RNCM Tutor’s Tour to Support Endangered Instrument

RNCM alumnus and Tutor in Bassoon, Laurence Perkins is preparing to embark on a 30-date UK tour to raise awareness of the bassoon in schools and music hubs.

Sponsored by the RNCM, the Bear-faced Bassoonery tour is part of a larger two month project of more than 50 free events at around 35 universities, music colleges, music hubs and schools throughout the UK to draw attention to the joys of playing this most versatile double-reed instrument, and to encourage more people to take it up.


The project kicks off on Sunday 11 October with the world’s first International Bassoon Day, when and ensemble comprising 100 professional, amateur and student players and children take to the steps of the Royal Albert Hall at 12.45pm for a mass play-in. Led by Laurence, Principal Bassoon with Manchester Camerata who graduated from the RNCM in 1976, the day will also see bassoonists from across the globe take to the streets to show their passion for this endangered low-voiced instrument.

‘The bassoon is one of the most versatile and characterful instruments in the orchestra, yet young people are not being given the chance to find that out,’ said Laurence, whose career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral player and teacher spans over 40 years. ‘This is beginning to have an impact on UK orchestras as music colleges no longer have the applicants to study bassoon in sufficient numbers.’

Sir Mark Elder, Music Director of the Hallé and a former bassoonist, is lending his support to the project. He said: ‘My own experience of playing the bassoon was my passport into the rich world of music that is my life today. The bassoon has a versatile and characterful musical voice full of colour, expression, and – importantly to young ears – humour. It is also an indispensable part of the orchestra. I applaud this chance to encourage others to take up the bassoon and use it to discover music.’






18 September 2015