Paul Watkins


Paul Watkins Photo credit: Paul Marc Mitchell

Paul Watkins enjoys a remarkably varied and distinguished career as soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. Recent highlights as concerto soloist include performances with the Colorado Symphony, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and BBC symphony orchestras, as well as the premiere of a new concerto written especially for him by Mark-Anthony Turnage, concerto appearances with the European Union Youth Orchestra under Bernard Haitink, and with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in the premiere of Huw Watkins’ cello concerto at the BBC Proms. A dedicated chamber musician, he was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 to 2013, and joined the Emerson String Quartet in 2013. He is a regular participant at international festivals and chamber music series, and regularly performs with the world’s most eminent musicians. In 2014, he was appointed the artistic director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival. A Grammy-nominated conductor, he became the first ever music director of the English Chamber Orchestra in 2009, and also served as principal guest conductor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2009 to 2012. Since winning the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition, he has conducted all the major British orchestras, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Swedish and Vienna chamber orchestras, Prague Symphony, Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Netherlands Radio Chamber Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, and the Queensland and Tokyo Metropolitan symphony orchestras. Mr. Watkins records exclusively for Chandos Records, and plays a cello made by Domenico Montagnana and Matteo Goffriller in Venice, c. 1730.