The Scottish soprano, Mhairi Lawson, attended Newcastle University, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has studied with Emma Kirkby, Joan Sutherland, Marie McLaughlin and Gerald Martin Moore. While still a student, she won the International Early Music Network Young Artists Competition with the fortepianist Olga Tverskaya, which led to her first CD recording of Haydnís English and Scottish Songs.
As a soloist Mhairi Lawson has performed in opera houses and concert halls world-wide, including such venues as Lincoln Center New York, Cité de la Musique, Théâtre du Châtelet and Opéra Comique Paris, Festival Theatre Edinburgh, Vredenburg Utrecht, Royal Opera House and Coliseum London, with such companies English National Opera, Les Arts Florissants, The Gabrieli Consort and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and with many leading conductors such as William Christie, Sir Charles Mackerras, Paul McCreesh, Jane Glover and Sir John Eliot Gardiner, in repertoire ranging from traditional folksong to opera.
With Les Arts Florissants, Mhairi Lawson has performed dramatic music by Purcell, Charpentier, Landi and Monteverdi at Parisí Cite de la Musique and throughout Europe, including London's Barbican Centre and Birminghamís Symphony Hall. At Londonís Wigmore Hall, Mhairi has given many performances of dramatic works including George Frideric Handelís Alcina and Aci, Galatea e Polifemo, Purcellís King Arthur and Fairy Queen and most recently Hasseís rarely performed serenata Antonio e Cleopatra with the Early Opera Company. G.F. Handelís Messiah has taken her to Amsterdam, Utrecht, Paris and Barcelona with the Nederlandse Bachvereniging and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. A strong relationship with the Gabrieli Consort and Players has provided opportunities to sing Purcellís Fairy Queen at the BBC Proms in the Royal Albert Hall, and to tour Scandinavia and Holland in the title roles of Acis and Galatea and Dido and Aeneas and further afield to Jerusalem and the Beaune Festival in France. Mhairi has sung Bachís St John Passion (BWV 245) in New Yorkís Lincoln Centre, and in Weimar, Germany, the B minor Mass (BWV 232) in J.S. Bachís own church in Leipzig, and the St Matthew Passion (BWV 244) throughout Spain. At English National Opera she sang Purcellís Dido and Aeneas and King Arthur in productions with the Mark Morris Dance Group. Consequently Mhairi travelled to California for further performances of King Arthur with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, San Francisco.
Work with European Symphony orchestras includes G.F. Handelís Athalia in Madrid, J.S. Bachís Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) in Zurich and Antonio Vivaldiís Gloria and Mozart concert and operatic arias in Nantes, France. In June 2005 she participated in performances of J.S. Bachís Johannes-Passion (BWV 245) with the New London Consort conducted by Philip Pickett at the Israel Festival Jerusalem.
With the virtuoso Baroque band, La Serenissima, Mhairi Lawson had performed A. Vivaldiís La Senna Festeggiante and Laudate Pueri in D in Venice, and recorded arias by A. Vivaldi, Hasse and Giacomelli for their discs "Vivaldi in Arcadia" and "Music for the Pieta", which have consistenly received four and five star reviews in the national press and music industry publications. This success continues with the release of recordings of A. Vivaldi cantatas Líamore per Elvira and a newly discovered vocal work by the mysterious ĎComposer Xí. This year welcomes a disc of arias from the operas La fida ninfa and La constanza trionfante.
Recital engagements include songs from the British folksong tradition and Lieder by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Strauss and Wolf with appearances in the Edinburgh Festival, Newcastle and York Universities and recordings for BBC Radio 3.