eri ikedaThis is the second interview in our series Weaving the Web of Finnish Orchestral Bassoonists that introduces some of the orchestral bassoonists from all over Finland. Each guest will get the same set of questions. Our second guest is Eri Ikeda-Reding, Oulu Sinfonia principal bassoonist (2017-)

Did you play an instrument before you started playing bassoon?

Yes, I started playing piano when I was a child then when I entered to the junior high school (13 years old), I started to play alto saxophone in the wind orchestra club at the school.

Who introduced you to music?

My parents and my bigger brother, they all played piano and I was just so naturally interested in music.

When did you start to play the bassoon, and where did you get the idea from?

Playing saxophone after 2 years, I wanted to change something new and more interesting, and luckily I changed instrument to bassoon. It was in same band when I was 14 years old.

Who was your first teacher?

My first teacher was Makio Sasaki, former bassoon player at Nagoya Philharmonic, Japan.

When did you start to think about becoming a professional bassoonist?

No, I did not think about it at all.

When you started to play, who was your favourite bassoonist?

Popov, because I only had his CD at that time.

What is currently your favourite recording of the Mozart Bassoon Concerto?

Unluckily I do not hear any Mozart bassoon concerto recordings anymore, because I am full with this piece, so I have no idea who is my favourite.

If someone had to describe your sound in one or two words, what would they be? ( you can cheat and ask someone for help with this one! )

My old teacher said that my sound is like a voice of Mori Shinichi, a Japanese singer..But I have no idea myself.

If you were limited to only one piece to play for the rest of your life, ( solo piece for bassoon, or bassoon and piano) what would you choose?

Weber concerto ( if it is ok also with Orchestra) otherwise Saint-Saens.

Who taught you how to make reeds?

My teacher in Nagoya when I started to study at a university in Japan.

What reed shape do you use?

Thunemann shape

What is your favourite reed-thread colour?


What do you listen to (if anything) while you are making reeds?

I do not hear music or radio except when I eat breakfast.

What is your greatest extravagance spent on making reeds?

NO idea about this question

What is your favourite reed-making tool?

I have No favorite things/ stuffs for making reeds.

If you had to describe the world’s best bassoon reed, what would it be like?

ouluMost beautiful sound, flexibility of dynamics, tongue, super in tune and ETERNITY life of it.

If you have ever used a website or YouTube channel to help you learn about reeds, would you like to share it with us?

I would like to know about one.

If you could change anything about the world of classical music, what would it be?

I wish that more young people will be join as audience. In Finland it is no matter.

What is the best advice you have gotten, and where from?

"Even if they are excellent bassoon players, and had lots of successes in their life, they make mistakes in the audition." That was a hint for my audition from my friend, who is playing in one of the biggest orchestra. He confirmed that even those bassoon players who were invited to the audition, they made mistakes, and he said its normal if it is not perfect by Mozart. It made me much more relaxed for most of the first rounds in auditions.

If you weren’t playing bassoon, what do you think you might be doing instead?

I like to see apartments, houses/ real estate. I can love those jobs that show apartments to the customers.

What is the hardest part of your job in the orchestra?

I have pressure to play in front of audience and even my colleagues. Then it is not easy to be concentrated if I start to think about what another people think about me.

Can you describe something an orchestra colleague should never say to a bassoonist?

I don’t want to hear any bad words if it is not for development about music but no idea especially for bassoon players!

What is your favourite orchestral excerpt?


What is your favourite memory from a concert that you played in?

It is my secret

What is the nicest thing another bassoonist has ever done for you?

Someone made a super reed and because of that I got a big prize in a competition.

Every bassoonist seems to have a passionate hobby, what is yours?

TRIP to see another culture!!!

Thanks Eri!