Blog 6: November

I realised I had completely forgotten to write any blogs during November AND December… I think I was just having too much fun and being quite busy and didn’t realise the time flying by. I have decided to catch up by writing two blogs: one for November and another for December.

November included our first visit from Hans Agreda, our new contra teacher. I had a great lesson doing basics on the contra and trying his practice system and I’m looking forward to playing contra in Shostakovich 8 next term back in London at the RCM. I also learnt and recorded the complete Saint-Saëns Sonata as a competition entry for the Prague Spring Competition in 2020. I had played the outside movements before but not the second so that was exciting (yet tricky…) to learn and record with my wonderful accompanist Atsuko.

I was delighted to visit Georg Rieger GmbH which is nearby to Mannheim. I met Felix and Johann Rieger who were extremely friendly and accommodating and it was very cool to see the factory and all the resources and supplies they have there. Any bassoonist/oboist knows Rieger is a household name for us and I am very glad to have met them and will stay in contact throughout my whole career. I also played with the Mannheim Kammerphilharmonie which was really fun and nice to play in a gig in Germany.

I performed in a Flute Klassenabend with my friend Maria playing the Sammartini Recorder Concerto (on the piccolo). It was really nice to play with her and Miklos (continuo professor) because I haven’t had much in the way of chamber music out in Mannheim and I am really looking forward to playing again with my amazing quintet back in London. The day after that I traveled to Luxembourg and had my EUYO audition. Thanks to Deutsche Bahn, my train was delayed and missed my transfer to Luxembourg so ended up being late for the audition which is something I absolutely hate! Despite this, I was happy with how I played and I felt I’d played better than last years audition, and it was lovely to see Peter Stark there too.

I then went from Luxembourg to the UK for another few days visit back home. I had lunch with Poppy and Danny near the RCM and then went up to Oxford with my mum and visited Hannah. I had another lovely visit to Oxford and really enjoyed hearing Hannah sing and spending time with her and her new friends as well as enjoying the beautiful grounds at Worcester College. I then came back to Mannheim and watched Salome at the National Theatre in Mannheim with Sarah and Marc. I really enjoyed the performance and glad I have now been visited the National Theatre seeing as it is only 5 minutes walk from my apartment.

The end of November was mainly continuing practice and more inspiring lessons with Ole. I needed a small repair on my bassoon (two tone holes re-drilling) so I took my bassoon to Cologne to Christoph Siewers for this small job.

Thank you for following my blog and I hope to see you at the next one!

Ashby x