Cummings was educated at Solihull School, Christ Church, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. His teachers have included Jill Severs. Cummings has played harpsichord and organ continuo with many leading period instrument groups, including Les Arts Florissants, The Sixteen Choir, the Gabrieli Consort and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
Cummings was Head of Historical Performance at the Royal Academy of Music from 1997–2012. He has served as Musical Director of the London Handel Orchestra and the London Handel Festival (since 1999), Musical Director of the Tilford Bach Society, a founding member of the London Handel Players, and a Trustee of the Handel House Museum. In September 2011, he became the artistic director of the Göttingen International Handel Festival. He has also conducted at English National Opera and Glyndebourne. In November 2020, the Academy of Ancient Music announced the appointment of Cummings as its next music director, effective with the 2021–2022 season. Cummings also serves as music director and principal conductor (maestro titular) of the Orquestra Barroca Casa da Musica, in Porto.
Cummings has recorded commercially as both an instrumentalist and a conductor. His recordings as a conductor have included the first recording of Handel’s newly discovered Gloria with soloist Emma Kirkby and the Royal Academy of Music Baroque Orchestra. He has also made recordings of keyboard works of Louis and François Couperin, and Handel.
- "Facing the music: Laurence Cummings". The Guardian. 14 March 2016. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- Isabel Trzeciok (3 June 2011). "21 Jahre Nicholas McGegans Leitung". Göttinger Tageblatt. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- "Introducing Laurence Cummings, AAM's next Music Director" (Press release). Academy of Ancient Music. 18 November 2020. Retrieved 5 November 2020.
- Richard Wigmore (6 January 2007). "Classical CDs of the week: Grieg, Mendelssohn, Handel and more..." Telegraph. Retrieved 12 June 2011.
- Nicholas Kenyon (18 April 2010). "Handel: Eight Great Harpsichord Suites; Handel, Purcell, Haydn: Suites and Sonatas". The Observer. Retrieved 12 June 2011.