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 he was appointed bassoonist with the London Sinfonietta, and in September 1984 made Professor of Bassoon at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
John is much in demand for his bassoon masterclasses in UK and European Music Colleges.
After having been asked by Hans Werner Henze to learn the Heckelphon for one of his new pieces, The Miracle of the Rose, he has gone on to perform almost all of the Heckelphon repertoire around the UK for all the orchestras, especially Covent Garden and English National Opera for Salome and Elektra
Since 1971, he has appeared regularly as principal bassoon with all the major symphony orchestras in London in addition to his position with the London Sinfonietta and has performed much solo and chamber music. These include the Mozart Bassoon Concerto with The London Virtuosi and Strauss Duo Concertante with Michael Collins and the London Sinfonietta.
He gave the UK premier with the London Sinfonietta of Seasons of Light by Bernd Franke and is regularly heard on film and TV soundtracks, including the hauntingly beautiful melody in Brideshead Revisited. He has recently performed Dead Elvis by Michael Daugherty requiring full Las Vegas Elvis costume including wig!