Principal Contra-Bassoonist Dominic Morgan has been a familiar presence in the LSO Bassoon section since 1994, and today we wave goodbye as he retires from the orchestra. We asked Principal Bassoon Rachel Gough to pen a tribute to her colleague.
"Never one to relish attention, Dominic Morgan has been a towering presence in the LSO for over 25 years, the rich dark tones of his contra bassoon underpinning the woodwind section.
New colleagues have sometimes initially expressed surprise that the contra even possesses the possibility of the mellifluous beauty which Dominic generates unfailingly every time he plays. Both his attention to detail and sense of perfectionism have been inspirational. Those beautifully phrased solos in Mahler 9, Ravel Ma Mere l’oye and Shostakovich 5 were there for all to hear, apparently effortlessly delivered. But perhaps the moments that remain most impressive have been those constant contributions which have helped build the LSO sound from the bass up, as it should be!
Aside from his musical exploits, Dominic has been a stalwart amongst the cycling brigade of LSO, donning lycra and helmet to complete insane feats of athleticism and endurance up and down the mountains of whichever country we happen to be touring. Or if it’s flat, round and about, just very fast. And all of this with plenty of time to prepare for an immaculate delivery of his contra part in the evening.
Dominic, it has been a pleasure to listen to your gorgeous playing over the years. We wish you all the very best in your new ventures."
Growing up in North London, Dominic Morgan studied the bassoon with Martin Gatt who, at that time, was Principal Bassoon of the LSO. He went on to study at the Royal Northern College of Music with William Waterhouse, also an ex-Principal Bassoon of the LSO.
After freelancing successfully for a number of years, Dominic was appointed Sub-Principal Bassoon of the English National Opera, a position he held until joining the LSO, becoming a Member in 1994.