Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
Bram Van Sambeek
Bassoon
BBT Award 2011

Bram Van Sambeek - Biography

Bram van Sambeek (1980) was the first bassoonist ever to receive the highest Dutch Cultural Award in 30 years: The Dutch Music Prize.

In 2011 he won a Borletti Buitoni Trust Award, and recently he has been admitted to The Chamber Music Society Two programme of New York’s Lincoln Center.  From 2002 until 2011 Bram was Principal Bassoonist of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra; since 2009 he has been teaching the bassoon at the Codarts Conservatory in Rotterdam. He plays regularly as a Guest Principal with, among others, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Focussing mainly on chamber music, Bram is a member of the Orlando Quintet, and made his Amsterdam Concertgebouw debut in 2003.

He is a regular guest at festivals like the Delft Chamber Music Festival, Orlando Festival, West Cork Chamber Music Festival and the Oxford Chamber Music Festival. Bram van Sambeek performs regularly as a soloist with orchestras such as the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Sinfonia Rotterdam and Georgian Sinfonietta. Bram decided to start playing the bassoon when he was ten years old, beginning his studies with Fred Gaasterland and continuing later with Joep Terwey and Johan Steinmann at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. After his graduation, he took private lessons with Gustavo Núñez. In an interview about Bram Valery Gergiev remarked: “…all in all a combination of being artistically involved, motivated and being gifted, being a very nice person, and also being a little bit unusual!”

In March 2012 Brilliant Classics released his second CD Bassoon-Kaleidoscope full of different chamber music, including a rock song, and in the coming seasons he will perform  the new bassoon concertos by Sebastian Fagerlund and Kalevi Aho together with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra. Bram will also record these works for the BIS label.

Future engagements include: concertos with Gothenborg Symphony Orchestra, Oulu Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonie Zuid Nederland and many more.

In chamber music Bram will return to festivals such as Lockenhaus, Delft Chamber Music, Kempten and RUSK in Finland.

Bram has also been offered a “wildcard” at the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, where he will give several concerts in the 14/15 season.


The BBT Trust is helping me very much with my ambition to make my professional life one big music festival. They possess great expertise and networks to help me, but even more importantly I see a sincere effort to grasp my specific needs. These characteristics make sure that the projects we do together are unique creative processes from the very start.

Bram van Sambeek, Rein Langeveld

Photographs by Marco Borggreve