A bassoon titan has died, at 90

A bassoon titan has died, at 90


norman lebrecht

October 05, 2016

Barry Stees of the Cleveland Orchestra informs us of the death on Monday of K. David Van Hoesen, long-serving principal bassoon of the Rochester Philharmonic and an Eastman teacher whose students sit in every major US orchestra and teach at most leading conservatories. He knew all there was to know about bassoon.

Just listen to his splendid solos in this William Schuman piece:

Van Hoesen was professor of bassoon at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music (1950-54) and at Cleveland Institute of Music (1952-54) before joining Eastman in 1954. He was Cleveland’s second bassoon before joining Rochester.


He also played 64 years in the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the longest known tenure of any bassoonist.


  • NYMike says:

    Beautiful sound!

  • Ron Spigelman says:

    Norman you may recall in your article (link pasted below) about longest serving orchestra members he was number 6 having been the solo Bassoon of the Lake Placid Sinfonietta every Summer for 64 years. Even after retirement he attended concerts with his wife Carol. A true cornerstone of the organization and we plan to do something special to honor him for our centennial season next Summer. https://slippedisc.com/2011/09/new-longest-serving-orchestral-players-the-ultimate-list/

    • norman lebrecht says:


      • James Scott says:

        I was lucky enough to play with Mr. Van Hoesen in the Lake Placid Sinfonietta for 3 summers at the end of the 70’s/early 80’s. His playing and professionalism were impeccable, and such an incredible example to a young player just starting his career. All these years later, I still remember some wonderful performances from those years, and pass along anecdotes of his kindness and supportive nature in my teaching. My condolences to his family – what a wonderful legacy he has left.

        James Scott
        Calgary Philharmonic

  • John Sharp says:

    Fine fine playing.Heaven needed a good bassoon.I am ex 2nd horn of the Hamilton S.O. in Canada,1966=1969