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Summer Concert

Saturday 24th June 2017, 7:30 pm, St. Martin's Church, Dorking

Mozart - Overture from Don Giovanni
Shostakovich - Violin Concerto no.2 (soloist: Alex Postlethwaite)
Beethoven - Symphony No. 7

Conductor: Paul Newbold


Soloist interviews  

The orchestra interviews many of its soloists in the run up to each concert. This is what Tom Hardy, our most recent soloist, had to say...

Tom Hardy, Bassoon

Soloist in: Weber: Bassoon Concerto - Sat 18th March 2017

When did you start playing the bassoon?
I was first introduced to the bassoon when I was a nipper at primary school. An oboist and bassoonist came to demonstrate and there was something about the “Hector’s House” theme… (if you remember this children’s TV show then you know how old I am!). But it wasn’t until I got to grammar school that I found an old Czech bassoon in a cupboard at the Royal Grammar School High Wycombe which was in need of a player. Although it was a strange dark yellow colour and had a curious aroma, I rose to the challenge.

How many bassoons do you own, and do you have a favourite (why?)?
I have one bassoon! As they cost more than the price of a small country it is unusual to find a bassoonist with lots of them! But I have owned many over the years. Four years ago I was lucky enough to have one built for me by the German bassoon maker Stephan Leitzinger which I love. When those magic lotto numbers come up trumps I will fill a small room with various bassoons of different vintages - maybe one for each day of the week? I do of course also have a contra bassoon that I use for making low rumbling noises in various orchestras and in my bassoon quartet
I do have thousands of reeds though - I make them for hundreds of players around the world! And then there is a collection of “crooks” (the bent kind that go between reed and bassoon) - like Golf Clubs they all do slightly different things that nobody else can quite work out.
Meanwhile, I do have a room full of guitars and never get tired of buying new ones despite my wife’s incredulity that you could actually need more than one.

Describe the bassoon in three words.
Glorious sea monster..
Though others might argue for:
Mono-dynamic farting bedpost 

Who is your role model in terms of bassoonists?
I don’t have one player who is my role model as such but there are some truly inspirational players who have had a big influence on me. Often it is singers and other instrumentalists who inspire me to play my best and to make the bassoon “sing”.

What is the repertoire like for soloists.. Is new music bring written?
There is actually quite a lot of new music being written though to be honest much of it involves noises and fingerings I have yet to discover. However, what IS amazing is how much baroque and classical repertoire there is for the bassoon! Vivaldi wrote 39 bassoon concertos which are fabulous, and there are other contemporaries of his who also wrote similarly virtuosic works for solo bassoon.  These days most performances of these are expected to be played on period instruments but there is still a great deal of pleasure to be had from playing these pieces on a modern bassoon.

What wood is your bassoon made out of and why?
Mountain maple! It is light and springy and resonant.  Harder woods like rosewood have been tried but they weigh too much and the sound ends up very dark.

Did you enjoy 42nd Street and have you played in any other musicals?
42nd Street was a fantastic experience. I loved the whole atmosphere of the West End. And Catherine Zita Jones was just a chorus girl back then!  Luckily the part was just bassoon though more and more if you have a show you are expected to double on other instruments and it is unusual to find a bassoon part in lots of the musicals that are currently playing in London. I have played in lots of shows over the years but usually for short runs of a week or two. Doing 42nd Street for several years means that I still have the tunes going round my head if I am not careful...

Vindaloo, jalfrezi, or balti?  
Jalfrezi, though Chicken Tikka Masala is my weekly dish!

What is your favourite orchestral piece to perform as a bassonist and why
Mahler 4. The bassoon part is lovely but the whole experience is a delight and I never get tired of it. It was the first piece of classical music that inspired me to want to listen to everything else I could lay my hands on. Up until then I was listening to rock music all the time (and playing my guitar very loudly).

Which is the best section of Dorking Philharmonia
I hope to tell you after Saturday!!! But meanwhile, THE SECOND VIOLINS of course…

If you have any questions you would like to ask any of our soloists, please send them to

All concerts take place in St. Martin's Church, Dorking unless otherwise stated, and start at 7.30pm.

Tickets are normally available on the door or in advance from our Box Office on 01306 730640.

Unless otherwise stated these are priced £12 (£10 concessions, £7 under 19s).

For more information please see

The concert will be held at the St. Martin's Church, Dorking, at 7.30pm map
Tickets are available on the door or in advance from our Box Office on 01306 730640, priced £12 (£10 OAP, £7 full time students with ID, £5 for under 12s).
For places to eat, drink and stay in Dorking please see