Peter Whelan - bassoon
Principal bassoon with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra since 2008, Peter Whelan was described by the Philadelphia Enquirer as ‘an absolute master of fleet facility with a solidly plush tone of wondrous immediacy'. Equally at home on modern and historical instruments, Whelan 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.
As a concerto soloist, Whelan 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 Cadogan and Wigmore Halls. He has recorded the Weber Bassoon Concerto for Linn with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and his recording of Mozart's Bassoon Concerto with Arcangelo will be released on the Hyperion label in 2015.
Whelan is the founder and artistic director of Ensemble Marsyas whose debut album of Zelenka Sonatas received a Supersonic Award and was named BBC Music Magazine's ‘Chamber Choice'. A new recording of the sonatas of Fasch was released in 2014, coinciding with Ensemble Marsyas' Wigmore Hall debut. Whelan has also collaborated with the Belcea Quartet, London Winds, Robert Levin, Anthony Marwood and Monica Huggett and appears with Tori Amos in her album Night of Hunters (Deutsche Gramophone).
Whelan has also has worked with many of Europe's finest orchestras and directors including the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Sir Simon Rattle), London Symphony Orchestra, Australian Chamber Orchestra, the English Baroque Soloists (Sir John Eliot Gardiner), Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Les Musiciens du Louvre and Oper Zurich.
Whelan is Professor of Baroque bassoon at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and gives masterclasses at conservatories across the UK and Europe.
For further information -
Early Music Review
'The music is always ear-catching and the captivating performances (and the bright recording) abound with verve and energy...'more >>BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’
'…the curious and rather delightful Triple Concerto from Christoph Graupner…spirited music making in a recording that brings us close to the chamber music, but never stifles the sound.'more >>Irish Times
'luscious colours and deep sonorities'more >>Pizzicato
„Es ist diese Verbindung von Drive und Feinfühligkeit, die dieses brillante Programm so besonders macht.“more >>The Guardian
'Monica Huggett makes the point that 18th-century soloists were often just virtuoso ensemble principals taking their turn front-of-stage. And that's what happens on this fine album from the Irish Baroque Orchestra...the playing is lovely, with great poise from Huggett and standout charismatic bassoon playing from Peter Whelan...'more >>Music for Several Instruments Blog
'This is amazing music...The IBO soloists and players are all superb, providing the best possible advocacy for this unfamiliar music.'more >>Hi-Fi News
Album Choice: '...it's the rondo finale which you'll enjoy most as it bubbles happily along.'more >>American Record Guide
'The performances are excellent overall – tastefully phrased and lightly ornamented to bring out the genius of Telemann's writing.'more >>Early Music Review
'Pamela Thorby's playing is by turns expressive and breathtaking...Highly recommended.'more >>Gramophone
'...sheer interpretative intelligence and authority.'more >>Audio Video Club of Atlanta
'Pamela Thorby has never been in better form than she is here.'more >>The Guardian
'a light touch and conversational spark...her solo Fantasias are breathtaking'more >>Limelight
Editor’s Choice: 'Classical charm and grace...it's the fine performances that make this recording stand out.'more >>Early Music Today
'Bassoonist Peter Whelan is outstanding, although the whole group plays with uncanny rapport, turning Fasch's smart blends of instrumental timbres, baroque and galant styles, elegant Largos and frisky, virtuosic Allegros, into a stream of unalloyed listening pleasure.'more >>The Guardian
'These performances pick up on every morsel of wit and ingenuity in the wind writing, and never forget that the purpose of this music was to entertain.'more >>Early Music Review
'...an overwhelmingly joyful listening experience...'more >>The Guardian
'...the real star is Peter Whelan's bassoon, burbling through its vast range with dancing precision, underpinning the quartets and shining in a C major concerto...'more >>BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
'delightful wind chamber music'more >>Irish Times
'...you can expect to be delighted by the distinctive colours as well as the often gutsy brio of the playing.'more >>Positive Feedback Online
'The realism and dimensionality with this fine Linn release should not be missed.'more >>Early Music Review
‘Peter Whelan’s playing is always a delight to hear – full of life, interest and variety, and clearly demonstrates why the bassoon has every right to be proud!’more >>Crescendo
'Es enthält so überwältigend schöne Musik, dass man gar nicht anders kann, als sich auf den ersten Blick zu verlieben.'more >>BBC Music Magazine
'A variety of frivolités round off a splendid recital.'more >>Kulture Radio
A glowing review in German: 'rundum hörenswert'more >>ClassicFM
'Choice for the Very Curious': 'The bassoon is the clown of the orchestra, but it wasn't always so. And this album goes some way to change this.'SA-CD.net
'Whelan's performances of these varied pieces are a delight, and in every way he meets the challenges presented by them. The spicy tone of his instrument is invigorating and well captured by the recording.'more >>BBC Radio 3 'In Tune'
'Delightful. You’ve made the case for the renaissance of the bassoon.'BBC Radio 3 'CD Review'
‘What a satisfying, pungent sound.’more >>The Irish Times
'Peter Whelan offers bassoon sonatas by Fasch and Telemann, which are among the first of their kind...'more >>Daily Telegraph
'The brilliant playing of Ensemble Marsyas is fully equal to Zelenka's virtuoso demands, and the music's vivacity is matched by its elegance.'more >>Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist
'Strongly recommended to all early music collections.'more >>PSTracks
'If you think you know Baroque music, you're in for a series of pleasant shocks...It's the recording I have played and replayed the most this month.'more >>International Record Review
'They bring bags of bite and energy to the unison theme of the opening ritornello movement...'more >>Double Reed News
Zelenka in Scotlandmore >>The Herald
'Why there's an air of genius in the wind'more >>ClassicFM
'It's a lively listen, guaranteed to brighten up any afternoon and put a smile on your face.'more >>The Observer
'A wonderful disc'more >>