Václav Vonášek,

Contra Bassoon

(photo: Sebastian Hänel)

Born in Strakonice (Czech Republic)

Member since 2016-08-24


1st Prize of the International Competition “Prague Spring” (2009), 3rd Prize of the ARD International Music Competition, Munich (2008), 3rd Prize of the Internationalen Instrumentalwettbewerb Markneukirchen (2006), (2005), 1st Prize of the International competition for Oboe and Bassoon in Lodz, Poland (2005), 1st Priz of the Competion of the International Double Reed Society in Melbourne

“At my first concert with the Berliner Philharmoniker, I was incredibly excited and nervous: Would I be able to adapt myself to the orchestra? But then I became fascinated by the way they made music: everyone plays and feels along with everyone else, and I thought, a good musician must always keep his eyes, ears and heart open! Then everything becomes so much easier... “

Václav Vonášek actually wanted to be a clarinettist. But at the conservatory in Pilsen, there were too few bassoonists, so he chose the deep-toned woodwind instrument. Luckily for him! Because since then, he has been thrilled every day by its sound. He discovered his love for the contrabassoon, the deepest-sounding instrument of the orchestra. After studying in Pilsen, he continued his studies under František Herman and Jiří Seidl at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, and under Andrea de Flammineis and Martin Gatt at the Royal College of Music in London. He also attended master classes given by Dag Jensen, Klaus Thunemann and Gábor Janota. In 2011, Václav Vonášek was awarded his doctorate for his thesis on works for unaccompanied bassoon and characteristics of their performance.

A winner of numerous competitions, including the ARD International Music Competition and the Prague Spring International Music Festival, he gained his first orchestral experience in the theatre orchestra in Pilsen and the Karlovy Vary Symphony Orchestra, and as a substitute with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Bayerisches Staatsorchester and the Solistes Européens Luxembourg. Following positions as first bassoonist with the Prague Philharmonia and as second bassoonist and contrabassoonist with the Czech Philharmonic, he joined the Berliner Philharmoniker in March 2016.

Václav Vonášek is a member of the Arundo Quartet and the PhilHarmonia Octet, with whom he – among other things – has premiered and recorded his own arrangements (Bach, Dvořák, Mahler). When the bassoonist is not dedicating himself to music or building reeds for his instrument, he likes to go hiking and – together with his children – go on digital scavenger hunts (geocaching). He is also a keen inline skater and crown cork collector.