Orford, John


John Orford studied in Manchester with Charles Cracknell, and at the Royal Manchester College of Music with William Waterhouse where he was awarded the Hiles Gold Medal for Orchestral Playing. After 18 months in the Bournemouth Sinfonietta he joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra, where he remained for eight years.

In January 1982 John was appointed Principal Bassoon with the London Sinfonietta, and in September 1984 he was made Professor of Bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

As well as appearing as principal bassoon with all the major London symphony orchestras, John has performed for many television and film soundtracks, including the bassoon solo on Geoffrey Burgon's soundtrack to the classic TV series Brideshead Revisited. He has performed much solo and chamber music, including the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with the London Virtuosi and the Strauss Duo Concertante with Michael Collins and the London Sinfonietta.

Sound Intermedia

Sound Intermedia

Sound Intermedia - alias Ian Dearden and David Sheppard - is dedicated to realising visionary new art works through live performance and cutting-edge technology. Their trail-blazing initiatives and artistic collaborations continually push past the accepted boundaries of composition, sound design, live sound, music technology and interactive multimedia.

Internationally respected both as composers and performers, they collaborate with many of the world's most influential artists and organizations.

London Sinfonietta

London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta's mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today's culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent.

The ensemble is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre with headquarters at Kings Place, and continues to take the best contemporary music to venues and festivals across the UK and worldwide with a busy touring schedule. Since its inaugural concert in 1968 - giving the world premiere of Sir John Tavener's The Whale - the London Sinfonietta's commitment to making new music has seen it commission over 300 works, and premiere many hundreds more.
The core of the London Sinfonietta is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The ensemble has just launched its Emerging Artists Programme, which will give professional musicians at the start of promising and brilliant careers the opportunity to work alongside those Principal Players on stage across the season.

The London Sinfonietta's recordings present a catalogue of 20th-century classics, on numerous prestigious labels as well as the ensemble's own London Sinfonietta Label. Most recently, a performance of Philip Cashian's Piano Concerto was released on NMC.


Anna Meredith Axeman (Sinfonietta Shorts)

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John Orford bassoon
Sound Intermedia electronics


Anna Meredith writes:

When a friend asked me to write a piece for solo bassoon I was a bit stuck as I like the bassoon but always found it a bit too dignified somehow.  After a few drinks and an experimental session with electric guitar pedals we decided the way forward was to unleash the bassoon from its rock closet and try and write a piece that made the bassoon sound as much like an 1980s guitar-god as possible.

Visit our project page for information on all works in the Sinfonietta Shorts series.


Supported by London Sinfonietta


Recorded on 18 Nov 2013 at All Saints Church, East Finchley, London.

Recorded by IAN DEARDEN and DAVID SHEPPARD for Sound Intermedia


(P) 2013 London Sinfonietta/ NMC Recordings Ltd
(C) 2013 NMC Recordings Ltd

Catalogue number:
NMC DL3012
Release Date:
8 December 2013