is a member of the
Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, Martin’s first musical experience was learning the piano with his father from the age of three. He took up percussion aged 11 and was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra two years later. However, when asked at school what instrument he would like to learn he
agreed to try the bassoon, having been told that the French Horn had been taken, and that was that.
He studied with Archie Camden at the Royal College of Music, London and aged 21 became Principal Bassoonist in
the London Philharmonic Orchestra where he stayed for 8 years. During the last 4 of these he also played Principal with the newly formed English Chamber Orchestra , and when that became a full time post he left the L.P.O. and during the next 10 years devoted his time to playing for such conductors as Britten, Barenboim, and Leppard.
Martin also devoted a great deal of time to all forms of chamber music, and during his years in the E.C.O. also played with The Academy of St. Martins in the Fields , became a founder member of the London Sinfonietta and with Barry Tuckwell founded the Tuckwell Wind Quintet which performed and recorded all over the World for the next 20 years.
In 1978 he was invited by the L.S.O. to become their Principal bassoon, and there he stayed until 1998 when, looking for a quieter pace of life and a new and different challenge, he and his wife, Liz, moved to the West Country, where he has become a member of the Bath Philharmonia, Wessex Winds, West of England Philharmonic in Bristol, and commutes to London to play and teach. Since leaving the L.S.O. he has deputised in the B.B.C. National Orchestra of Wales, City of Birmingham Orchestra Royal Liverpool Symphony Orchestra, and regularly plays in the London based Brandenburg Sinfonia.
He was Professor of Bassoon at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, for 20 years and was awarded F.G.S.M in 1979. During a 3 year sabbatical from the L.S.O. (1984-1987) he set up and ran the Department of Wind and Brass at the newly opened Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and resumed teaching in London at the Royal College of Music where, in 2002 he was elected a Fellow.
He has recorded most of the Solo and Chamber repertoire for E.M.I. ,Phillips, Decca, R.C.A. and has performed as soloist world wide. Most recent activities include forming the Lynn Trio with his pianist Margaret Lynn from Hong Kong and Jane Finch (oboe) with whom he has played and recorded Chamber music repertoire during the last 8 years. With the Trio he has recorded Poulenc and Francaix trios and the Damase Trio for oboe,horn and piano (sanctioned by Damase to be recorded on bassoon) and with Margaret Lynn with whom he has performed and recorded exclusively as a duo since 1984, he has recorded a selection of his favourite Lieder & Arias arranged for bassoon and piano in July 2007, a sequel to their much acclaimed CD of transcriptions of instrumental works of Schumann & Brahms. Another CD ,this time of transcriptions of French songs is due to be recorded in 2010.
Colin Parr ,the renowned clarinettist moved to Totnes and joined the trio and with the addition of Leslie Shield, flute and Susan Dent, Horn they made a much acclaimed CD of music by Roussel, Francaix,and Thuille
Martin travels to Hong Kong and China every year to coach and play with HK Kamerata and coach the Catalan Youth orchestra in Barcelona in July 2010.
He continues to be a guest principal with various orchestras such as the National orchestra of Wales, BBC Symphony,and London Symphony and annually coaches at the British Isle Music Festival in Ardingly and at Benslow.