Professional musician begs for return of her £30,000 bassoon stolen from London home

5 December 2019, 17:43 | Updated: 18 September 2023, 11:25

Bassoonist pleads for return of stolen instrument
Bassoonist pleads for return of stolen instrument. Picture: Lonarc Wind Ensemble/YouTube

By Sian Moore

The precious instrument was stolen when Francesca’s north London home was ‘ransacked’ at the end of November.

A former Royal Academy of Music lecturer is begging for the return of her £30,000 bassoon, which was stolen from her north London home on 21 November.

Francesca Carpos has travelled around the world with her Fox 601 bassoon, from performances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to galas in Moscow.

Along with her bassoon, thieves took a television, five laptops, money and all jewellery in the house – including the musician’s wedding and engagement rings.

They also took a black plastic bassoon Ms Carpos uses to teach with.

Read more: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic cellist begs for return of ‘soulmate’ instrument >

“The instruments are very personal. Instruments take a long time to know and become like your best friend,” Francesca told the Evening Standard. “When you lose it, it is a terrific loss, it really is like a bereavement.

“All I want is the bassoon back,” she continued. “I don’t even think they would get much money for it and I don’t think they’ll find it very easy to sell.”

Read more: Stolen £250,000 violin returned to owner in a Waitrose car park >

Carpos added the pain of losing her instrument is worse than losing her wedding and engagement rings, which she doesn’t wear often as they hinder her playing.

The stolen bassoon is made from Canadian maple wood, which gives the instrument a unique ‘colour and tiger stripe’.

A police spokesman told the Evening Standard: “We are investigating – no arrests yet.”

Francesca is currently borrowing a bassoon from Howarth of London woodwind instrument makers – but says nothing can replace her own instrument.