sariseppelinThis is the seventh interview in our series Weaving the Web of Finnish Orchestral Bassoonists. The series introduces some of the
orchestral bassoonists from all over Finland. Each guest will get the same set of questions. Guest #7 is Sari Seppelin!

At this moment I am playing the the Tampere Philharmonic. I began playing there 1.10.2019 and my contract ends 1.5.2020. After that I will be back on the freelancer market.

Did you play an instrument before you started playing bassoon?

I was taught a bit of piano by my mother.

Who introduced you to music?

My mother played piano at home a lot, and because of that classical music was familiar to me, But in my childhood home we listened to pop tunes too.

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

I began to play bassoon when I was 12 years old. The idea came from the music school. I first applied for flute, but the flute class was already full, so they suggested that I play the bassoon since no one else in Kajaani was playing it.

Who was your first teacher?

My first teacher was Pekka Räisänen.

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

I don’t remember any specific time, the idea probably just gradually developed in my mind.

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

When I began I listened to Klaus Thumenmann. It was probably the only bassoon tape cassette that one could find in the Kajaani library :)

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

I don’t listen very much to Mozart recordings anymore, but the last one I listened to was Dag Jensen’s record.

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!)

I asked my husband and he said in his opinion it sounds pretty much like a bassoon sound, ha :) :)

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?

I can’t choose. There are too many good options:) Tansmannin Sonaatti, Saint-Saëns, Crusell Concertino......

Who taught you how to make reeds?

Jussi Särkkä and Erkki Suomalainen

What reed shape do you use?

Rieger 1a

What is your favourite reed-thread colour?

At this moment it’s green thread, but there isn’t any certain favourite. I use the colour that happens to be available at that moment.

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

I don’t listen to any music, I enjoy it if it happens to be quiet at home (a rare thing with two boys at home :) )

What is your greatest extravagance spent on making reeds?

Probably a profiler.

What is your favourite reed-making tool?

A nail file an sandpaper.

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

Easy to play in all registers and the intuition would be perfect.

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

I wish the audience would include more young people.

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

Something to do with gardening or flowers.

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

There are some really quiet and delicate second bassoon places which can make one a bit more nervous. But otherwise I really enjoy playing in the orchestra!

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

I can’t think of anything.

What is your favourite orchestral excerpt?


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

The best concerts are most likely the ones I’ve played with my quintet.

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

Any advice having to do with playing has been very valuable.

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

In the summers, gardening, and in the winter, dreaming about it!

Thanks Sari!

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