On 25 June, the Save the Bassoon campaign will have its grand finale. Commissioned by the Holland Festival, composer Merlijn Twaalfhoven has written a score for more than one hundred bassoonists of all abilities, from absolute beginners to the Netherlands’ greatest bassoon player Bram van Sambeek. Entitled Grand Subphonia, this bassoon concert will open the Holland Festival Proms. And you can play along!


Grand Subphonia is a new score written for hundreds of bassoons, something which has never been tried before. This is why we need everyone who can play the bassoon to join us! Players of all levels and ages are welcome, children included! In combination with Twaalfhoven’s score, Bram van Sambeek will play Mozart’s famous bassoon concerto. The concert, with hundreds of bassoonists playing together, will be the crowning event of the Save the Bassoon campaign.


Do you play the bassoon? Then this is your chance to perform in the Grote Zaal (Main Auditorium) of the famous Amsterdam Concertgebouw. You can register and find more information by emailing We have set up a Bassoon Crash Course for absolute beginners.


• Taking part is free
• Players of all abilities are welcome. We need all the help we can get!
• Two rehearsal dates in Amsterdam (11 and 24 June)
• Performance at the Main Auditorium (Grote Zaal) of the Concertgebouw on 25 June.
1. To register, please email
2. You will receive a short questionnaire, asking you about your level and availability for
3. You can study the parts at home from a pdf available for download on this site from
23 May.
4. First rehearsal is on 11 June from 14.00 to 17.00 in Amsterdam. Exact location to be
5. Second rehearsal will be on 24 June from 15.00 to 19.00 at the Concertgebouw in
6. Performance on 25 June at 15.00 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam
7. For more information please go here. If you cannot find the information you require
please do not hesitate to contact us.

Partners & Spokesman Bram van Sambeek


The initiative is supported by Componist des Vaderlands, Conservatorium van Amsterdam, De Doelen, de Vrijdag van Vredenburg, Fagotnetwerk, Gaudeamus Muziekweek, Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Groot Omroepkoor, Het Concertgebouw, Koninklijk Conservatorium Den Haag, NJO, November Music, NTR Zaterdagmatinee, NPO Radio4, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, Stichting Fagot500, Leerorkest, Omroep Muziek, Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, Tivoli Vredenburg, VPRO, Vrije Geluiden, Concertgebouw de Vereeninging, Zaterdagochtend Concert. The campaign has brought together most of the leading Dutch bassoonists, with internationally acclaimed Bram van Sambeek as their spokesman.

Bram van Sambeek (1980) is one of the Netherlands’ leading bassoon players. His mother took ten year old Bram to an open music day, where she blindfolded him, enabling him to select his instrument purely based on its sound. He had no trouble making his choice: it was going to be the bassoon. Fifteen years on, Bram has put himself forward as the standard-bearer for the Save the Bassoon project, concerned as he is with the decline in interest in the playing of the instrument.

After having played with the Rotterdam Philharmonic from 2002 to 2011, Bram embarked on his solo career, performing regularly with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, as well as making solo appearances in chamber music productions, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Bram gave his debut recital at the Kleine Zaal of the Amsterdam Concertgebouw in 2003, subsequently performing regularly as a soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Rotterdam Sinfonia and other orchestras and ensembles.

In 2009, Bram van Sambeek received the Nederlandse Muziekprijs, the first and only bassoon player to have achieved this in the award’s thirty year history. In 2011, he also won the Borletti Buitoni Trust Award. Bram has been endorsed by various celebrities, including Valery Gergiev, who rated him ‘very gifted’ as well as ‘not eccentric but a little bit unusual’.