Thomas Dulfer Bassoon

My story
'Thomas succeeds in covering the full musical spectrum and shows his unique qualities as a performer'


Thomas Dulfer graduated his bachelor of music with a 10/10 with distinction from the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and was awarded a prize for best exam of the year. Currently Thomas is continuing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Tans Köln with Professor Bram van Sambeek. In 2019 Thomas was the Young Artist in Residence of the Dutch National Youth Orchestra where he received a carte blanche to create 5 unique projects which reached from a solo recital to a multidisciplinary opera about Bluebeard’s Castle. 

Besides Thomas’s passion for the bassoon, he has always been interested in the human body. In 2015 he completed his bachelor in biomedical sciences at Amsterdam University College and is currently finishing his master in Cardiovascular Research at the Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam. During his residency at the Dutch National Youth Orchestra Thomas has combined these two passions and created the solo program “Heartbeat” where his heartbeat and the bassoon come together. “Heartbeat” is one of the examples that shows that Thomas likes to think out of the box and likes to create new programs that push the boundaries of classical music. During his residency with the Dutch National Youth Orchestra Thomas also created “Saloon Night” where classical music, jazz, and improvisation all came together. 

Thomas has played with Het Balletorkest, Het Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Dutch Wind Ensemble), Noord Nederlands Orkest, Neue Philharmony Westfalen, and various chamber music ensembles. From 2014 until 2016 Thomas was part of the Jong Nederlands Blazers Ensemble (Young Dutch Wind Ensemble, the academy of the Dutch Wind Ensemble, NBE). Thomas was a member of the National Youth Orchestra (NJO) from 2014 till 2019.

Thomas has played solo in 2019 with the Dutch National Youth Orchestra where he played the bassoon concerto RV495 from A. Vivaldi. In 2016 he played the Vanhall duo bassoon concerto in June 2016 with the Goois Sympony Orchestra (GSO). Thomas has played the bassoon concerto from C. M. Weber in 2015 and 2014 with Royal Symphony Orchestra Cecilia, Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands, and Symfonia Youngh Twente.

Competitions and Awards
  • September 2019 - ARD competition – first round
  • November 2018 - BNG muziekkprijs from the BNG Cultuurfonds
  • July 2018 - Young Talent award from Prins Bernhard Cultuur Fonds
  • July 2018 -  Medaille for best final exam at the Royal conservatory of The Hague
  • May 2017 - Competition for Professionals of the FagotNetwerk - Third Prize
  • February 2017 - Grachtenfestival pitch contest
  • September 2014 - Classic Young Master Award
  • October 2013 - Bassoon competition of the FagotNetwerk - First Prize Cat. C
  • March 2013 - Princes Christina Concours - First prize at the regional final
Palpitations – solo fagot
Thomas Dulfer - Palpitations

Palpitations is filled with music that literally makes my heart beat faster. In this program I have combined my two passions for the heart and the bassoon.


With the use of pieces that are literally inspired by my own heartbeat such as the piece "Heart SOLO: where I play together with my live heartbeat and show what happens to the heart when you play the bassoon. Besides my own heartbeat I also use the heartbeats of members of the audience in my new composition "Symphony of Hearts" where these heartbeats are translated into music.

Besides the literal translation of the heartbeat in this program, Palpitations also shows what makes my heart skip a beat, such as the one of the first pieces written for bassoon "Sacra Partitura" from Böddecker or "November 22" from Azmeh which shows the singing capabilities of the bassoon.

The Combination between the pieces about the heart, the pieces that are close to my heart, together with the help of technique such as effect pedals and heart rate monitors, makes Palpitations a very personal and original program whit the bassoon in the spot light.

Saloon Night
Thomas Dulfer - Sihoo Kim

Saloon Night is one of the programs I developed during my artist in residency at the National Youth Orchestra where I wanted to combine my love for bassoon and string quartet with improvisation and different styles such as classical and jazz.

To make this crossover of styles possible I collaborated with jazz saxophonist Kika Spranger and four young string players: Tim Brackman (violin), Sophia Prodanova (violin), Elisa Karen Tavenier (viola), and Nathan Giorgetti (cello). The Saloon Night is truly a fun night where all rules are abandoned and every concert is adjusted to the atmosphere of that moment.

Thomas meets Gubaidulina
Thomas Dulfer

One of my favorite composers is Sofia Gubaidulina, and last summer I was able to realize my dream by performing all three pieces with bassoon from Gubaidulina in one concert.

This program contains the Duo sonata, Quasi Hoquetes, and the bassoon Concerto. Gubaidulina is able to show all the possibilities and the complete range of the bassoon. This concert was performed together with lightartist Teus van der Stelt. The light art combined with the music of Gubaidulina transports you to a different world.

This program was realized in collaboration with the Dutch National Youth Orchestra.


Den Bosch


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