Photo by Olivia Da Costa

British bassoonist Ashby Mayes is a postgraduate student with Prof. Ole Kristian Dahl at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim. He graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal College of Music where he studied with Joost Bosdijk, Sarah Burnett and Martin Field. Ashby is on the Rhein-Neckar Akademie 2023/24 where he is regularly performing with the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie Rheinland-Pfalz, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Theater Heidelberg and the Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester. He held a temporary contract as Sub-Principal Bassoon with the Pori Sinfonietta for their Winter Season 2022 and during his time in Finland also performed with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Lapland Chamber Orchestra. He has also performed with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and the Württembergisches Kammerorchester Heilbronn and as Principal with the Deutsche Philharmonie Merck, Cappella Aquileia / Opernfestspiele Heidenheim and the Bath Festival Orchestra amongst others. Ashby was a member of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra 2022 & 2023 where he was Principal Bassoonist for The Rite of Spring under Susanna Mälkki in September 2023. He has previously been a reserve member for the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester (2023) and was a reserve member of the European Union Youth Orchestra (2020).

As a soloist, Ashby made his solo debut at Wigmore Hall in November 2021 performing at the RPS Awards and was a Ryedale Festival Young Artist, where he performed a solo recital in July 2022. His postgraduate studies are generously supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society where he is a Julius Isserlis Scholar, the Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Craxton Memorial Trust. He was previously been supported by Michael Attenborough through the Richard Attenborough Trust, the Golden Charitable Trust, the Everest Lewis Golden Foundation, Talent Unlimited, Future Talent, Awards for Young Musicians and the Leverhulme Trust through the National Youth Wind Orchestra where he was Leader of the 2018 Orchestra. Previously, studied with Pete Harrison with full scholarships at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music and Wells Cathedral School.

Photo by Dumitrita Gore
Photo by Liz Isles

During his time at the RCM, he was Douglas & Adele Gardner Award Holder and won various competitions including the Concerto Competition, the Howarth of London Bassoon Prize & the Woodwind Solo Prize. In May 2022 he received the President’s Award presented by HM King Charles III for “exceptional contribution to promoting the work of the Royal College of Music in the wider community”. In 2021, he founded MayesMusic, his very own music publishing site to sell his own arrangements which are being performed all over the world and are now stocked and sold at Howarth of London & Tutti Fagotti (Hamburg). He has been featured on the Classic FM website playing multitrack recordings of his own original arrangements which have been published by KOR Publications. Ashby teaches privately and has tutored on the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain and is delighted to be a Senior Lead Ambassador for the Benedetti Foundation. He is proud to be a sponsored Georg Rieger GmbH Artist as well as a RATStands Artist. When not playing the bassoon, he enjoys everything tech, playing Spikeball and cycling. 

Ashby plays on a Heckel 13000 Series Bassoon.