Stolen in Hampstead: A treasured bassoon

Stolen in Hampstead: A treasured bassoon


norman lebrecht

November 26, 2013

Susie Herman is desperately missing her Howarth academy bassoon no 6334 in black leather Marcus Bonna case, worth £5,000, stolen on October 6 in West Hampstead.

Finder please contact



  • Richard Bailey says:

    Not another bassoon theft !

    Someone stole the one belonging to the splendid player Gwydion Brooke, who played in the mid-later part of the last Century for many years in the RPO with Sir Thomas Beecham, then with the Philharmonia. The bassoon was never found.

    He somehow kept his treasured bassoon going as it aged, but he never had another.

    Hear him with the RPO and STB playing the Mozart bassoon concerto.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      Thanks for the tip! Just checked out some clips online, obviously not enough to form a good idea of what this recording is like, but enough to make me curious to hear the whole performance. I seem to hear rather more French influence in the playing than one would hear in British bassoon players today.

      But, how did he get his bassoon going if it was stolen and he never had another?

  • robcat2075 says:

    A GPS tracking device would be a good addition to some larger instruments.

  • Gordon Davies says:

    Gwydion Brooke used to put his highly customized bassoon in the bath every night to see if it was leaking. I once heard that he occasionally shared his bathtime with it. And yes, he did give up when it was stolen. I hope Susie’s instrument is found.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      This doesn’t seem to make sense to me. Of course a bassoon leaks. It has dozens of holes. That’s the whole point. Otherwise one could only play one note on it. Then it wouldn’t be a bassoon, it would be a fog horn!