Professor Colin Lawson is Director of the Royal College of Music, London. He studied music at Oxford University and was subsequently awarded a Masters degree at Birmingham University for his work on the eighteenth-century clarinet. He taught at Aberdeen, Sheffield and London Universities before moving to Thames Valley University as Pro Vice-Chancellor (2001-5). At TVU he was Dean of an Arts Faculty that contained some 8,000 students, with a curriculum ranging over a wide creative and technological spectrum.
Colin 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 worldwide. 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 Centre 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 recordings 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 published widely, especially for Cambridge University Press. He is author of Cambridge Handbooks to Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Brahms’s Clarinet Quintet. He is co-editor of a series of Cambridge Handbooks to the Historical Performance of Music, for which he has co-authored an introductory volume (1999) and a book on the early clarinet (2000).
"The Battle of Ideas is adrenaline for the mind. A chance for intellectual fisticuffs with some of the best-known and most stimulating thinkers in the world."
Colin Blakemore, professor of neuroscience, Oxford University