Bassoon courses and projects

Weber Bassoon Concerto

Celebrate the 200th birthday of this great masterpiece in a unique afternoon event in central London on Wednesday 3rd August 2022

Weber's manuscript dated 3 August 1822
Weber's manuscript dated 3 August 1822
Amy Thompson and Laurence Perkins
Amy Thompson and Laurence Perkins

Bring your bassoon and join in the fun!

Come and celebrate one of the greatest of all bassoon concertos (completed by Weber on 3rd August 1822), and play it in an afternoon session in central London in a new version by Laurence Perkins entirely for bassoons (including contrabassoon of course!) 

Ensemble parts for advanced, intermediate and elementary bassoon players on full-size instruments (minimum grade 4), plus easy parts for mini-bassoons and tenoroons to enable young players to take part. (Under-18s need to be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian throughout the event). PDF parts will be sent to you one month before the event, for personal practice.

If you’re feeling brave, you can have a go at the solo part (there may be a few of you, playing it in unison…!)

Pre-booking is essential (players turning up on the day will not be admitted). PDF parts will be sent out one month before the event for personal practice.

The session will be led and conducted by Laurence Perkins, and those playing the solo part will be led by soloist Amy Thompson (featured in the sample recording).


Here is a sample of what the bassoon ensemble version will sound like... 
(recording from the recent 5-day bassoon course at Higham Hall, Cumbria - the soloist is Amy Thompson)

Click the 'play' arrow on the audio bar below

Cecil Sharp House
Cecil Sharp House
The Kennedy Hall
The Kennedy Hall

Wednesday 3rd August 2022, 2-5pm

at the Kennedy Hall, Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent's Park Rd, London NW1 7AY

(10 minutes walk from Camden Town tube station)

Adult players - ensemble part: £20
Adult players - solo part: £40
Under-18 players: FREE (must be accompanied by parent or adult guardian)
Students (age 18 or over) in full-time education: FREE (please indicate where you are studying in the 'comments' box on the form)

Click HERE to go directly to the on-line application form. You will receive an auto-response, and a detailed confirmation will be sent to you at the beginning of June, when you will be invited to pay (as appropriate) by credit/debit card or PayPal. PDF music will be sent to you at the beginning of July.

Give yourself a brilliant day out with some great playing!

Day trips by train are possible for this event from Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Edinburgh and many other parts of the U.K. Cecil Sharp House is just 10 minutes walk from Camden Town tube station.

Many thanks to Howarth of London and the Musicians Union for supporting this unique event.


News, on-line events, links and other information

Magnard Ensemble - CMF 20 November 2015
Screenshot 2020-07-16 at 07.59.34

A new composition for your chamber group?

Catriona McDermid is currently pursuing a successful career as a freelance bassoonist in London, but that is proving rather difficult for her and all her colleagues around the world at the moment! Luckily, she is also a fine arranger, and would love to hear from anyone who might be interested in commissioning a new arrangement for your wind ensemble, which would be something to look forward to when you are all able to get together again!

You can hear some of her work - she has arranged the Rachmaninov Prelude in Eb Major for wind quintet (published by Wonderful Winds), and Dvorak Slavonic Dance in G Minor for Piano and Wind Quintet (published by  Airy Publications) - click on the composer name to hear a recording, or the publisher name for sheet music details. If you would like to enquire about something specifically for your ensemble, please send a message via the CONTACT form on this website.

Bassoon Outreach to Support Students

A highly innovative website has recently been launched in the USA, with interesting information about the bassoon and its players. Click HERE to go directly to this website.


led by Laurence Perkins


2019: HANDEL 'Musick for the Royal Fireworks'
270th anniversary performance at the Royal Academy of Music, London, conducted by Laurence Perkins on 27th April 2019
(BDRS/RAM joint promotion)
Hear the complete performance on the BDRS website - click HERE


2018 - Year of the Bassoon
On-line audio recordings and videos including

Laurence Perkins: Bassoon Anthem  A multitrack recording of a piece specially composed by Laurence Perkins for the 2018 project - listen free to the full track on Spotify, click HERE

Leonard Bernstein: West Side Story  Four songs recorded by Laurence with pianist Yoshiko Endo playing the piano that once belonged to Leonard Bernstein, and may possibly have been used in the composition of this music.Click HERE for a free YouTube sampler of these recordings, or download MP3 files from iTunes or Amazon - click the appropriate link.

Michel Corrette: Two Arias  Recorded on location in woodland in the south of France, with owls, cicadas, bird song and a distant chapel bell. Click HERE for a free sampler of these recordings, or download MP3 files from Amazon - click the appropriate link.

Volodymyr Runchak: Lamento and Moto Perpetuo  Two contemporary pieces which explore the bassoon in highly expressive ways. Listen free to the full performances on YouTube - click HERE

Catriona McDermid  Video of a young professional bassoonist (a former student of Laurence Perkins) making her way in the challenging environment of professional playing in London. See this on YouTube - click HERE


The Vibrant '60s
A double-reed ensemble performance (oboes and bassoons) in St. James's Park, London - 3rd June 2017

(a British Double Reed Society event)


RNCM 'Young Bassoons'
Free Sunday morning sessions led by Laurence Perkins, for school-age bassoonists of any playing level. For details, click HERE


International Bassoon Day
Sunday 11th October 2015

and Autumn 2015 UK bassoon project

This was a marathon two-month education project, beginning with International Bassoon Day on Sunday 11th October 2015, followed by a total of 35 events around the UK - 27 'Bear-faced Bassoonery' presentations, plus 8 performances of the concert programme 'Bassoon Voyager' (click here for details).

Massed bassoons outside the Royal Albert Hall, London, on International Bassoon Day, 11th October 2015 (photo by John Durham)
Massed bassoons outside the Royal Albert Hall, London, on International Bassoon Day, 11th October 2015 (photo by John Durham)

The above photo (by John Durham) was taken on the steps of the Royal Albert Hall, on International Bassoon Day - 38 bassoonists gathered to play Mozart on a beautifully sunny lunchtime. Watch excerpts of the London event on YouTube - click HERE to see this delightful memento of a special occasion!
Martin Jones has also put his own film of the RAH event on YouTube - click HERE to see it.

Bassoon quartets live on BBC Radio 3

A feature about International Bassoon Day was the first item on BBC Radio 3's popular drive-time In Tune programme two days previously  on Friday 9th October 2015, and featured four bassoonists from different walks of life. Listen to a performance from that live radio broadcast - the performers are Laurence Perkins, Rachel Whibley, Matthew Kitteringham and Alex Kane.

Mozart: Adagio, KV580a (arranged for bassoon quartet by Laurence Perkins) - duration 4’35"