Laurence Perkins is a bassoon tutor at the University of York, and for 15 years was bassoon tutor at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, U.K. He has also worked as bassoon tutor at the University of Nottingham and Leeds.
Laurence gave regular master classes and performance workshops at RNCM Manchester (UK) for fifteen years, alongside classes and presentations as a guest tutor in universities and colleges including the Royal Academy of Music, Royal College of Music and the University of York. He gave bassoon master classes and established the Wind Chamber Music course at Dartington International Summer School between 1992-2010.
(Sample Dartington brochure listing from 2010: https://issuu.com/dartington/docs/diss_2010_courses)
In recent years, Laurence has led a number of national / international projects promoting the bassoon to young musicians.
In October 2004 Laurence devised and promoted a one-day event entitled ‘Beautiful Bassoons’ at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester. This was part of the government’s ‘Endangered Species’ initiative led by Estelle Morris, to encourage young musicians to take up those instruments that were in short supply at the time. The event generated considerable interest, including a live interview between Laurence and John Humphreys on the BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ programme. The event attracted large number of people, including a 58-player bassoon ensemble which was recorded by BBC Radio 3 for a special concert-interval feature programme. Many young musicians had their first attempt at playing a bassoon at that event - one of them had their very first note broadcast in the same Radio 3 programme!
In October 2015 Laurence led ‘International Bassoon Day’ which was featured on BBC Radios 3, 4 and 5 Live, Classic FM, and involved bassoonists all over the world (contacted mainly by social media) performing ensemble arrangements of Mozart in public places (with free PDF music provided via Laurence’s website) to help to bring the bassoon to a wider audience. A one-day event on Sunday 11th October 2015, held in London on the steps of the Royal Albert Hall and at the Royal College of Music alongside events all over the world, was followed by 35 presentations and workshops given by Laurence throughout the UK, promoting the bassoon to young musicians and encouraging young bassoonists.
Three years later, he created ‘2018 - Year of the Bassoon’. This was mainly an on-line and website project, starting with a ‘Bassoon Anthem’ composed by Laurence, with a full recording plus optional backing tracks and PDF music made freely available so that an individual bassoonist or group of bassoonists could take part. The project also included new audio and video material exploring the use of the instrument in repertoire and settings not normally associated with the bassoon, plus insight into a young player’s journey into the music profession.
Laurence is Director of Wind Serenades, an operation which he created in 2001 providing regular wind chamber music courses for adult amateur players of all playing levels throughout the UK. These include a regular series of courses (three per year) at Higham Hall College in Cumbria, which cater (in graded events and groups) for players from ABRSM Grade 3 level playing specially adapted versions of classical works, right up to high-diploma standard working on classic repertoire by Ligeti, Samuel Barber, John McCabe, Nielsen, Thomas Simaku and Richard Rodney Bennett. To work at such a high level with amateur players is almost unique in the U.K. and it is all part of the ethos of making a special provision for what is widely recognised as one of the largest and finest amateur player communities in the world. There is an equal commitment to players at elementary and intermediate levels, where Laurence frequently prepares special adaptations of classical works which are tailor-made to be accessibly challenging to each player at their particular playing level.
HEALTH AND WELL-BEING IN MUSIC
Laurence’s wife Susan was also a bassoonist, who died from cancer in June 1989 at the age of 34. Later that year, Laurence established a cancer research and therapy fund involving many of their professional friends and colleagues giving concerts in the Manchester area. Laurence also began to lead voluntary sessions at the Bristol Cancer Help Centre (now renamed Penny Brohn Cancer Help Centre) playing to adult cancer patients using live music and spoken word (which he performed solo) as a means of relaxation and visualisation, both positive techniques employed in complementary cancer care alongside conventional treatments. His regular sessions at the Centre continued for 25 years, and was the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary. One of the sessions was given in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales, who has been the Patron of the Centre for three decades.
£ 45.00 Pounds Per Hour
Quotes for ensemble coaching, performance and instrumental classes, etc. please enquire directly to https://laurenceperkins.com/contact/