Australian Hometown(s): Sydney & Melbourne
Education: University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich
Australian Lyndon Watts became principal bassoonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 22, working together with chief conductors Valery Gergiev, Lorin Maazel, Christian Thielemann and James Levine, as well as guest conductor Zubin Mehta, and performing in all the major concert halls of the world. Lyndon is a founding member of the Australian World Orchestra, and throughout his career he has performed as a soloist or guest principal with numerous European and Australian orchestras (Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria, Bavarian State Opera, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, West German Radio Symphony Orchestra etc.), and on historical bassoon in many leading ensembles specializing in performance on period instruments.
Lyndon began learning bassoon when he was twelve. For five years he had lessons with John Cran, former principal bassoonist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and won numerous scholarships and prizes in Australia. After finishing school in 1993, he toured Europe as principal bassoonist of the Australian Youth Orchestra and then remained in Germany to study with Professor Eberhard Marschall in Munich, followed by studies on historical bassoon with Alberto Grazzi in Verona. In 2002 he became the only Australian woodwind player to ever win a prize in the prestigious ARD International Music Competition.
From 2005 to 2015 he was professor of bassoon in Switzerland at the Berne University of the Arts. Former students and academists of the Munich Philharmonic now hold positions in orchestras such as the West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bavarian State Opera, Wiener Symphoniker, Berne Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, Graz Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lorraine, Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra, Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra and others. Until 2016 Lyndon also taught historical bassoon at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts. In 2012 he obtained a grant in collaboration with musicologist Dr Sebastian Werr and Swiss instrument maker Walter Bassetto from the Swiss National Science Foundation to fund a research programme through the Berne University of the Arts involving the first-ever reconstruction of a classical bassoon after the Parisian maker Jean-Nicolas Savary jeune, known as the “Stradivari of the bassoon”. A CD with world première recordings of compositions for the Savary bassoon was released in 2014.
Lyndon is also an active supporter of contemporary composers, and has given first Australian and German performances of works by Heinz Holliger, Graham Waterhouse (Quintet for bassoon and strings), Bernd Redmann (Concerto “Secret Doors” for two bassoons and orchestra, Quintet “Migrant” for bassoon and string quartet), Wynton Marsalis, Jörg Duda and many others.
After 18 years with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, in 2016 Lyndon chose to move back to his home country Australia, where he is now based in Melbourne freelancing as a performer and teacher on both modern and historical bassoon.
Last updated 2020