Bassoonist plays four centuries of music

Erica Crist


  • What: Bassoonist David DeBolt and pianist/harpsichordist Dana Brown in a KSU faculty recital
  • When: 7:30 p.m. on Sunday
  • Where: Ludwig Recital Hall of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music
  • Cost: Free

This Sunday, bassoonist David DeBolt and pianist/harpsichordist Dana Brown will perform four centuries worth of bassoon music. The performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Ludwig Recital Hall of the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music.

“In ensemble terms, the bassoon is the lowest member in the woodwind group,” DeBolt said. “As a solo instrument, it has a very wide range. I think among the wind instruments it comes the closest to sounding like a singing voice.”

Ranging from below the lowest string on a cello to the tuning of the highest string on a violin, the bassoon gives character to any ensemble, he said.

Brown said that the piano’s role in this performance is to support DeBolt as much as possible.

“We share melodic lines in what is known as counterpoint,” Brown said. “The soloist will play a melodic line and the piano will answer it, and the instruments will weave back and forth between each other.”

The program will feature the premiere of five concert etudes by bassoonist/composer Bernard Garfield, who was the solo bassoon player in the Philadelphia Orchestra for more than 40 years.

“He writes all of these really wild, tough, little pieces for unaccompanied bassoon,” DeBolt said. “He knows the instrument inside and out, and he has such a beautiful feeling for music.”

The program will also include sonatas by Georg Telemann, Wolfgang Mozart, Glenn Gould and Theodore Lalliet.

“The first half of the show is going to be the older pieces by the most familiar composers,” DeBolt said. “Then after a little break, we’ll come back and do the new stuff. We end up with something that’s rich, singing, romantic and lots of fun. It’s kind of like the piece of cake at the end of the meal.”

Students and faculty should go to this concert to “share in the fun” with DeBolt.

“To attend a live concert really focuses the people’s attention on the music,” DeBolt said. “They get into it more than listening to a recording.”

DeBolt is a professor of music and the coordinator of woodwinds at the university. He is also the bassoonist of the Kent Wind Quintet and the Kent Camerata. Fanfare magazine described his newest recording, “Bassoon: A Musical Painting Comes to Life,” as “consistently beautiful in tone and lyrical grace . . . an impeccable recording.”

Contact performing arts reporter Erica Crist at [email protected].