The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Calling all oboists, bassoonists and woodwind fans! This coming Saturday is Double Reed Day — with master classes, workshops and FREE concerts — at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

January 7, 2014
1 Comment

By Jacob Stockinger

Calling all players and fans of the oboe (below top) and the bassoon (below bottom), those woodwind instruments with such beautiful and distinctive tonal qualities! (At the bottom is a YouTube video of the last movement from 20th-century French composer Francis Poulenc’s lovely Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon.)



Even though the second semester hasn’t started yet – and won’t start until Jan. 21 — this coming Saturday afternoon and evening offers a day of master classes, workshops and concerts during the annual “Double Reed Day” at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

This year, the hosts are UW-Madison visiting oboist Kostas Tiliakos and UW-Madison bassoon professor Marc Vallon (below left and right, respectively).

Kostas Tiliakos and Marc Vallon horizontal

“Double Reed Day is an event that has taken place at the School of Music for the last 15 years,” says Vallon. “We invite middle-school students and high-school students and all double reed enthusiasts of all levels to join us for an informal and fun event that includes master classes for both instruments, a faculty concert and a final Double Reed concert in which every participant takes part.”

Adds Vallon: “We had something like 20 oboes and 18 bassoons on stage last year. The goal is to give double-reeders a chance to break from their usual isolation and play with their fellows colleagues, improve their skills and enjoyment.” (Below is a vintage print from the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, an 18th-century drawing of “Le Chevalier de Liroux playing the bassoon.”)

Bassoon playing %22%22Le chevalier de Liroux jouant le bassoon%22 from Bibliotheque Nationale de France

The events run from at-the-door registration ($20 with a $5 fee for each additional dinner guest) held from 1 to1:30 p.m. to dinner and a short evening concert at 7 p.m. in Mills Hall.

(You can also register by mail. Include payment and mail to Double Reed Day, in care of Marc Vallon, School of Music, UW-Madison, 4122 Humanities Building, 455 North Park Street, Madison, WI 53706-1483

From 2:30 to 3:45 there will be master classes, then exhibits from 3:45-4:15. From 4:15 to 5:30 there will be readings of the double reed repertoire as well as rehearsals.

Dinner is 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

A final Festival Concert, open to the public free of charge but with a program yet to be decided, will be held from 7 to 7:30 p.m. in Mills Hall.

A faculty concert is free of charge, and the program will include some French music by Gabriel Pierné and “Five French Folk Songs” by Marc Vallon.

The final concert is also free of charge. It will last 30 minutes and will involve all the participants. 

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