Reeds & Reedmaking for the Modern Bassoon

Rick Yoder, Proprietor

About Rick

Making bassoon reeds in Provence
Making bassoon reeds in Provence

Welcome to my website. I am an American bassoonist and reedmaker living in the London Borough of Hackney. My studio is located on the edge of the beautiful and lively London Fields park.

I have made a life-long study of bassoon reedmaking. My original mentor for this work was the legendary American maker, Louis Skinner. I enjoyed many wonderful times living and working with Lou, usually for a week at a time during summers in my student and early-professional years. Each summer Lou would excitedly share his discoveries and thoughts developed during the past year. In recent years I’ve passed along this experience by presenting reed-making seminars based on Lou’s reed styles, theories and methods, at the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, Massachusetts, 2010 and 2013, at the invitation of the Boston Symphony’s marvelous principal bassoonist, Richard Svoboda); and at the Nordic Bassoon Symposium (Bergen, Norway, 2011, at the invitation of two other Skinner students, Per Hannevold and John Miller). (The Symposium is a wonderful and unique musical, educational, and social event organized annually by Messrs. Hannevold and Miller, usually in March or April. Amateurs of all levels and young professionals are welcome, without audition. Highly recommended! Information on the 2014 Nordic Bassoon Symposium will be posted here when available.)

I am an experienced and enthusiastic teacher of reedmaking, bassooning and wind chamber music. Please use the Contact page to enquire about instruction.

A box of bassoon reeds from Lou Skinner

My performing experience includes positions as principal bassoonist of several professional orchestras, including the Niederrheinischen Symphoniker (Germany); the Monterrey (Mexico) Symphony; the Hofer Symphoniker (Germany); the Louisville Orchestra (assistant principal); and the Goldovsky Opera Company (New York). Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of performing most of the standard orchestra and opera repertoire. I’m especially keen on chamber music. A particular highlight was my 2007 performance of the Dietter Concerto for Two Bassoons, with John Miller, in Boston.

For the historically curious, my bassoon teachers were Leonard Sharrow (NBC Symphony, Chicago Symphony); Sherman Walt (Boston Symphony); Steven Maxym (Metropolitan Opera); and Walter Urbach (Berlin Philharmonic, Nürnberg Symphony).