Laurence Perkins was born in Lancashire in 1954, and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Charles Cracknell. He has been principal bassoonist with Manchester Camerata since 1974, with whom he has 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.
Alongside this on-going enthusiasm for the rich and varied chamber orchestra repertoire, Laurence has also done much work to promote the bassoon as a solo instrument. He 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 CD of concertos by Mozart and Weber with Manchester Camerata conducted by Douglas Boyd (released by Hyperion) received a five-star rating in the BBC Music Magazine, with the Mozart Concerto as a top recommendation on BBC Radio 3’s ‘CD Review’ programme. His solo CD of shorter, lighter pieces “The Playful Pachyderm” (with the New London Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp) was described by David Mellor as “a must” in the Mail on Sunday.
Laurence has been a regular tutor at many summer schools and courses in the UK and overseas, including Aberystwyth, Dartington, Alston Hall in Lancashire, Kammermusik in Oxford, and Cubertou in the south of France. He is also involved on a regular basis with Manchester Camerata’s extensive education programme, and gives schools presentations during solo recital and concerto tours. He also organises and directs ‘Wind Serenades’ – wind chamber music weekend courses for amateur players in the UK throughout the year. His other activities include landscape photography, and musical relaxation sessions with patients at the Penny Brohn Cancer Help Centre in Bristol.