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    Laing, Gordon (1964 – Present)

    Bassoonist, contrabassoonist and educator from London, England, who grew up in Woodford, Essex, and studied the piano and recorder.  He started playing bassoon at ten years of age and took formal studies at the Redbridge Music School and the Royal College of Music, where he took up the contrabassoon.  His teachers included John Burness and Geoffrey Gambold, a pair of principal players from the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

     

    He played with the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra for four years and a half and made his professional debut with the Ulster Orchestra at twenty-two years of age.  Other groups with whom he has worked include the Britten Sinfonia, the Nash Ensemble, the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.

     

    In 1991, he appeared on the soundtrack of Atlantis.  Other recordings on which he appears comprise Miss Saigon and Scratch My Back, by Peter Gabriel.

     

    He and his fellow Philharmonia bassoonists descended on-stage at Queen Elizabeth Hall donned as bikers for a performance of Michael Daugherty’s “Hell’s Angel’s” on 22nd March 1999.  The concert was rounded out by Daugherty’s “Dead Elvis”, plus more conventional fare such as Felix Mendelssohn’s “The Fair Melusine”, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 5” (“Turkish”) and Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4”.

     

    On 6th September 2004, the Britten Sinfonia appeared at the Victoria & Albert Museum in a program that comprised Luigi’s Dallapiccola’sPiccola musica notturna”, Simon Holt’s “The Coroner’s Report”, Leos Janacek’s “Concertino”, and Bohuslav Martinu’s “Le revue de cuisine”.

     

    Sir Charles Mackerras conducted the Philharmonia on 6th April 2008 in a concert that included Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 3 in F major, Op. 90”, Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 18 in B flat major, K. 456”, with soloist Till Fellner, and Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra.

     

    On 11th October 2008, Gordon joined the Nash Ensemble for a recital at Wigmore Hall that featured Brahms’ “Serenade in D, Op. 4”, Antonin Dvorak’s “Serenade in D minor, Op. 44”, and Josef Suk’s “Piano Quartet No. 1 in A minor”.

     

    Lorin Maazel conducted the Philharmonia on 30th November 2009 at the Grand Auditorium in a performance of Zoltan Kodaly’s “Danses de Galanta”, Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto No. 1 in B flat major, Op. 23”, with Simon Trpceski at the keys. 

     

    On 25th March 2010, Riccardo Muti took the helm and Joshua Bell was the featured soloist as the Philharmonia offered up a Beethoven double-header that consisted of the master’s “Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61” and “Symphony No. 3 in E flat major, Op. 55” (“Eroica”).

     

    In the field of musical education, Gordon has taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has served as a tutor at Big Bassoon Day and Gloucestershire Double Reed Day.  His students have included Sebastian Charlesworth, Maria Harper, Danielle Hartley, Jacqueline Hayter, Dieter Hester, Adam Treverton Jones, Michael Kent, Kati May Lawrence, Molly Neilson, Ruth Rosales, Stuart Russell, Emma Selby, Neil Strachan, and Joanna Shewan.

     

    He also has a chapter devoted to him in the 2010 book, British Classical Bassoonists.

     

    Sources:

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gordon_Laing
    2. http://www.gsmd.ac.uk/music/staff/teaching_staff/department_of_wind_brass_and_percussion/contra_bassoon/gordon_laing.html
    3. http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1148954/a/Atlantis.htm
    4. http://www.artistdirect.com/artist/credits/gordon-laing/955549
    5. http://www.bigdoublereed.com/gallery/the_big_bassoon_day_2009.php
    6. http://pbeck7.tripod.com/glosdrd/tutors.htm
    7. http://www.jr.com/product/music/pm/_1307442/
    8. http://www.discountbooksale.com/p4793459/British-Classical-Bassoonists-William-Waterhouse-David-Munrow-John-Hebden-Cecil-James-Kim-Walker-Michael-Chapman-Gwydion-Brooke-Rex-Liu.html#back
    9. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/classical-review-biker-bassoonists-from-hell-1083062.html
    10. http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_concert_review.php?id=2096
    11. http://www.jamesweggreview.org/Articles.aspx?ID=480
    12. http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_prom_review.php?id=6361
    13. http://www.philharmonie.lu/downloads/abendprogramm/1230/2009-11-30_091130_Abendprogramm_DOWNLOAD.pdf?PHPSESSID=n9mbrktdscs5pr4hgt3tff3u84
    14. http://www.philharmonie.lu/downloads/abendprogramm/1239/2010-03-25_100325_WEB.pdf?PHPSESSID=a01gdm52a4f2l4q79ni69qfaj1
    15. http://www.treblos.com/seb.html
    16. http://www.fagottrohre-holz.de/
    17. http://www.thetutorpages.com/tutor/danielle-hartley-woodwind-sax-singing-teacher-eltham
    18. http://www.morgensternsdiaryservice.com/WebProfile/hayter_j_6365.shtml
    19. http://www.musicalcocktails.com/LIVE%20Music/artistpagedieterhesterbassoon.htm
    20. http://www.hkpo.com/eng/aboutus/our_players/our_players_details.jsp?id=574
    21. http://www.michaelkent.co.uk/academic.php
    22. http://www.ajsw.org.uk/events/show-event.php?e=232
    23. http://www.matlockmusic.org.uk/html/canteloube.html
    24. http://musicteachers.co.uk/user/080f5b0259510f98b729/biography
    25. http://www.canteloubetrio.com/page2.htm
    26. http://southbanksinfonia.co.uk/category/events/event-extras/
    27. http://www.maslink.co.uk/cvs/bassoons/shewan(joanna).html
    28. http://www.maslink.co.uk/cvs/bassoons/strachan(neil).htm

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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