Bram van Sambeek (1980) was the first bassoonist ever to receive the highest Dutch Cultural Award in 30 years: The Dutch Music Prize, handed out to him personally by Minister of Culture Ronald Plasterk in 2009. On this occasion, Bram played the bassoon concerto by Gubaidulina with the Rotterdam Philharmonic and chief conductor Seguin. De Telegraaf newspaper wrote about this performance: “He uses his instrument freely as a mouthpiece, conjures the finest timbres, and is technically capable of doing anything.” In 2011 he won a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award, and he has been admitted to The Chamber Music Society Two programme of New York’s Lincoln Center. In 2018 Bram won the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award for the premiere recordings of the bassoon concertos by Kalevi Aho and Sebastian Fagerlund.

Bram van Sambeek performs regularly as a soloist with orchestras such as the Lahti Symphony Orchestra, The Gothenborg Symphony, the Netherlands Chamber Orchestra, the Oulu Symphony, and the South Netherlands Philharmonic. Many composers, such as Vanessa Lann and Sebastian Fagerlund, have written concertos for him.

From 2002 until 2011 Bram was Principal Bassoonist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and since 2009 he has been teaching the bassoon at the Conservatories in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and The Hague. Last season he started a professorship exclusively at the Hochschule für Music und Tanz in Cologne. Bram has taught masterclasses at schools like Bloomington Indiana, the Royal College of London, and the Conservatory of Busan, Korea.

He played regularly as a Guest Principal with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. As a chamber musician he has worked with Alexei Ogrintchouk, Jörg Widmann, Reto Bieri, Clara Andradas de la Calle, Hervé Joulain, Radovan Vlatkovich, Liza Ferschtman, Christoph Pregardien, Pekka Kuusisto, Nicolas Altstaedt and Rick Stotijn. In 2010 Bram was offered a Carte Blanche series in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and in 2015 he received a “Wild Card” consisting of many adventurous concerts at the Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ, also in Amsterdam. He is a regular guest at festivals like the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Storioni Festival, Orlando Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Lockenhaus Chamber Music Festival and the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, and has investigated concert practice in cooperation with Radio Kootwijk Live, experimenting with innovations such as playing people to sleep.

Bram is very much interested in playing any style he likes, which leads him to work with rock musicians like Sven Figee in Konzerthaus Berlin, Jazz musicians like Joris Roelofs at the famous North Sea Jazz Festival, Arabic musicians like Kinan Azmeh in the Newlands Festival, and improvisers like Ernst Glerum in the “Apples and Olives” festival in Zürich.

Bram decided to start playing the bassoon when he was ten years old, beginning his studies with Fred Gaasterland and continuing later with Joep Terwey and Johan Steinmann at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague. After his graduation, he took private lessons with Gustavo Núñez. In addition, he has participated in masterclasses with Brian Pollard and two of the most important bassoon soloists in the world: Klaus Thunemann and Sergio Azzolini. Bram also plays on a very special bassoon, an instrument that has been played for many years by both these musicians.

About working together with Bram, Yannick Nézet-Séguin remarked in a television interview available at www.bramvansambeek.com: “I think he is able to fall in love with many aspects of the music, and doesn’t set himself too many boundaries.” In another interview about Bram, Valery Gergiev remarked: “…all in all a combination of being artistically involved, motivated and being gifted, being a very nice person, and also being a little bit unusual!”

On his debut cd with Brilliant Classics, called ‘Bassoon Concertos’, he presented a very accessible programme of bassoon concertos by Vivaldi, Du Puy, Villa Lobos, and Olthuis, receiving rave reviews like this remark in the Dutch music magazine Luister: “Judging by his playing, Mr van Sambeek awaits a golden future.” In march 2012, Brilliant Classics released his second cd “Bassoon-Kaleidoscope,” which includes different chamber music pieces, as well as a rock song. In 2015-2016 Bram has performed the two new bassoon concertos by Sebastian Fagerlund and Kalevi Aho and recorded them for the BIS label with whom he has an on-going cooperation.

Last year he was the spokesman of the “Save the bassoon” campaign set up by the Holland Festival. This lead to a lot of international attention and publicity for the instrument in the London Times, the Guardian, Süddeutsche Zeitung and played on many television shows.


The new Bach Solo album will be released internationally on September 2nd!

Return to Royal Conservatoire The Hague

I’m very happy to announce my return to the Royal Conservatoire The Hague starting from September 2020.

My professorship in Cologne will end in March 2021.

Album release

From today on my new album is available for streaming.

Choose your preferred streaming service here:

New SACD release with Mozart, Weber, and Du Puy concertos coming up!

Bram worked together with his long time friend and wonderful oboist/conductor Alexei Ogrintchouk, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and BIS records

Have a look at the promovideo to get an impression here


ORBI – first release: videoclip of Metallica’s “Fight Fire with Fire”



ORBI – The Oscilating Revenge of the Background Instruments – Orbi plays a mix of symphonic rock, blues and even metal in a ‘chamber music’ setting. It’s a crossover between the classical world (where soloists Sambeek & Stotijn have build a great career) and the pop/rock world (where Figee thrives as a bandleader and soloist). They’ve created unique new versions of existing songs arranged especially for Orbi by Marijn van Prooijen. Their debut album will be released by the renowned Swedish classical label BIS

Bram wins the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award!

Thanks to all of you dear voters!!



Nomination BBC Classical Music Magazine

The Fagerlund and Aho Concertos disc has been nominated for this year’s BBC Music Magazine Awards in the category “Concerto Award“!

This award is based on your voting! You can place your vote for the album at http://awards.classical-music.com .

Please make sure to confirm your votes by filling out your name and e-mail address in the box below the nominations, otherwise the vote doesn’t get through.


Bram only takes in new students at the Hochchule für Musik und Tanz Köln and stops his teaching in the Netherlands..

Link to the Hochschule

Masterclass upcoming summer in Germany

Mattheiser Sommer Academy website

Check out the new video with an overview of 2016!

link to youtube

New SACD Bassoon concertos Fagerlund and Aho

click here for more info and audio samples

Kalevi Aho bassoon concerto with Lahti Symphony and Dmitri Slobodeniouk

full video

Bram is spokesman for the “save the bassoon” campaign by Holland Festival

Red de Fagot website

Bram signed up with Fazer Artists for Scandinavia!

Fazer Artists

Video Fagerlund concerto premiere available for free at


Bram is going to teach at the Royal Conservatory The Hague instead of Amsterdam!

welcome to my new website!

I asked Ehud Neuhaus to design a playful website for me, and this is the result; I hope you will enjoy it!

New bassoon concerto

Sebastian Fagerlund has finished writing his bassoon concerto! It looks truly genius, and I’m practicing a huge amount of glissandi for it currently… Even the midi file that I got for it, sounds fantastic.

The premiere will be in Finland on the 6th of December (2014) with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra conducted by Okko Kamu.


31/08/2022 - 31/08/2022

Soloconcerts Rota, Bottesini with Bochumer Symphoniker at Concertgebouw Amsterdam

02/09/2022 - 02/09/2022

Soloconcerts Rota, Bottesini with Bochumer Symphoniker in Bochum

22/10/2022 - 22/10/2022

Mozart bassoon concerto with Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Orchester and Jonathon Heyward

06/11/2022 - 06/11/2022

ORBI plays in Soest

19/11/2022 - 19/11/2022

Bottesini and Vivaldi double concerti with Rick Stotijn and Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra

25/12/2022 - 25/12/2022

Trio concert with Hans Eijsackers and Rick Stotijn in Tivoli Utrecht

27/12/2022 - 27/12/2022

Trio concert with Hans Eijsackers and Rick Stotijn in Haarlem Philharmonie

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Mozart * Du Puy * Weber Bassoon Concertos (BIS)

The Oscillating Revenge of the Background Instruments (BIS)

Fagerlund & Aho bassoon concertos (BIS)

Bassoon Kaleidoscope (Brilliant)

Bassoon Concertos (Brilliant)


The Oscillating Revenge of the Background Instruments

(ORBI-first clip!)

play video

Concert overview 2016

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Video Aho Concerto for Bassoon (live)

play video

Video premiere of “Mana” Concerto by Fagerlund

play video

New artist profile by Borleti Buitoni Trust

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New artist video by Chamber music Society of Lincoln Center

play video

Jolivet Bassoon Concerto (fragments)

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live performance (2011) of Andre Jolivet Bassoon concerto

Bram van Sambeek – bassoon
Magogo Orchestra
Arjan Tien, conductor

Schulhoff Trio plays Klement Slavicky

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The Schulhoff Trio (Christopher Bouwman-oboe, Wouter van Diepen- clarinet, Bram van Sambeek-bassoon) plays the first movement of the woodwind Trio by Klement Slavicky in Vrije Geluiden broadcast from 14 12 2008

Klement Slavický (September 22, 1910, Tovačov, Moravia — September 4, 1999, Prague) was a Czech composer.
Slavicky studied under Karel Boleslav Jirák and Josef Suk. He was inspired by Moravian folk music and the works of Leoš Janáček.

Sebastian Fagerlund – “Woodlands” for bassoon solo

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The new solo piece for bassoon solo in preparation of the bassoon concerto now being written by Fagerlund.

Live performance in Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ Amsterdam

Harlem Nocturne

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from the new cd Bassoon Kaleidoscope: “Harlem Nocturne” by Earl Hagen, version inspired by the worlds best unknown guitarist Danny Gatton.

bassoon : Bram van Sambeek
double bass : Rick Stotijn
hammond organ : Sven Figee
drums : Marijn korff de Gidts
Arr. by Marijn van Prooijen and Bram van Sambeek

Gubaidulina Bassoon Concerto

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Live performance of Gubaidulinas concerto for bassoon and low strings, at dutch music prize ceremony in Rotterdam.
Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Yannick Nezet Seguin.

Bassoon: Bram van Sambeek


The Oscillating Revenge of the Background Instruments

There are instruments and then there are instruments … On the one hand a violin, trumpet or lead guitar so firmly planted in the spotlight that everyone else on stage is reduced to a supporting role. On the other a bassoon, double bass, drum set or Hammond organ, providing the harmonic and rhythmic backdrop against which the soloist can shine. But what if the background instruments rebel? What if they strike back?

The result can be heard with ORBI – the Oscillating Revenge of the Background Instruments: four musicians making their bass-heavy instruments howl and growl (and sing!) in a mix of symphonic rock, thrusting metal and a little blues, 100% instrumental and lead-singer free. Of this Dutch quartet, Bram (on bassoon) and Rick (double bass) both pursue high-profile careers in classical music. Marijn (percussion) is classically trained but also studied in West Africa and India, and is active in many musical genres as well as multimedia projects. And keyboardist Sven Figee, finally, plays jazz, pop and rock in various constellations. Choosing from their own favourite playlists, and with the help of arranger Marijn van Prooijen, they have come up with a mix of music and sounds that is as weird and wonderful as it is surprising and addictive.


General management:

Kika Nieuwenhuis

Brinks Artists Management


Phone: +31 (0)20 643 20 43