RTC-43: 1973 Concerto for Bassoon

Commission: George Zukermann and Canada Council Grant
Length: 16 min.
Completion: 15 June 1973, YWG
Premiere: 1973-09-15, CBC Vancouver Festival, George Zukermann (bassoon), CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, John Avison (cond.)1973-10-01, CBC [Vancouver] Concert
Publication: Waterloo Music, 1977


The Chamber Concerto for Bassoon and 17 instruments was written in 1973 on a commission from the well-known Canadian bassoonist, George Zukerman, and a grant from the Canada Council. Mr. Zukerman gave the world premiere performance with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, conducted by John Avison, at a CBC Festival concert on 15 September 1973.

Although written in a contemporary idiom, the work’s overall form exhibits features of the Baroque Suite and the Classical Serenade and Divertimento. It is scored for 2 oboes, 2 horns and 13 strings and is in 4 movements, titled: Serenade, Pastorale, Masque and Ode. The writing for the solo bassoon covers the whole range of the instrument and fully exploits its many technical and expressive possibilities,