Louisville Orchestra bassoonist’s long road back to playing, after woodworking accident

Posted on: June 15, 2015

“Louisville Orchestra principal bassoonist Matthew Karr had a busy day the Saturday before Mother’s Day two years ago,” writes Elizabeth Kramer in Sunday’s (6/14) Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky). After taking a 56-mile bike ride, he returned home “to his woodworking workshop [and] lost control of his table saw… It sliced into four fingers of his left hand…. His wife, Kathy Karr, the orchestra’s principal flutist, who was inside the house, heard her husband scream…. ‘The thumb and index finger—they were the worst. My index finger was broken in two places,’ he said…. ‘The doctor, after he performed the surgery, came out and said to me that he was not sure if Matt would ever play his bassoon again,’ [his wife] said…. The road to recovery and playing again has led Karr to modify eight of the 11 keys on his bassoon to make up for the limited range of movement in his now healed fingers. Karr worked extensively with [Louisville piccolo player Don] Gottlieb and a noted bassoon repair expert, Paul Nordby, in Indianapolis…. Karr began playing with the orchestra again in the fall of 2013.” The article includes a gallery and video.

Posted June 15, 2015