Patrick Bolton

Award: Postgraduate Award

Year: 2018

Genre: Classical

Instrument/voice type: Bassoon

Location: Royal Academy of Music


Having graduated with a first-class degree in music from Christ Church, Oxford, Patrick is currently a postgraduate student at the Royal Academy of Music studying bassoon with Robin O’Neill and Jonathan Davies, and contrabassoon with Simon Estell. His place is generously supported by Help Musicians UK, the Countess of Munster Trust, and the Isabel May Walton Scholarship.


Since commencing study at the Academy, Patrick has performed with the Royal Academy Symphonic Winds in Duke’s Hall, as well as at the William Alwyn Festival in Blytheburgh, Suffolk. He has worked with the new professional orchestra SÓN, based in his hometown of Southampton, as well as the London Mahler Orchestra.


Whilst a student at Christ Church, Patrick explored a wide variety of repertoire, both academically and in performance, from the music of Georg Muffat with period instrument group The Bate Players, to playing for Tristan Murail in a workshop of his music as an Ensemble ISIS New Music Scholar. Moreover, as principal bassoon of the Oxford University Orchestra, Patrick had the privilege of working with acclaimed conductors such as Daniel Harding, Natalia Luis-Bassa, and Jamie Phillips. He has also taken part in several operatic projects during his time in Oxford, including Mozart’s Così fan tutte and The Marriage of Figaro, as well as Britten’s Rape of Lucretia and Albert Herring. Torn between a career in academia or as an orchestral musician, Patrick left Oxford with a first-class degree and the Clifford Smith Prize for Music.


Patrick has performed across Europe in recent years. In 2016 he was invited to play for a production of La Bohème with Dresden-based opera company Szene.12. The following year, he was appointed a Joan Conway Scholar for Performance at the University of Oxford through which he attended Summacademy Voksenåsen in Oslo, where he studied with bassoonists Fredrik Ekdahl, Joost Bostdijk, and Audun Halvorsen. During the same summer, he toured the alps with the recently renamed Orchestra for the Earth performing Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 at the composer’s summer retreats. In 2019 he will make his concerto debut with the same ensemble in London.


Patrick is also a passionate choral singer, and alumnus of Schola Cantorum of Oxford with whom he performed at the Beijing international Chorus Festival 2018. He has also sung with the choirs of Christ Church, New College, Magdalen, and many others. Internationally he has also visited Taiwan as a member of the Queen’s College Chapel Choir tour to the island in 2017.