Ronan Whittern is a bassoon player and conductor specialising in the performance of new music. Originally from Ireland, he now lives and freelances in Gent, Belgium.
In 2019, Ronan graduated from the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA) in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where he spent a year studying intensely the literature and performance practice of contemporary music under the tutelage of members of the Ensemble Modern. While a member of IEMA, he had the opportunity to perform at festivals throughout Europe, including Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (Germany), Gaudeamus Muziekweek (Netherlands), and 180 Degrees Festival and Laboratory for innovative Art Sofia (Bulgaria).
In 2018, he completed his Masters studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow with David Hubbard and Peter Whelan, where he also completed his undergraduate studies. From 2010-12 he studied at Chetham’s School of Music, Manchester, with Anthea Wood and Steve Magee.
Ronan has performed at festivals such as Impuls Festival, and Klangspuren Schwaz, and has taken part in masterclasses with Pascal Gallois, Sarah Watts, Andrea de Flammeneis, and Amy Harman. Ronan has performed with the Ensemble Modern, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and worked under such conductors as Lucas Vis, Ilan Volkov, Vimbayi Kaziboni, Donald Runnicles, and Thomas Dausgaard. He has had the opportunity to work with composers such as Sir George Benjamin, Sir James MacMillan, Enno Poppe, Bernard Gander, Stefan Prins, and Heiner Goebbels as well as with many young composers. Ronan is a founding member and bassoonist of Trio Arcania, a Glasgow-based award-winning reed trio, who work regularly with young composers to commission new works.
He is also a member of the Nevis Ensemble, with whom he has performed in venues all over Scotland, and recently took part in the premiere of a new work for solo bassoon commissioned by the Nevis Ensemble, which was broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland in 2020.