Welcome to The Orchestral Bassoon, a digital resource for bassoonists that focuses on the history, performance, and pedagogy of the instrument's most prominent orchestral excerpts. This site was originally designed as the final research project for my Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University's Jacobs School of Music and features:

  • Over 450 unique pages of content
  • Parts and scores for excerpts from 60 pieces
  • Audio samples from more than 300 commercial recordings
  • Over 60,000 words of written material, including in-depth discussions of the historical context and performance challenges of the bassoon's 25 most important orchestral excerpts

Make sure to "Like" The Orchestral Bassoon on Facebook and follow @OrchBassoon on Twitter for all the latest updates, and please send any questions or comments to orchestralbassoon@gmail.com.


"As a teacher and performer I find myself consistently utilizing and recommending The Orchestral Bassoon website as a go-to reference tool. I find the access it provides to accurate parts, scores, recordings, and pedagogy invaluable to myself and my students. Thanks Dr. Van Gansbeke for all your hard work, dedication, and generosity!"

Shawn Mouser
Associate Principal Bassoon, Los Angeles Philharmonic
Adjunct Instructor, University of Southern California
 

"In creating this invaluable resource, Dr. Van Gansbeke has not only compiled an enormous amount of useful information, but has provided an exemplary demonstration of what it means to truly study and understand the context of orchestral excerpts."

William Short
Principal Bassoon, The Metropolitan Opera
Faculty, The Julliard School; Manhattan School of Music; Temple University
 

"I am very grateful to Brett Van Gansbeke for creating The Orchestral Bassoon - an invaluable resource for professional and aspiring bassoonists. The presentation of a broad spectrum of standard excerpts in the form of parts, scores, multiple esteemed recordings, analysis and pedagogy elevates this resource to the status of an indispensable tool, given its comprehensive yet succinct qualities. The discussions on fundamentals beautifully aggregate viewpoints and quotes from leaders in the field into one meaningful, quick reference on each topic. Thank you for collecting and focusing this vast amount of material which just a decade ago was equally essential to the study of orchestral music, but required a wild goose chase to obtain!"

Kristin Wolfe Jensen
Professor of Bassoon, University of Texas at Austin


About the Author

Dr. Brett Van Gansbeke is a freelance bassoonist and private lesson instructor in the Katy, TX area and the Adjunct Instructor of Bassoon at the University of St. Thomas in downtown Houston. He holds a Doctor of Music degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music with minors in Music Theory and Early Music, and during his time at IU studied modern bassoon with William Ludwig and Arthur Weisberg, baroque bassoon with Michael McCraw, and chamber music coaching with James Campbell. An active orchestral musician, Dr. Van Gansbeke served as contrabassoonist with the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra for three seasons, and has also performed with the Louisville Orchestra, Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra, Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Bloomington Camerata Orchestra, Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, Valdosta Symphony Orchestra, and Lexington Philharmonic. Dr. Van Gansbeke also holds a Master of Music degree from Florida State University, where he was a teaching assistant for the bassoon studio, and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Kentucky. His other primary bassoon teachers include Jeff Keesecker, Peter Simpson, and Roger Soren.


Sonatine pour basson et piano - I. Allegro con moto
by Alexandre Tansman

Concerto in B-flat Major for Bassoon K. 191 - I. Allegro
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (cadenza by Peter Simpson)

HEXEN (Witches)
by Miguel de Aguila

Theme and Variations for bassoon and piano
by Balys Dvarionas

Concerto in B-flat Major for Bassoon K. 191 - II. Andante ma Adagio
by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (cadenza by Peter Simpson)