Back to top      

Professor Colin Lawson


Colin Lawson is Director of the Royal College of Music.  

He has an international profile as a period clarinettist and has played principal clarinet 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 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.  His recording of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet with members of The Revolutionary Drawing Room reached the top 20 in the Classical Charts during 2012.  In 2015 he released a recording of Mozart’s Divertimenti, Arias and Nocturnes, in collaboration with students and colleagues from the Royal College of Music. Colin has published widely on historical performance practice and the history of the clarinet, especially for Cambridge University Press.  

He is editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet and 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 co-authored an introductory volume and written a book on the early clarinet.  He is also editor of the Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra (2003) and co-editor of the Cambridge History of Musical Performance (2012).   

Faculties / departments: Directorate, Research, Historical Performance


Latest Publications

Lawson, C. (2018) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music. Cambridge Encyclopedias . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN 9781316257678

Lawson, C. (2016) Reminiscences of Christopher Hogwood. Early Music, 44 (1). pp. 3-5. ISSN 0306-1078

Loges, N. and Lawson, C. (2012) The teaching of performance. In: The Cambridge History of Musical Performance. The Cambridge History of Music . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp. 135-168. ISBN 9780521896115 (hardback) 9781316183229 (e-book)


For enquires please contact:

Research Enquiries