Donna Agrell


Started in
Finished PhD in
Musician type
Host institution
Leiden University
Personal website
Switzerland United States
Donna Agrell

Donna Agrell began her musical studies at the Universitiy of Alaska and later, the University of Wisconsin, in Madison. Continuing in Europe, she had master classes with the Danzi Quintet and Brian Pollard, and after attending the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, completed her bassoon studies at the Musik-Akademie Basel, in Switzerland.

In 1980, she became a member of Sigiswald Kuijken’s orchestra, La Petite Bande, where she performed and recorded extensively during the ten years she spent in that ensemble. Donna Agrell has been a member of the Orchestra of the 18th century since it was founded in 1981 by Frans Brüggen, and in 1990, she also became principal bassoonist of the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Recordings with these orchestras, including the Mozart bassoon concerto in 2006, number close to 100.

She has participated in concerts and recordings with many other period instrument orchestras and ensembles, such as Bach Collegium Japan, Orchestra Classica Libera, Mozart Academy Amsterdam and Anima Eterna, working with Gustav Leonhardt, Roger Norrington, Philippe Herreweghe, Trevor Pinnock, Simon Rattle, Masaaki Suzuki, Nicholas McGegan, Rene Jacobs, Jos van Immerseel, Thomas Hengelbrock, Kent Nagano, and others.

In addition to her present positions at the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, and La Schola Cantorum Basiliensis, she has also taught at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Freiburg Hochschule, and international masterclasses and workshops in the USA, Europe, Asia, South America and Australia.    

Her docARTES doctoral defense took place on December 8, 2015 at Leiden University.