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Waterhouse Bassoon Day 2024

February 20th, 2024

Waterhouse Bassoon Day 2024

Waterhouse Bassoon Day 2024

Oliver Ludlow is very pleased to be organising the Waterhouse Bassoon Day 2024, for which registration is now open. This event is being held owing to the great generosity of Elisabeth Waterhouse.

The William Waterhouse bassoon and music collection is unique and priceless. The collection is of international and historical importance, and we can comfortably say there is nothing else like it in the world. 

The bassoons housed in this remarkable private collection are significant to the development of Western Classical music as we know it. Come and see, hear and learn how the makers of these ancient bassoons wrestled with changing demands from composers and players, and see the results in their ever-changing bassoons.

There are few museums in the world where you can get up close and personal with original instruments of this quality, guided by an expert in the field of historical bassoons. Under careful supervision, there will be an opportunity to not only handle but also play select historical bassoons from the collection. 

Venue: Whitehall Cottage, Sevenhampton, Gloucestershire, GL54 5TL

Date: 21 April 2024

Time: 10am until 5pm

Entry: free - limited spaces available

Register: email Oliver Ludlow at

Guest speakers include:

      • Mathew Dart, PhD, maker of early bassoons, woodwind historian, dedicated Waterhouse collection curator
      • James Kopp, PhD, flying in from the USA. Author of the very significant book The Bassoon (Yale University Press). James is another dedicated Waterhouse collection curator, and one of the most knowledgeable bassoon historians in the world
      • Andrew Watts Baroque bassoonist and multi-instrumentalist Andrew (Andy) Watts is former Principal Bassoon of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and founder and director of folk/early music group The Carnival Band. Andy will be talking about his experience with Historically Informed Performance over the last 50 years. His portfolio is remarkable
      • Doug Spaniol – From the USA. Doug is an internationally recognised bassoonist and editor/author of some of the most famous bassoon books, especially regarding Weissenborn. Doug is co-hosting the IDRS conference in Indianapolis, Indiana in June 2025! Doug is talking about Weissenborn’s works for bassoon and piano which he edited using original Weissenborn manuscripts from the Waterhouse library! Doug and Elisabeth will be performing some of these, including three works that were previously reported as lost, but for which Doug has reconstructed the missing piano parts
      • Sarah Finlay, relative of Lyndesay Langwill (1897–1983), author of An Index of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers and Inventors (1960; 6th edition 1980). This was expanded and updated by William Waterhouse as The New Langwill Index (1993). This is one of the most important books cataloguing historical bassoons and their makers, and Sarah will be telling the story of how this remarkable book came into being

Let us know via email to if you would like to attend, and if you would like to bring your modern bassoon for a play through, so we can get an idea of numbers.

Places will be confirmed by Oliver Ludlow.