Matthew Wilkie discusses the challenges of being Principal Bassoonist of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. He talks about the importance of having a supportive atmosphere with colleagues in the orchestra and how the auditioning process can impact that, both positively and negatively. He gives examples of how he frees up in difficult performance situations to help his own nerves, talks about his views on Betablockers and how he manages the logistics of making five trips to Europe from Australia each year. He also has some valuable tips for students preparing for auditions.

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Matthew Wilkie, bassoonist, was born in Orange, Australia, and studied at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in Brisbane. During his studies he performed as a soloist with the Queensland Youth Orchestra on numerous occasions, and after graduating he settled in Hannover, Germany, where he continued his studies with Professor Klaus Thunemann.

In Germany, he appeared as soloist with a number of orchestras including the South West Germany Chamber Orchestra and the W├╝rttemberg Chamber Orchestra. He won second prize in the International Music Competition in Geneva where he performed the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the Orchestra de la Suisse Romande.

Matthew Wilkie joined the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in 1986 as Principal Bassoon and has made a number of solo performances and recordings with them, including the Mozart Bassoon Concerto and the Strauss Duet Concertino. He has also recorded Mozart’s Wind Serenades and Divertimenti with the Wind Soloists of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In 1995, together with members of the COE, he recorded the six Trio Sonatas by Jan Dismas Zelenka.

Matthew Wilkie was appointed Principal Bassoon with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in 2000.