Phil Brookes – bassoon
Principal bassoonist Phil Brookes has played with Orchestra of the Swan for several years now. Phil has also been thrust into the limelight as soloist in Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto at the Civic Hall (now Stratford ArtsHouse) in Stratford.
How did you get involved with OOTS?
Diane Clark recommended me to David Curtis as a suitable candidate for bassoonist in the orchestra. We knew each other from playing chamber music together.
The bassoon is currently on the ‘endangered’ list of instruments. Why did you pick the bassoon as your instrument?
I was eleven when I started playing and actually the only thing I knew about it was that it was slightly bigger than the recorder!
What other orchestras and groups have you worked with?
I’ve freelanced throughout the Midlands and further afield working with the CBSO, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Birmingham Royal Ballet Sinfonia, BBC Philharmonic and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. I’ve also been known to occasionally don tights on stage at the RSC! I’m the Principal Bassoonist with Mid-Wales Opera, Birmingham Opera Company as well as with OOTS. I play a lot of chamber music and am a founder member of “A good reed?” Bassoon Quartet, whose members also include OOTS bassoonists Maria Mealey and Alison Brierley.
What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t playing?
I enjoy watching rugby and drinking beer!
Will you be nervous before your concerto appearance with OOTS on 16 April, and if so, how do you cope?
It would be unnatural not to feel nervous. As for how I’ll cope; ask me after the performance!
What are your favourite pieces of music?
Brahms 2nd Symphony, Going for the One by YES, and almost anything by Mozart.
What would you say has been your career highlight to date?
Sadly it would have to be accompanying orange juice being poured into a glass in the Honk Kong television commercial for Mr Juicy!