Ursula Leveaux is a sought-after chamber musician and has been the bassoonist of London’s Nash Ensemble, the resident Ensemble at the Wigmore Hall, since 1997. She is also in demand as performer on period instruments, and in 2011 was appointed Principal Bassoon to the Academy of Ancient Music. She is a prominent orchestral player having held the position of Principal Bassoon with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra from 1987 to 2007. Ursula is frequently invited to appear as guest principal with major orchestras and ensembles in Britain and throughout Europe. A former pupil at Chetham’s School of Music, she furthered her studies with Martin Gatt in London and Brian Pollard in Amsterdam and also studied Baroque bassoon with Danny Bond in The Hague. While still a student in London she was the winner of the LSO Scholarship, and also became a member of the European Union Youth Orchestra working with conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein and Georg Solti.
As well as regular appearances with the SCO, Ursula’s solo work has included concertos with the LSO, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and at the Mostly Mozart Festival at the Barbican in London with the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. In 2011 she performed a Vivaldi Bassoon with the Academy of Ancient Music and Richard Egarr on a tour to the Far East. A regular contributor to BBC’s Radio 3, in 2013 she has played in live broadcasts with the Britten Sinfonia, Magdalena Consort, Academy of Ancient Music, the Nash Ensemble and the Halle Orchestra, and took part in the Chamber Prom at the Cadogan Hall with the Academy of Ancient Music.
Ursula’s CD recordings include the complete chamber music of Poulenc and of Saint-Saëns, the Beethoven Septet and Schubert’s Octet , all with the Nash Ensemble. She can also be heard on the complete recording of Chabrier Songs with Dame Felicity Lott and Graham Johnson. As well as a huge range of orchestral and opera repertoire with the SCO, Ursula has also recorded the Vivaldi Bassoon Concerto in D minor, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ Strathclyde Concerto No 8 for bassoon, which was written especially for her, and the Mozart Bassoon Concerto , released in 2006. Ursula has played in CD recordings of all the Bach Orchestral Suites and the St. John Passion with the Academy of Ancient Music, a disc of Bach Cantatas with the Magdalena Consort and a recording of a Danzi Wind and Piano Quintet with Ensemble F2.
Ursula has given masterclasses at most of the UK music colleges, and as far afield as Toronto and Hong Kong. She has been a member of the senior faculty at Marlboro Music Festival in the US in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and sat in the jury for the 2013 ARD Competition in Munich. When not travelling and performing Ursula lives in the English Lake District with her husband and 8 year old daughter.