Guilhaume - profile

Guilhaume Santana


When and where was your first concert with the MCO?

My very first project with MCO was with Mozart’s Magic Flute with Abbado, in 2005, in Reggio Emilia. I felt deeply impressed (maybe even scared!) with how beautiful an orchestral sound could be in Mozart.

What’s the best thing about playing with the MCO?

The fact that you can tell people you’re officially “working”, but actually you’re meeting and making music with friends... how many people could say so??

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

The very moment before playing a solo: the tension, loneliness, timeless feeling...

What is the best thing about being a musician?

Definitely, the very moment before playing a solo!

The most inspiring composer:

Guillaume Lekeu, a Belgian composer who died at 24, pupil of Franck and D’Indy; listen especially to the 3rd movement of the Cello Sonata, written at age 17, or the violin sonata, ordered by Eugene Ysaÿe... he could have been one of the greatest composers.


Born in Toulouse, the French-Chilean bassoonist Guilhaume Santana studied in Hannover and at the Karajan Academy in Berlin. He was awarded the Mendelssohn Prize of the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz in 2005.

Guilhaume has been, for over 10 years, Principal Bassoon of the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Orchestra Mozart, and Lucerne Festival Orchestra. He is also a regular guest of leading orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam, and Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

As a soloist, Guilhaume has appeared with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra Mozart, Deutsche Radio Philharmonie, Sinfonia Varsovia, Münchner Symphoniker, Budapest Radio Orchestra, and Kurpfälzisches Kammerorchester Mannheim, under the baton of Claudio Abbado, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, and Karel Mark Chichon. He has recorded for the labels Deutsche Grammophon and Claves.

Guilhaume is a regular player of the Berliner Barock Solisten and the ]W[ Ensemble, with his colleagues Jose Vicente Castelló and Vicente Alberola. He also appears with chamber music partners such as Emanuel Ax, Till Fellner, and Alexander Lonquich, as well as Sabine Meyer and her wind ensemble.

Guilhaume Santana holds a professorship for bassoon and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Saarbrücken/Germany.