International Double Reed Society
The International Double Reed Society (IDRS), located in Finksburg, Maryland, is an organization that promotes the interests of double reed players, instrument manufacturers and enthusiasts. Services provided by the IDRS include an international oboe and bassoon competition, an annual conference, member directory, a library, information about grants, and publications, such as the society's own journal, The Double Reed.
The IDRS grew out of a 1969 newsletter for bassoonists compiled by Gerald Corey. Professor Lewis Hugh Cooper at the University of Michigan and Alan Fox, president of bassoon manufacturer Fox Products, founded a “double reed club” to promote opportunities for double reed players. Together with Corey, they organized a meeting during the December 1971 meeting of the Mid-Western Band Masters convention, and the first annual conference of the double reed society assembled in August 1972 at the University of Michigan.
The IDRS Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox International Competition for oboists and bassoonists takes place every year during the society's annual conference, with a first prize of $8,000, second prize $3,000, and $1,000 for other finalists. Five finalists are selected to compete. Oboists or bassoonists who have not yet reached their 31st birthday by the date of the final round of the competition are eligible to enter. The competition was founded in 1979 and dedicated to the memory of master oboist Fernand Gillet, solo oboist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1925 to 1946; and master bassoonist Hugo Fox, principal bassoonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1922 to 1949. The competition alternates between bassoon and oboe each year.
The IDRS Young Artist Competition for oboists and bassoonists takes place every year during the society's annual conference for the discordant instruments of the Gillet-Fox Competition, with a first prize of $2,000, a second prize of $1,000, and a third prize of $500. Three finalists are selected to compete. Oboists or bassoonists who have not yet reached their 22nd birthday by the date of the final round of the competition are eligible to enter. The competition was founded in 2008, with the first competition being for oboe.
The Meg Quigley Vivaldi Competition was founded by Nicolasa Kuster, principal bassoonist in the Wichita Symphony in 2005 and Kristin Wolfe Jensen, bassoon professor at University of Texas at Austin. It is open to young women bassoonists from North and South America and is held concurrently with the IDRS conference every other year. Namesakes for the competition are Italian Baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi, who taught music at the Ospedale della Pietà, a girls' orphanage in Venice, and Meg Quigley, a philanthropist from California who supported women's issues and institutions. Prizes in the inaugural year included: first place, $9,000 plus performance opportunities; second place, $6,000; and $3,000 for third place.