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Martin Field

Principal Contrabassoon

Member since 2023; Professor at the Royal College of Music


Born in Vienna, Martin spent his early years in Zurich. Upon moving to England, his interest in music developed. At first singing took his interest, and then piano, which his mother encouraged him to take up from the age of nine. At high school, his music teacher recognised his abilities, and as the school had recently acquired a bassoon for the school orchestra, Martin was selected to learn to play it. His love for the instrument developed, and his tuition continued at a specialist weekend music school in Buckinghamshire, where he was taught harmony, theory, general musicianship, singing, bassoon and piano, and played in various ensembles and orchestras. At the age of 15, Martin first experienced the low tones on the contrabassoon and never looked back. 

Martin studied at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM) and was taught by many great musicians including John Orford, Robin O’Neill and David Chatterton. The advice on orchestral playing he received from his postgraduate professor Martin Gatt – Principal Bassoon of the LSO from 1977–98 – was particularly memorable. 

After graduating from RAM, there followed a period of freelancing, auditioning and trialling with orchestras across the UK and Europe. In 2000 Martin was appointed contrabassoon of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Since then, he has performed with all the leading conductors and singers, including Bernard Haitink, Christian Thielemann, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle and Luciano Pavarotti, to name but a few.