Peter - profile

Peter Whelan


What is your most memorable moment with the orchestra? The European Tour with Mitsuko Uchida playing Mozart piano concertos. Music making does not get any better than this.

What is the best thing about being a musician? Travelling the world and feeling welcome everywhere.

If you could play another instrument what would it be? I sometimes experience a twinge of jealousy when I hear how effortlessly the oboe can sing. Oboe colleagues tell me however that I should be careful what I wish for – that these things come at a price!

The most inspiring composer: Mozart. He can express perfectly what it is to be human.

The first piece of music you fell in love with: Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7.


Equally at home on modern and historical instruments, Peter has a diverse repertoire spanning over four centuries and is in constant demand as a soloist and chamber musician. He has received glowing responses from audiences and critics across the globe, including a Gramophone Award for his recording of the Vivaldi bassoon concertos with La Serenissima in 2010.

As a concerto soloist, Peter has performed in many of Europe’s most prestigious venues, including the Musikverein (Vienna), Lingotto (Turin), St John’s Smith Square (Lufthansa Festival) and the Wigmore Hall (broadcast live on BBC radio with the English Concert).

He has recorded the Weber bassoon concerto for Linn records with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and his recording of Mozart's bassoon concerto with Arcangelo will be released on the Hyperion label in 2015. In May 2016, Peter will premiere a specially commissioned bassoon concerto by American composer Michael Gordon with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment ay the Southbank Centre, London.

Peter is the founder and artistic director of Ensemble Marsyas whose debut disc of Zelenka Sonatas and subsequent disc of music by Fasch both received a Supersonic Award and were named BBC Music Magazine's Editor's Choice. As a chamber musician Peter has collaborated with the Belcea Quartet, Francois Leleux, Robert Levin, Kris Bezuidenhout, Anthony Marwood and Monica Huggett and appears with Tori Amos in her album Night of Hunters recorded for Deutsche Gramophone (2011).

Peter has also has worked with many of the finest orchestras and directors including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Sir Simon Rattle), London Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), Les Musiciens du Louvre and the English Concert.

He is currently bassoon professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Scottish Conservatoire.