Reed Rage is an engaging and innovative quartet of bassoonists who enjoy sharing the unique and wonderful soundworld of these enigmatic instruments. Since its 2009 debut at Burgh House, Hampstead, the quartet has been delighting audiences around the country, including giving recitals at Warwick Arts Centre, the Open University Recital Series, Brentwood Musical Society and St. Anne’s Church in Kew. Reed Rage is demand abroad and in July 2013 gave the opening evening performance at the Bornholm Music Festival. In 2014 they will appear at the Bergen Bassoon Symposium. Reed Rage also plays an active role in education, and, with the bassoon listed as an ‘endangered species’, relishes the opportunity to work in schools and the community to promote the bassoon and inspire many young bassoonists around the UK.
Reed Rage’s imaginative and varied programming incorporates original compositions, popular classics and humorous interludes. Equally at home giving an informal lunchtime recital or a full-length evening concert, the quartet can tailor its choice of works to suit any occasion: new arrangements can even be requested from the group’s tame arranger Boris Turner, who regularly adds to the repertoire. Whatever the programme, there are bound to be pieces that listeners will know and enjoy, as well as new pieces and composers to pique their interest.
The members of Reed Rage enjoy busy careers as freelance bassoonists, and are in demand as orchestral and chamber musicians throughout the country. They regularly perform with ensembles including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, Opera North, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Mozart Players, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.
Rosie Burton was born in 1985 and began her musical career as an unenthusiastic recorder player and pianist. When she was eight she heard her bassoonist uncle Jo play the Grandfather in Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf: Rosie mended her ways, became totally smitten with this somewhat silly instrument and then endured an agonising three-year wait until her hands were big enough for a short-reach bassoon. She went on to study at the Royal College of Music Junior Department with Andrea de Flammineis, and was principal bassoon of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Rosie read Music at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, but still managed to play the bassoon an awful lot. She continued her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, having lessons with Graham Sheen, Daniel Jemison, Meyrick Alexander and Martin Field, and she currently studies with Sarah Burnett. In January 2008 Rosie was appointed to Southbank Sinfonia, London’s orchestral academy, and she is now a freelance bassoonist, performing regularly with orchestras including the BBC Symphony and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. Rosie is also in demand as a soloist and in 2012 will perform concertos in Stamford and London. With pianist Chris White, she was selected for Park Lane Group’s Young Artists’ Scheme in January 2009, which included a recital at the Purcell Room, and a live performance on BBC Radio 3.
Rosie plays bassoon No. 74 (also known as Hugo) made by the Hereford-based maker Jeremy Soulsby as well as her new acquisition "Henry" - a vintage Heckel bassoon. When not playing the bassoon, she enjoys arranging silly tunes for Reed Rage, running, making cakes, and playing with her two kittens, Jeoffry and Suzie.
Llinos Owen was born in Pwllheli in North Wales, where she found an old bassoon in a school cupboard. At 16, she bravely crossed Offa’s dyke to receive her musical education at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, then at St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and finally at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she was awarded the marvellously named Winifred Disney Entrance Scholarship.
Llinos is currently Sub Principal bassoon doubling Contrabassoon with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, and Principal Bassoon with the Northern Chamber Orchestra. She plays with many chamber ensembles throughout the country, and also enjoys working with large symphony orchestras including The Halle, The Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera North, and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales. She is also a non - scary ABRSM examiner. When not spending time driving on motorways or frowning at reeds, Llinos likes eating other people's food (especially Reed Rage cake)"
Llinos lives with her husband in Worcestershire, and enjoys kayaking the coastlines of Wales and Scotland in the summer, and watching garden birds and international rugby in the winter.
She plays an instrument made by the American maker Fox.
Tom was born and raised in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire, where due to a freak of nature an old Czech bassoon appeared at the Royal Grammar School High Wycombe which was in need of a player. Although it was a strange dark yellow colour and had a curious aroma, four young hopeful boys rose to the challenge but due to Tom's superior mouth organ skills and aversion to playing rugby, he found he was the only one to actually pursue it beyond the first few lessons. After the purchase of a less odorous bassoon and years of diligent practice(?) he gained a place at the Guildhall School of Music and then went on to the National Centre for Orchestral Studies. He even won "Bucks Young Musician of the Year" which was pretty unheard of on the bassoon - something to do with his enthusiasm and ability to communicate this to the audience. He then played in various London orchestras for several years as well as playing in the West End Show "42nd Street". He now enthusiastically freelances in the London orchestras. He has even wandered as far away as the Trondeim Symphony Orchestra in Norway. Tom especially enjoys chamber music and teaching the next generation about the bassoon. He can also be found taking wind sectionals for some of the many amateur orchestras in London. The fact that he is so much younger than the other members of Reed Rage doesn't seem to bother him.
Tom plays an instrument and crooks made by Stephan Leitzinger and a Mollenhauer contra bassoon.
Alex grew up in sunny Dorset, where she started her musical life as a flute player. However, she soon decided that she would have more fun with an instrument the same size as her. Luckily, the venerable menfolk of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra's bassoon section found her hiding among them at a children's concert and took her under their wings. She went on become principal bassoon of the Dorset Youth Orchestra, where she discovered the joys of spending your holidays hanging out with musical friends playing Shostakovich symphonies and drinking cider (not at the same time).
Alex read music at Worcester College, Oxford, somehow managing to fit the occasional essay in between orchestra and choir rehearsals, football matches, rowing and editing the music section of the student newspaper. After some time working for the BBC and wandering in Central America, she decided she missed being a student and went on to do postgraduate study at the Royal Academy of Music. Alex was a member of Southbank Sinfonia for the 2006 season, and has since been freelancing with orchestras including the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and London Concert Orchestra, and giving recitals around the country with her chamber group, the Marylebone Trio. Outside of music, Alex enjoys cooking, scuba diving, reading travel brochures and taking part in Balham's pub quizzes.
Alex plays a shiny new bassoon made by Stephan Leitzinger in Germany and a contrabassoon called Bertha.