Someone just stole my 25-lb contrabassoon

Someone just stole my 25-lb contrabassoon


norman lebrecht

April 03, 2016

From the Buffalo News:

Martha Malkiewicz has no idea why anyone wanted to take her contrabassoon. It’s a woodwind that is twice the size of, and produces a lower sound than, a bassoon, with 16 feet of tubing curved around on itself into a 5-foot-long instrument.

Malkiewicz, who plays the contrabassoon for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, leaves the instrument at Kleinhans Music Hall when she’s not using it to practice or perform.

The 25-pound instrument – it weighs 50 pounds when it’s in its case – went missing while the orchestra was on a weeklong break.

Read on here.



  • Itsjtime says:

    G-d damn! Those thing can cost upwards of 40,000 good ‘ol American dollars. I hope it turns up….if it doesn’t, maybe she should go to Europe to buy her new one….since the good ‘ol US dollar is quite strong now :).

    But seriously…I hope she finds it soon. Quite often players in America play bassoons that are pretty old and are irreplaceable.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Amazing…. which burglar would steal a contrabassoon for what? Maybe some poor guy with an excentric hobby who could not afford one himself.

    • William Safford says:

      Hard to say. It hardly seems plausible that it was just a random thief who stole it.

      Back in 2008, a particularly distinctive contrabassoon was stolen from the Colburn School in California. Far as I know, it was never recovered. That instrument is a unicorn, and would stick out like a sore thumb if it were ever to surface. If a musician actually stole it, he or she cannot, for example, let a repairman see it, for fear of being discovered.