Photo by Christos Bainpakis
Photo by Christos Bainpakis

"... especially impressive in the hands and lips of the British bassoon champion Laurence Perkins"
The Times

"Perkins plays with sensitivity and warm tone on the woodwind instrument with the most ‘human’ voice’"
Limelight (Australia)

"the indefatigable Perkins has assembled some genuine rarities for our delight"
The Mail on Sunday

"His beautiful sound and effortless dexterity all work towards making the music gently caress the ear"
Fanfare, USA

"I admire Perkins' playing very much; it is expressive and highly polished"
Classical Music Web

"very beautiful—a lovely example of music-making"
Manchester Evening News


"Dazzling ... unreservedly recommended"
BBC Music Magazine

"a pleasure to listen to"
American Record Guide

"Perkins brings out the fun in much of the inspiration as well as the lyrical beauty"
The Guardian

Laurence Perkins - biographical details

Laurence Perkins was born in Lancashire in 1954, and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester between 1970-76 with Charles Cracknell, principal bassoonist in the Hallé Orchestra.. He joined Manchester Camerata as their principal bassoonist in October 1974, finally leaving in June 2017 to pursue more chamber music and solo playing, alongside his on-going work promoting the bassoon. During his 43 years with Camerata he performed in concerts throughout the UK (including the BBC Proms) and on overseas tours including France, Germany, Portugal, Norway, the Azores Islands, Hong Kong, Macau, Australia and Japan.

Laurence has given many solo concert performances throughout the UK and Europe, including recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room in London, concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra (at St. John’s, Smith Square) and with Manchester Camerata, and numerous overseas concerts including France, Portugal and Prague.

Laurence’s solo CDs for the Hyperion label include a disc of concertos with conductor Douglas Boyd which received a five-star rating in the BBC Music Magazine, with the Mozart Concerto being a top selection in Building a Library on the BBC Radio 3 Record Review programme. A CD of shorter, lighter pieces “The Playful Pachyderm” with the New London Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp received outstanding reviews in the national and international media.Two of Laurence's recordings have reached No.4 in the U.K. Specialist Classical Charts - his 2018 recording of the Richard Strauss Duet-Concertino with trios by Beethoven and Glinka, plus his 2-CD anthology of 20th century music 'Voyage of a Sea-god' which was also voted "album of the week" in The Times newspaper when it was released in July 2021. More details about Laurence's recordings can be found on the RECORDINGS page of this website (click this link to go directly to this page). A new recording for Hyperion is due for release in 2024 - details will be available soon.

Laurence is bassoon tutor at the University of York, and has also been bassoon tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and at Nottingham and Leeds Universities. He has also been a regular bassoon and chamber music tutor at many summer schools and courses in the UK and overseas, including Aberystwyth, Malvern, Sherborne, Dartington, Alston Hall in Lancashire, Kammermusik in Oxford, and Cubertou in the south of France.

A brief overview

See relevant website pages for more details

Concerto and recital soloist - solo performer for the
Hyperion CD label

Wind Serenades

(wind chamber music for amateur players)

Principal bassoonist, Manchester Camerata 1974-2017

Bassoon tutor, Royal Northern College of Music 2005-2020

LP with conductor Douglas Boyd during Hyperion recording sessions.

Laurence with conductor Douglas Boyd, in recording sessions for the Hyperion Bassoon Concertos CD. The Mozart Bassoon Concerto K.191 performance on this CD was a top recommendation  on the BBC Radio 3 Record Review programme ('Building a Library', comparing all available versions of the work). The CD received outstanding reviews in the international media, and  has been broadcast by the major classical radio stations worldwide.

Hear a sample of the slow movement - click below.