Peter Whelan is one of Europe’s leading exponents of historical and modern bassoon. Originally from Dublin, Ireland, he was appointed Principal Bassoon of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in 2008, having previously held the position of Principal Bassoon with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (2003-08).
Whelan has worked with many of Europe’s finest orchestras, among them the London Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, the Gustav Mahler Chamber, and Oper Zürich. Equally at home on historical instruments, he has a diverse repertoire spanning over four centuries and has performed with many of the world’s most distinguished baroque specialists and period ensembles, including Monica Huggett, Alfredo Bernardini, Marc Minkowski, Sir Simon Rattle (with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment), The English Concert, English Baroque Soloists, and Le Concert d’Astrée.
As a concerto soloist, Whelan has appeared with Bach Consort Wien, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, and the Irish Baroque Orchestra. In 2008, he toured Mexico as soloist with the ensemble La Serenissima. His recent recording of Vivaldi bassoon concertos with La Serenissima ('Vivaldi – The French Connection') was awarded a 2010 Gramophone Award for Best Baroque Instrumental recording.
He is also a keen chamber musician. In 2007, he won both First Prize and the Audience Prize at the Bruges International Musica Antiqua Competition performing with the ensemble Marsyas, one of the most dynamic and innovative ensembles on the European early music scene.
Peter Whelan received his early musical training in Ireland at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. After graduating from Trinity College, Dublin, with a first-class degree in music (2000), he won a Swiss Government Scholarship to study with Professor Sergio Azzolini at the Musik-Akademie der Stadt Basel. He is now a committed teacher in his own right and has recently joined the teaching faculty of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow and has given a masterclass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London.