Welcome to The Orchestral Bassoon, a digital resource that focuses on the history, performance, and pedagogy of the bassoon'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
"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!"
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."
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 Greater Houston area and Adjunct Instructor of Bassoon at the University of St. Thomas in downtown Houston. Students in Dr. Van Gansbeke's private bassoon studio have been selected for Texas All-State Band and All-State Orchestra, and have also received the top rankings at All-Region Band, All-Region Orchestra, 5A Area, and 6A Area auditions.
Dr. Van Gansbeke 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. He 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.
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.