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William Waterhouse was an orchestral musician, teacher, music researcher and scholar. He played the bassoon. He died suddenly a few days ago in Italy. I had the singular honour to be one of his bassoon students 1976-1980 at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, England. Here are the obituaries from the Times, London, and the Guardian, London recently published.

The Guardian, London, 09.11.2007 ----

William Waterhouse

Eminent bassoonist and a leading expert on the instrument's history and music

June Emerson

Friday November 9, 2007

The Guardian William Waterhouse, who has died aged 76, is most widely remembered as an outstanding principal bassoonist with London orchestras and a chamber musician. However, he was also a distinguished scholar of his instrument, collecting its literature and publishing rare works. Born in South Norwood, London, he learnt the piano from an early age. When war broke out, he was evacuated to Barnstaple, where he sang in the church choir. After his father's death in 1942, he returned to London, where the National Gallery concerts instilled in him a love of chamber music. His education at Whitgift school, Croydon, was rich in music, and enabled him to learn fluent German. Article continues His life as an orchestral player started at school, playing the Clarinet in the Purley youth orchestra. He also became a member of the Oaks Farm orchestra, where visiting professional conductors encouraged him: Norman Del Mar lent him a Bass Clarinet on which he would fill in missing bassoon parts. Just before Waterhouse's 15th birthday, Anthony Baines encouraged him to try the real thing, so he borrowed and taught himself to play an old Buffet French-system instrument. He then borrowed £85 to buy a Heckel bassoon from the London professional Vernon Elliott, and took lessons from him. At the age of 17, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, studying the bassoon with Archie Camden and viola with Cecil Aronowitz; to his great delight, the composer Gordon Jacob taught him harmony. On a visit to Norwich, he picked up four flutes and a pair of bassoons for less than £1; during his first visit to Paris, he discovered 18th-century editions of bassoon music; and so he started collecting. Two years' national service were spent with the RAF central band at Uxbridge. On Waterhouse's return to the RCM, he embarked on an external music degree at London University. He passed the first part, but his schedule with the Philharmonia Orchestra prevented him from taking the finals. "Playing under Cantelli, Toscanini and Furtwängler was inspirational - and the money paid for my first grand piano," he explained. On a Philharmonia tour conducted by Herbert von Karajan, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf told him where to find the best secondhand music shops in Vienna, and he added to his collection. Another great friend and mentor was the composer Gerald Finzi, who asked Waterhouse to help him edit the concerto for bassoon by the 18th-century Coventry composer Capel Bond, and helped get him into print as an editor. On leaving the RCM, he sat next to his teacher, Archie Camden, in the Covent Garden Opera orchestra from 1953 to 1955, before joining the orchestra of Italian-Swiss radio in Lugano (1955-58). During this happy period, he bought his first car, learnt Italian and skiing, explored the art and architecture of the region, and climbed mountains. While taking part in a music competition in Munich, he met an RCM friend, Elisabeth. Two years later, they married. On his return to London, Waterhouse was able to walk straight into the vacant first bassoon position in the London Symphony Orchestra. Here he met the clarinetist Gervase de Peyer, who invited him to join the Melos Ensemble. With them, he recorded all the wind chamber music of Beethoven, and works by Nielsen, Janacek, Poulenc, Schubert and Jean Françaix - the Divertissement for bassoon and strings, which was dedicated to him. His only solo recording was of the long-neglected sonata for bassoon by the Swiss composer Anton Liste (1772-1832). In 1965, he was invited to join the BBC Symphony Orchestra as co-principal (with Geoffrey Gambold). With more time available, he adjudicated, taught (he was professor at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 1966-96), translated German, and edited for Musica Rara, and Universal Edition in Vienna. Together with Henry Skolnick, he founded Bassoon Heritage Edition in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which printed classics in facsimile. In 1972, the BBC allowed Waterhouse to become visiting professor at Indiana University, Bloomington. On his return, he was commissioned to write all the bassoon entries for the New Grove Dictionary of Music. He continued with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for another 10 years, but he began to tire of the "phoney" world of the radio studio. Again, luck intervened: Lyndesay Langwill, the great bassoon expert, made Waterhouse a literary executor. This led to the immense task of preparing a revised edition of Langwill's massive Index of Musical Wind-Instrument Makers. When Langwill died in 1983, Waterhouse inherited all his books and archive material. He soon realised that an entirely new work was needed, requiring a great deal more research. The project took 10 years, during which time Waterhouse visited 12 countries. The many works dedicated to him included Gordon Jacob's Suite for bassoon and string quartet (one of his finest) and Partita for solo bassoon. In addition to his Divertissement, Françaix made Waterhouse the dedicatee of his Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano. The culmination of his work was the building of a library next to the family retreat in Gloucestershire. Completed in July 2000, it houses all his books, manuscripts and instruments. He is survived by Elisabeth, their son Graham, a cellist and composer living in Munich, London-based violinist daughters Lucy and Celia, and a sister and brother. · William Waterhouse, bassoonist, writer and editor, born February 18 1931; died November 5 2007 Mike Duffin, Detmold, Germany.The Times - November 17, 2007 = William Waterhouse = William Waterhouse was best known as a principal bassoonist in London orchestras and chamber groups, but particularly in latter years he emerged as a distinguished scholar and historian of his instrument. His wide range of musical interests developed early. Born in London in 1931, he learnt the piano as a child, sang in a church choir when wartime evacuation took him to Devon, and on return to London began playing the clarinet in amateur orchestras. At 14 he was encouraged by Anthony Baines, a highly individual and versatile enthusiast, to take up the bassoon. Having borrowed enough money to buy his own instrument, he began having lessons from Vernon Elliott. At 17, Waterhouse won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he continued his bassoon studies with Archie Camden, one of the leading players of the day. He also learnt the viola with Cecil Aronowitz and had composition lessons from Gordon Jacob. He resumed his studies there after two years' National Service in the RAF Central Band. Since he looked even younger than his years, he had already caused some surprise among the seasoned professionals with whom he soon began playing. He also confused the principal of the college, Sir George Dyson, who expelled him from the library, where he was poring over some early Mozart editions, and sent him to go and practise his bassoon. He was taken more seriously by the great Mozart scholar Professor E.J.Dent, who respected his questing mind and gave him encouragement. Although forbidden by the college authorities to accept professional engagements, Waterhouse did so on occasions that included concerts conducted by Toscanini and Furtwängler, when he did his best to avoid the eye of Dyson, sitting in the front row. By then playing regularly with the Philharmonia Orchestra, he used foreign tours with it to investigate antiquarian shops and develop his collection of early editions of bassoon music. He also bought early wind instruments when opportunity and funds permitted. Further encouragement came from the composer Gerald Finzi, whose orchestra at Newbury was a nursery for talented young Royal College students and who revived and edited a bassoon concerto by the 18th-century composer Capel Bond for Waterhouse to play. On leaving the Royal College Waterhouse played second bassoon to his teacher Archie Camden at Covent Garden (1953-55) before joining the orchestra of the Italian-Swiss Radio in Lugano (1955-58). He returned to England to become principal bassoon of the London Symphony Orchestra, then in the process of trying to refresh its personnel. A fellow principal was the clarinettist Gervase de Peyer, who invited him to play with the Melos Ensemble. He was soon much in demand as a chamber musician, including with the London Wind Soloists. In 1965 he joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra as co-principal, a position that allowed him more time for teaching (especially at the Royal Northern College of Music from 1966 to 1996), adjudicating, examining theses at Oxford, editing and writing the long and scholarly bassoon article for the New Grove Dictionary of Music. His editions were published by Musica Rara and by Universal Edition in Vienna. He also unearthed and recorded a long-forgotten bassoon sonata by the Swiss composer Anton Liste. Increasingly preferring scholarly research to the demanding life of an orchestral player, Waterhouse was happy to take over from the authority Lyndesay Langwill the preparation of a revision of his Index of Wind Instrument Makers. The task increased when, on Langwill's death in 1983, Waterhouse inherited all his materials, which meant the planning and publication of an entirely new work, The New Langwill Index (1993). This eventually led to the building of a special library and museum next to his house in Gloucestershire. It was completed in 2000, and houses a unique collection of instruments, books and manuscripts. The collection was exhibited at the 1983 Edinburgh Festival, with a catalogue, The Proud Bassoon, that included an historical study of the instrument Bill Waterhouse was for many years an invigorating and much loved figure on the musical scene. His skills as one of the finest bassoonists of his generation were based on brilliant musicianship and on his deep study and knowledge of the instrument, its history and its capabilities, but were also employed to help and stimulate younger musicians. His own playing inspired works written for him by Gordon Jacob and Jean Françaix, among others. He was welcomed and respected, for his scholarship and for his kindling enthusiasm and charm, among orchestral players, museum curators and academics alike. He is survived by his wife, Elisabeth, and a son and two daughters, all of whom are performing musicians. William Waterhouse, bassoonist and scholar, was born on February 18, 1931. He died on November 5, 2007, aged 76 Mike Duffin, Detmold, Germany

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