CATRIONA McDERMID

bassoon

@CMcdermid_

Where are you from?

I’m a Yorkshire lass, migrated down south, now living in London but still drinking excessive quantities of Yorkshire Tea. 

 

Why and when did you start playing the bassoon?

I took up the bassoon when I was nine. I already played the violin and the piano and being a stubborn child decided that I wanted to play an instrument that a. none of my friends played and b. was taller than me… Fortunately stubbornness sometimes has happy consequences!!

 

Where and with whom did you study?

I studied first of all at university, reading music at Lincoln College, Oxford and then went on to Royal College of Music for my Masters degree. I’ve been lucky to study with a wealth of fantastic teachers including Joost Bosdijk, Julie Price Andrea di Flammineis and Sarah Burnett. I’ve also studied baroque bassoon with Wouter Werschuren, Peter Whelan and Ursula Leveaux.

 

Where can we see you in action outside Magnard?

I can be found in all sorts of different places!! I work as a freelance player with various different orchestras such as Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra and London Philharmonic Orchestra. At the other end of the spectrum, I give solo recitals around the country and am currently a Countess of Munster recital artist. I can also often be found with period instruments in hand, particularly my baroque bassoon, playing with my baroque chamber group Convivio and other orchestras and ensembles such as Florilegium. Another less visible but really important and rewarding strand of my work is education and community work. I lead and assist in music based workshops in all sorts of different settings and with different organisations such as Worshipful Company of Musicians, LPO, OAE and Sinfonia Cymru.

 

Recent highlights?

A very recent highlight has to be playing at Emulsion New Music festival, a wonderful collaboration of jazz and classical musicians - the first step in what I hope will be a long and illustrious career as a jazzoon player!!

 

What would be your Desert Island Disc?

One album I really couldn't do without is Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now'. Joni is such a soulful singer, the pool of talent on this disc from both the jazz and classical worlds is outrageous and the orchestral arrangements are works of art in themselves! 

 

What is your lifelong dream?

To beat my sister in a game of Boggle. It’s a work in progress.

 

What do you love besides music?

I have a pretty eclectic set of hobbies including knitting, baking, running, table tennis and hiking!

 

If you weren’t a professional bassoonist etc, what would you have been instead?

I’m not completely sure but I’ve been told by several people that I would make an excellent party entertainer… Talents include balloon modelling, bassoon reed puppet voiceovers, cake baking and an appropriate level of immaturity. 

 

What’s your favourite food?

Any form of baked good. Especially yumyums. 

 

Who is your icon?

Jacob Collier, for managing to make extreme music geekery cool.

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