Colin Lawson is Director of the Royal College of Music. He has an international profile as a period clarinettist and has played principal in most of Britain’s leading period orchestras, notably The Hanover Band, The English Concert and the London Classical Players, with whom he has recorded extensively and toured world-wide. Described recently as ‘a brilliant, absolutely world-class player’ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung) and ‘the doyen of period clarinettists’ (BBC Music Magazine), he has appeared as soloist in many international venues, including London’s major concert halls and New York’s Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. His discography comprises concertos by Fasch, Hook, Mahon, Mozart, Spohr, Telemann, Vivaldi and Weber, as well as a considerable variety of chamber music. Among his most recent recording is a highly-acclaimed disc of basset horn trios by Mozart and Stadler and a recital disc entitled ‘100 Years of the Simple-System Clarinet’.
Colin has an especially close association with Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, which he plays regularly on both period and modern basset clarinets. In addition to directing performances of the work, he has played it in collaboration with conductors such as Roy Goodman, Christopher Hogwood, Roger Norrington and Joshua Rifkin. He is also the author of a Cambridge Handbook to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, which investigates the work’s genesis, composition and construction, as well as the career of the dedicatee Anton Stadler and his newly invented basset clarinet.
Colin’s other publications for Cambridge University Press include The Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet and a Cambridge Handbook to Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet. He is co-editor of a new series of Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music, for which he has co-authored an introductory volume (1999) and a written a book on the early clarinet (2000). He is also editor of the new Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra (2003). Combining an academic career with performing activities, he taught at the Universities of Aberdeen, Sheffield and London before his appointment in 2001 as Pro-Vice Chancellor at Thames Valley University, where he was Dean of the London College of Music & Media until 2005.
Colin received a CBE in the Queen’s 90th birthday honours list.
Colin’s recordings for Clarinet Classics:
Colin has also written a number of books which are available from various retailers via the links below: