Ashby Mayes is an undergraduate bassoonist at the Royal College of Music where he is generously supported by the Douglas and Hilda Simmonds Award. He studies with Joost Bosdijk and Sarah Burnett and has played in masterclasses with Julie Price and Giorgio Madolesi. Ashby is supported by Michael Attenborough through the Richard Attenborough Trust, as well as the Golden Charitable Trust. He is also proud to be sponsored by the Royal Philharmonic Society and is grateful for his support from Talent Unlimited. He began studying the bassoon with Pete Harrison at the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music aged 12, before gaining a full scholarship to study at Wells Cathedral School in 2015.
Ashby was a finalist in the Future Talent Coombs Scholarship competition, and is an AYM award holder. He was a Leverhulme Arts Scholar at the National Youth Wind Orchestra, with whom he played for 5 years being Principal bassoon for four years, and was Leader of the 2018 Orchestra. He has taken part in two LSO On Track schemes, with one performing with the LSO in the 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. Ashby has also taken part in a sit in session with the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony under Duncan Ward. Ashby has toured Spain, Poland and Germany; as well as Holland with his quintet at WCS, and Switzerland with NYWO. Ashby played at the prestigious Lucerne Festival in Summer 2018.
As a soloist, Ashby premiered a solo work by Darren Bloom at St John’s Smith Square in London and performed Vivaldi’s G minor Bassoon Concerto RV495 at Wells Cathedral School. He has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Barbican, Symphony Hall (Birmingham), the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and the KKL Luzern. He has also recorded at Abbey Road Studios and RAF Northolt Studios. He has performed under the baton of Sir Colin Davies, Edward Gardner, Martynn Brabbins and Jac van Steen. Ashby is Chairman of the Watford Youth Sinfonia; a joint-led youth orchestra, and plays in other student-led orchestras such as the Brio Symphony Orchestra, the East London Symphony Orchestra and the Wyatt Sinfonia, with whom he will be playing the Weber Bassoon Concerto in January 2019. Ashby is passionate about many genres of music and intends to pursue a career in classical bassoon.