Richard Watkins was the Philharmonia Orchestra’s principal horn for 12 years, and is currently a member of the Nash Ensemble and a founding member of London Winds. He has appeared at many of the world’s most prestigious venues in the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., and has worked with conductors including Carlo Maria Giulini, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Vasily Petrenko, Andrew Davis, and Mark Elder.
Mr. Watkins has a long association with Aldeburgh Music, first performing Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings with Peter Pears in 1983. Since then he appears regularly as soloist and recitalist, performing concertos by Colin Matthews and Oliver Knussen, and Britten’s works for solo horn, the Serenade, and Canticles. Mr. Watkins coaches and gives master classes at the Britten-Pears School, recorded Britten’s Serenade with Allan Clayton and Aldeburgh Strings, and directed the inaugural Britten–Pears Brass Week.
In recital, he performs with singers including John Mark Ainsley, Ian Bostridge, and Mark Padmore, and with pianists Barry Douglas, Julius Drake, Paul Lewis, Roger Vignoles, and Ian Brown.
Mr. Watkins has premiered concertos by Maxwell-Davies, Nigel Osborne, Magnus Lindberg, Dominic Muldowney, Nicola LeFanu, and Colin and David Matthews. Recent premieres include Colin Matthews’s Horn Concerto and trio; horn quintets by James MacMillan, David Matthews, and Mark-Anthony Turnage; and horn trios by Huw Watkins, Alexander Goehr, and Gerald Barry.
He has recorded the Mozart, Arnold, Glière, Smyth, and Matthews horn concertos; Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante; and chamber works by Schumann, Schubert, and Poulenc. Recent releases include the Britten Canticles with Mark Padmore (Wigmore Live), Alexander Goehr’s Horn Trio (NMC), Edward Gregson’s Horn Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic (Chandos), and Sea-Eagle, featuring works by British composers composed for Mr. Watkins (NMC).
Richard Watkins holds the Dennis Brain Chair of Horn Playing at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is also a Fellow.
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