podcast is to share knowledge, educate and inspire other musicians.
James is an artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and Decoda, co-principal oboist of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Artistic and Executive Director of Tertulia, a chamber music series that takes place in restaurants in New York and San Francisco He is a member of the oboe and chamber music faculties of Stony Brook University and the Manhattan School of Music.
On this episode, I speak to James about very interesting topics:
· his musical origins,
· his chamber music series, Tertulia,
· the power of chamber music & how he came to focus on it
· what qualities presenters look for when booking artists
· how to “turn the dial” as classical musicians and grow new audiences
· how he stays inspired and how to keep an interpretation “fresh”
· the benefits of having a life outside music
· his "dream programme” and more.
To find out more about James, please visit:
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Kristian is a young and accomplished Norwegian Composer & Bassoonist. He is currently Principal Bassoon at The Baltic Opera in Poland since 2018. He studied bassoon with Robert Ronnes, Dag Jensen, Ole K. Dahl and Klaus Thunemann.
His YouTube channel has been awarded one of top 25 channels in the world and he tirelessly contributes to the bassoon world by his many arrangements, restorations and his research for extended technique, fingerings and his discoveries of unknown works. He became a Moosmann artist at age 26.
Quote from interview:
“I think that professionalism doesn’t automatically come with winning an audition.”
Some topics we discuss:
- the current conservatory education system and subjects conservatories Kristian feels conservatories should focus on to help students get a job.
- The wide range of career options available now for a musician, besides the orchestral path.
- an ideal practicing schedule, the importance of challenging oneself and pushing one against one’s limits.
- The advice he received from Klaus Thunemann on practicing
- Some of his personal audition tips and how to stand out from the crowd.
- What motivates him
- How we can promote the bassoon
- Which composer he would like to have lunch with.
- His interesting story of him playing Rite of Spring for the first time and the surprise guest in the audience.
- His collaboration with Bernd Moosmann to develop the bassoon’s mechanic.
To find out more about Kristian, please visit:
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Jeffrey Lyman is Professor of Bassoon at the University of Michigan. has established himself as one of the premier performers, teachers, and historians of the bassoon in the U.S.
He coordinates two popular YouTube channels: one with more than 160 live recordings of Lyman and his students at the University of Michigan, and the other featuring trios and duos for oboe, bassoon and piano with Nancy Ambrose King and Martin Katz.
On this episode, I find out how
· Jeffrey maintains such an exciting & diverse and bassoon studio.
· We talk about one of his students - Euceph Yousef El-Magharbel who makes cool, bassoon funk videos. His recommendations for unique composers.
· The weirdest places he has ever performed and practiced in.
· The most important career advice he has ever received.
· We discuss should musicians (ever) accept non-paying gigs for exposure.
· How can one deal with naysayers and detractors as a musician, for e.g. internet trolls?
· How to commission a composer as a musician
· If he could sum up your life in a book title, what would it be?
· Some of his upcoming projects
· What he likes to do in his free time and hobbies.
To find out more about him, please visit: http://www.jefflymanbassoon.com
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This episode features Ukrainian oboe soloist and chamber musician, Mykyta Sierov. He is an independent oboist based in Weimar, Germany – he not only plays classical music, but jazz and pop as well as his own compositions.
Since 2016 he is the solo oboist of his band, “Bosque Magico” and they have recorded in their first album “Tu Tiempo” and the band is currently touring and promoting this album in Europe and Asia.
He is highly creative, with lots of ideas and energy and explains how he manages his own career and gives valuable tips to others interested in a similar career path.
To find out more about Mykyta: visit
To find out more about Bosque Magico:
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Recorded: 12 December 2018
Please note that this interview has quite some background noise from the concert hall.
I managed to have a chat with Sophie Dervaux backstage in the world-renowned Vienna Musikverein Hall in December 2018. Sophie joined the Vienna State Opera Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic as principal bassoon in 2015. Previously, she was principal contrabassoon of the Berlin Philharmonic from 2013 until 2015.
I find out about Sophie’s favourite composers, upcoming projects and other interesting topics. Sophie shares with us her musical origins and how she chose the bassoon, after initially starting on the guitar and clarinet.
She also tells us some of her most memorable concerts, being an advocate for the bassoon and the responsibility of the new generation to promote and create awareness for the instrument. She also takes us back to the day she won the job at the Vienna State Opera.
Enjoy listening, and subscribe or share!
To find out more about Sophie, please visit her website:
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Special thanks to Marcello Malatesta, for editing this audio.
Sebastian is the Principal Bassoon of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra in Copenhagen, since 2012. He first studied with Knut Sostevold in the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and then continued his studies with Prof. Ole K. Dahl in Mannheim. Currently Sebastian shares a bassoon studio with Audun Halvorsen at the Royal Danish Academy of Music in Copenhagen.
Sebastian tells me about his musical upbringing, his musical journey from challenging himself with competitions to solo playing, how we can market the bassoon as a solo instrument to agents/presenters and even Netflix! Since it was still Chinese New Year during the interview I gave Sebastian a red envelope challenge.
To find out more about Sebastian: https://www.facebook.com/pg/stevenssonbassoon/
If you like what I do and woud like to help me make better and more content and help Mr. Bassoon tour the Night Garden, please consider supporting me via Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/jewelair. Thank you.
Audun is the Principal Bassoon of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra. He teaches Bassoon at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and is Associate Prof. of Bassoon at The Oslo Academy of Music. I managed to catch up with him in person, in Hamburg after his two-day masterclass at Tutti Fagotti. Audun is currently on sabbatical leave from his orchestral position in Copenhagen.
Find out about Audun's recent tour to Shanghai with Lucerne Festival Orchestra, his opinion on sound, and auditioning, the importance of vowels, mental strength and we round off with a fun chat about the Vikings.
To find out more about Audun's bassoon studio:
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Malte is the Professor of Bassoon at Folkwang University of the Arts, in Essen, Germany.
He is an exceptional teacher, soloist, and leads a very vibrant and successful bassoon class.
1) what he loves the most of teaching & coaching young people
2) the many career routes a student can now pursue in classical music
3) his approach in bringing out the best in his students
4) his main musical inspirations
5) what kind of reeds he uses
6) the reason why he retired from NDR Radiophilharmonie
7) his fondest memories of playing with NDR
8) how to approach stressful moments
9) the importance of self-management & self-talk
10) what he enjoys doing in his free time
Join in his next masterclass at Starnberger Musiktage:
Connect with Malte on FB:
Paul is an award-winning jazz and fusion bassoonist with a unique musical voice.
1) His musical background and him finding his calling in the bassoon
2) Despite his classical training and being told it was “a hard road ahead”, his love for improvisation shifted him seriously towards jazz, groove and funk
3) His love for spontaneity & improvisation
4) His practical tips on how to get better at improvisation
5) His personal set-up to play amplified bassoon
6) How he started working with Cirque du Soleil’s ZED and his time in Japan
7) His reflections on his career, about the high level of bassoon playing worldwide
8) Bassoon is not widely known for jazz & rhythmic playing
9) His main musical inspirations and favourite bands
10) Who he would like to collaborate with (living/dead)
11) One of his biggest career lessons
12) His upcoming projects
To find out more about Paul visit:
Lessons on jazz bassoon:
Useful tool for improvisation:
On this episode I speak to Roman Reznik. Roman Reznik is the Co-principal bassoon of the Oslo Philharmonic, conductor and teacher.
1) His musical beginnings
2) His musical inspirations
3) How he started conducting
4) His love for baroque music
5) His harp-bassoon duo with his wife
6) Tips on sound and getting ready for a studio recording
7) Type of reeds he uses
8) Upcoming projects and free time
9) Advice for young musicians
Listen to his album here:
Welcome to Episode 2 of Legends of Reed!
I interviewed Ole K. Dahl recently. He is Professor of Bassoon at MuHo Mannheim and Guest Principal Bassoon in famous orchestras and ensembles. Due to his deep dedication and passion to teaching, Ole has been invited to give masterclasses all over the world. He is the co-author of the bassoon method book "Drills".
In this episode, I find out why Ole published Drills, what we can expect in Drills 2.0, how he maintains such a successful bassoon studio and other interesting topics.
To find out more about Ole, please visit his website:
On this pilot episode, I am thrilled to interview Bram van Sambeek.
Known for his bold and innovative artistic and programming choices, find out why Bram chose to focus on chamber music, the nomination of his "Fagerlund & Aho Bassoon Concertos" album in the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award, and more.
To find out more about Bram, visit his website: bramvansambeek.com
Legends of Reed is an interview series by Jo Anne Sukumaran, for more information visit: joannesukumaran.com