Frode Cato Carlsen

Bassoon Contrabassoon

− My parents hardly managed to hold me back when the local school band passed by.

Frode Cato Carlsen

Bassoon player Frode Carlsen grew up in Ålesund and got interested in music very early:

− My parents hardly managed to hold me back when the local school band passed by, he says.

− I joined the band as soon as I was old enough - at ten years old.

It was a rare thing to have a bassoon in the bands

Aspøy School Band in Ålesund had at that time a conductor by the name of Arild Rønnestad.

− He was very involved, and was the reason that the bassoon became my instrument. In the early 1970s it was a rare thing to have a bassoon in the bands, probably as rare as it is today, but Arild wanted to include unusual instruments like oboe, bassoon and horn in his school band.

After a while, Frode was also asked to play in an orchestra in his home town.

− Ålesund Symphony Orchestra and the Youth Orchestra in my hometown were my way in to symphonic music. My teacher Inge Fjørtoft, who conducted the Youth Orchestra and played the viola in “The Symph” was an important person for me at the time. It was also great that the long-standing concertmaster of the Oslo Philharmonic, Ernst Glaser, came to Ålesund to be Music Director and conductor for the orchestra just around the time when I joined as a bassoon player.

− An incredible time followed

Frode managed to try his luck in some other fields before becoming a musician:

− After a few years in the building industry, and even more years in the transport industry, I started my music education at Østlandet´s Music Conservatory with the Philharmonic´s Torleiv Nedberg as my bassoon teacher. Eirik Birkeland from the Philharmonic took over eventually as a teacher and taught me until I graduated four years later.

After his studies, Frode worked for two years as a substitute in the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, before he was engaged by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in 1989.

− An incredible time followed with fantastic conductors, concerts, tours and not least my colleagues, who were important sources of inspiration week after week, year after year. I especially want to thank Per Hannisdal, Eirik Birkeland, Knut Bjærke, Linn Cecilie Ringstad and Roman Reznik for excellent collaboration and exquisite interplay for almost 27 years.