About

Photo by Olivia Da Costa

British bassoonist Ashby Mayes recently graduated with First Class Honours from the Royal College of Music where he studied with Joost Bosdijk, Sarah Burnett and Martin Field. In September, he will begin his postgraduate studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst in Mannheim with Prof. Ole Kristian Dahl. Ashby previously studied in Mannheim on the Erasmus exchange programme from September 2019 – February 2020. His postgraduate studies are generously supported by the Royal Philharmonic Society where he is a Julius Isserlis Scholar, the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and the Craxton Memorial Trust. During his studies at the RCM, he was a Douglas & Adele Gardner Award Holder. He has 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, Ashby studied with Pete Harrison with full scholarships at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music and Wells Cathedral School.

As a soloist, he won third place in the RCM Concerto Competition and in his final year at the RCM, he won the Howarth of London Bassoon Prize and the overall Woodwind Prize. Ashby was a finalist in the Sir Karl Jenkins Music Award 2019 and has premiered solo works for bassoon by Darren Bloom (at St John’s Smith Square), recorded Jeffrey Joseph’s Second Bassoon Sonata and has performed solos with the RCM Chamber Orchestra, WCS Baroque Orchestra, Watford Youth Sinfonia and the Wyatt Sinfonia. Ashby was a reserve member of the European Union Youth Orchestra in 2020 and was on the English National Opera Evolve Scheme through the RCM. Ashby also took part in sit-in sessions with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Duncan Ward, and with the Philharmonia Orchestra under Jakub Hrůša. He has taken part in two LSO On Track schemes, with one performing with the LSO in the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. Ashby has toured Spain, Poland and Germany and Holland as well as Switzerland with NYWO. Ashby played at the prestigious Lucerne Festival in Summer 2018. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican, Symphony Hall (Birmingham), the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and the KKL Luzern. He has also recorded at Abbey Road Studios and RAF Northolt Studios.

Photo by Dumitrita Gore
Photo by Liz Isles

Ashby has been featured on the Classic FM website playing multitrack recordings of his own original arrangements which have been published by KOR Publications. In 2021, he founded MayesMusic, his very own music publishing site to sell his own arrangements. He performed for HRH The Prince of Wales in March 2019. He has performed under the baton of Sir Colin Davies, Edward Gardner, Martyn Brabbins and Jac van Steen and has played alongside Sergio Azzolini, Maximiliano Martín and Stefan Dohr. Ashby is Chairman of the Watford Youth Sinfonia; a group-led youth orchestra. Ashby is delighted to be a Bassoon Teaching Ambassador for the Benedetti Foundation and is proud to be a sponsored Georg Rieger GmbH Artist as well as a RATStands Artist. Ashby is passionate about many genres of music and intends to pursue a career in classical bassoon. When not playing the bassoon, he enjoys photography, videography and cycling. 

Ashby plays on a Heckel 13000 Series Bassoon.