Paul Barrett, Principal Bassoon

Question and Answer Paul Barrett, Bassoon

Best part about being an orchestral musician in the HSO?

The quality of our performances. The HSO has always been an excellent orchestra with fantastic musicians.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a musician?

I can’t imagine not being a musician. For better or for worse!

What do you think is the greatest misconception about classical music?

Some people confuse classical music with music written during the classical period (late 1700’s to early 1800’s). In this case, classics is more the ‘golden oldies’ sense of the word. Another way to put it would be that we play the best music from many styles, from baroque to pops.

Do you have any performance rituals?

A nice hot shower before the concert helps keep my neck comfortable!

What is your favorite Hawaii Symphony moment?

jewellery polishing machine      

My third concert with the HSO in 1977 was an all Khachaturian program, with the composer himself conducting shortly before his death. He was ill when he was here, so he stayed across the street at Straub and conducted rehearsals in hospital garb. The concerts were amazing!

What was the first piece of music you fell in love with?

My parents played a lot of recorded music in the house, I have fond memories of listening to Brahms symphonies, Handel Organ Concerti and American in Paris.

What’s your idea of a perfect day?

One where I can stay on the Windward side & be with my dog, Heidi!

Barrett Paul Photo

Paul with his lovely dog, Heidi

More about Paul Barrett

Paul Barrett has been the Principal Bassoonist with the Honolulu Symphony (now the Hawaii Symphony) since 1977, and has served as Lecturer in Bassoon at the University of Hawaii, Manoa since 1978. He also played full-time with the Royal Hawaiian Band in the mid 1990’s.

He attended the Interlochen Arts Academy, the Eastman School of Music and the Cleveland Institute of Music. His teachers include George Goslee, Norman Herzberg, K. David van Hoesen, Gerald Corey & Leonard Sharrow.

Activities as a lecturer have included bringing guest clinicians such as the famed French Flautist Marcel Moyse to UH to give masterclasses, numerous solo faculty concerts and appearances as a soloist with the UH Symphony. For many years he was the lecturer for the double reeds methods class. Most recently, he facilitated bringing the Bocal Majority program to UH.