About Laurence Perkins
Bassoonist Laurence Perkins is a familiar figure to audiences in the North of England. The long-time principal bassoonist of the Manchester Camerata, he is also an internationally noted soloist and chamber player.
Perkins was born in 1954 in Britain's Lancashire County. He attended the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, studying with Charles Cracknell, principal bassoonist of the city's Hallé Orchestra, and while still a student, in 1974, he was named principal bassoonist with the new Manchester Camerata; he resigned from this post in 2017. Perkins maintains a busy recital schedule around the UK and continental Europe, appearing among other places at such top-rank venues as London's Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room. His concerto appearances include those with the English Chamber Orchestra and various ensembles on the continent. Perkins' international bookings include those in France, the Czech Republic, and Hong Kong. He is a familiar figure to British radio listeners, having performed on both the BBC3 and Classic FM networks. In addition to ensemble work, Perkins has made several solo recordings of a humorous cast on the Hyperion label, beginning with 1982's L'après-midi d'un dinosaur. In 2002, he released an album of bassoon concertos by Mozart, Michael Haydn, Carl Stamitz, and Carl Maria von Weber. His 2004 album, The Playful Pachyderm, a collection of bassoon-and-orchestra miniatures, earned critical praise. With clarinetist Sarah Watts and pianist Martin Roscoe, Perkins released The Princess and the Bear, in 2019, featuring a newly revived work, the Duo-Concertino for clarinet, bassoon, and orchestra, by Richard Strauss. His album As far as the eye can see... combined his passions for music and landscape photography, and included solo bassoon works written for the occasion by David Bedford and Robin Walker; other composers who have written for Perkins include Richard Rodney Bennett and Paul Reade. Perkins has been active as a bassoon tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music and the University of York and has given masterclasses in the cities of Minsk, Lvov, and Kiev. He operates "Wind Serenades," a series of courses for amateur wind players in the U.K., and he plays the bassoon at musical sessions held for cancer patients.