Saturday, September 1, 2012


We started our tour in Edinburgh, Scotland.  As usual, we have a free day prior to travel to get organized.  Since Melinda was joining me for the week, we decided to use the day to travel, giving us some free time in Scotland.  We rented a room in the Glengarry Castle Hotel for a couple of nights.

It is on Loch Oich in the middle of the Highlands.  The Hotel is a former Victorian era manor house with all of the grace and charm of that time still intact.  Above is a view of Loch Oich at sunset.

We did some really fun things during those two days off including touring the Dalwhinnie Distillery, walking around the ruins of Urquhart Castle

 and cruising on Loch Ness.

No, there wasn't a real sighting. . . .

After two days it was time to return the rental car to Edinburgh airport.  I really enjoyed driving on the "wrong side" of the street on those narrow, twisting country roads. The rotaries were especially challenging.

We checked into our Edinburgh hotel right across from Usher Hall where we played two concerts as part of the Edinburgh Festival.

We made a special trip to Canongate Kirk which is a small church at the bottom of the Royal Mile.  A trip to this church is of special interest to bassoonists because two bassoon players are buried and memorialized for their bassoon playing in the church's cemetery.

One, John Frederick Lampe, was known as Handel's favorite bassoonist.  Here is what the church's guidebook has to say about him:

Next to him is a more recent memorial to a bassoonist who died in 2003.  His name was Christopher Robson.  He performed frequently in the church.  He must have been very special for they buried him right next to Lampe in the old cemetary.

Here are the two together.


  1. It is with sadness as I read your post from Scotland. Chris Robson and I were house mates when we performed together in Johannesburg. I was curious as to what become of Chris when I ran into an article explaining how he was killed a paragliding accident in '03. Tragic.. I also ran into your post during my search this morning. Chris was wonderful and after all these years I have not forgotten him. I remember after concerts we would sometimes race our new Alpha Romeo's in town during the early morning hours. I could never beat him. I am certain he is missed by all that had the good fortune to know him. On a ligher topic and coincidentally, my wife is adjunct professor of Bassoon at Oregon State University and an Oberlin grad. She was also the first woman bassoonist to perform in Berlin with v. Karajan (a few years back) for a bit of bassoon history. cheers - Kevin

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