Press Quotes

Selection of Press Quotes:

“ …the evening other guest was the amazing bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann…dynamic…gripping…Mr. Kuuskmann played stunningly…”
Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times

“…Martin Kuuskmann offered virtuoso technique and superhuman breath control in (L.Berio) Sequenza XII.”
Steve Smith, The New York Times

“…bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann stole the show.”
The Australian Post

“Martin Kuuskmann’s performance of Sequenza 12 for bassoon left me wondering why that instrument has not long since replaced the electric guitar in the bedroom’s of disaffected teenagers around the globe. Playing from memory and holding his instrument without the aid of a support strap he laid down a 22-minute industrial pipeline of sliding, distortion-laden multiphonics that gave me the vivid impression of a Jimi Hendrix guitar solo emerging from one of Anselm Kiefer’s collapsed concrete labyrinths. Using nothing but axe, air and embouchure Kuuskmann sent 40 years of guitar geekery back to the stone age.”
Sequenza21

“…listening to Martin Kuuskmann’s recital at the Lohisoitto Festival we were left wondering if it is at all possible to play the bassoon in a more virtuoso manner . Immediately at the opening number of J.S.Bach Partita BWV1013 our attention was captivated by the cleanness of the lines, his sincere musicianship and unbelievable technique….all that was unified with Kuuskmann’s brilliant use of circular breathing creating endless phrases. The Partita floated along like a mountain stream …only in a hands of a master can the Partita be played so brilliantly.”
“ …Kuuskmann’s performance of the Berio Sequenza XII was literally from the land of the wizards…all”
Kymensanomat, Finland

“…The musicians are equally alert to the dark, mischievous corners of the (Chesky) Bassoon Concerto, which explores the solo instruments extremes of range and character. In the last movement, the bassoon goes happily berserk to the rhythms clapped by the orchestra players. Martin Kuuskmann wails beautifully while he isn’t taking the bassoon on wild Cheskian rides…”
Gramophone

“…the bassoon has yet to find its Chopin: that composer whose complete dedication to the instrument and innate musicality succeed in unlocking the instrument’s true potential. Once this composer shows up, however, I’d suggest they get a hold of Mr. Kuuskmann, who has the unstoppable combination of charisma and virtuosity that can make even mediocre music sound masterful.”
Sequenza 21

“…For bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann nothing is impossible.”
Kainuun Sanomat, Finland

“Bassoonist Martin Kuuskmann is a genuine superstar…His virtuosity is stunning and his lungs must be the size of the Goodyear blimp, despite his slender frame…”
Entertainment News North-West

“…from growling to grunting to spinning out long, tender lines…Kuuskmann gave a spectacular performance.”
Baltimore Sun

“…Immediately from the very first note it was clear the concert had a right title – every moment in Kuuskmann’s playing was full of energy, emotion, suspense. Just to hear the timbre of his bassoon is worth the experience!
…Haydn and Mozart were performed with an excellent sense of style, bassoon was everywhere with maximum necessary tension…
“Song to a Distant Friend” is like a meditation ancient force, with the use of quarter tones, multiphonics, glissandi, jazz-rock like passages in where bassoon voice and timbre get more and more colors added to its arsenal. Nothing will stop a great master from expressing his instrument. The same applies for Kuuskmann, his bassoon and his most expressive sound. The latter was deepest felt in the “Song to a Distant Friend” – sometimes the bassoon sounded saxophone-like, sometimes like an electric guitar…this was merely a small slice in this musicians creativeness in expressing himself.”
Sirp, Estonia

“Martin Kuuskmann shows without question that there is very little that he can’t do on the bassoon. His technique and virtuosity are remarkable throughout – from double tonguing to circular breathing to multiphonics to incredible high notes to you-name-it, he does it all! ”
International Double Reed Society Magazine

“…The “Concerto for Orchestra” creates “a big rhythm machine”, awesome at times, as is Kuuskmann’s solo virtuosity in the Stravinsky-to-Coltrane bassoon concerto.”
Hi-Fi News

“…an excellent performance of Erkki-Sven Tüür’s bassoon concerto… Kuuskmann’s playing was true heaven.”
Västerbottens Folkblad, Sweden

“…Martin Kuuskmann’s brilliant playing and technique shine through crystal clear…”
International Double Reed Society Magazine

“…wild, intense bassoonist. Kuuskmann had the audience in the palm of his hand.”
Västerbottens-Kuriren, Sweden

“…solo bassoon takes the lead…Dead Elvis leaps off the page like the King himself.”
Gramophone

“…A highlight was Michael Daugherty’s “Dead Elvis,” a joyously raucous piece scored for squawking brass and winds, rock drums and amplified string bass. It featured the ensemble’s young bassoonist, Martin Kuuskmann, decked out like Elvis, prancing about the floor of the pub in glittery Las Vegas duds.”
The New York Times

“…I enjoyed the bassoon-playing Elvis (Kuuskmann) so much that I yelled like a rock fan and had to be shushed by my table-mate”
Music Notes by Dave Bunker, President, Association of Personnel in Public Radio

“…I wrote my bassoon concerto for him in 1997, and it is no exaggeration to say that he is probably the only bassoonist in the United States who can play that piece. His musical expression has an extraordinary depth and maturity… His technical ability is literally unrivaled in anything that I have seen or heard… his sound quality is that of a real soloist– ranging from the sweetest quiet phrasing to an astonishing level of power and force… he has the most dazzling virtuoso technique around…”
composer Chris Theofanidis, Ph.D Yale University,
winner of the Master Prize, Prix du Rome, Barlow Prize, Guggenheim Fellowship, Fulbright Fellowship. Professor of Composition at Yale University School of Music

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