Huw Watkins was born in Wales in 1976 and studied piano with Peter Lawson at Chetham’s School of Music and composition with Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr and Julian Anderson at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. He was awarded the RCM’s Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship in 2001 and now teaches composition there.
Huw Watkins is in great demand as composer and pianist. He is regularly heard on Radio Three, both as a soloist and chamber musician. He has a strong commitment to the performance of new music, and has given premieres of works by Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies and Michael Zev Gordon. He has performed concertos with BBC SO, London Sinfonietta and BBCNOW, with whom he gave the first performance of his own Piano Concerto in 2002. His recordings include Thomas Adès’s song cycle The Lover in Winter with the countertenor Robin Blaze for EMI Classics and Alexander Goehr’s Symmetry Disorders Reach for Wergo in 2007. Recordings of Mendelssohn and Martinu sonatas for cello and piano with his brother, Paul Watkins, have been released on Chandos.
Huw Watkins was Featured Composer at the 2009 Presteigne Festival of Music and the Arts, and Composer in Residence at both the 2011 Heimbach Festival (at the invitation of Lars Vogt) and Nürnberg Festival. Watkins was named winner of the Vocal Award at the 2011 British Composer Awards for his Five Larkin Songs which he premiered with Carolyn Sampson at the 2010 Weekend of English Song in Ludlow. His most recent orchestral work was a Violin Concerto for Alina Ibragimova, commissioned at her request by the BBC and premiered during the 2010 BBC Proms by the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Edward Gardner. A disc of his music was released by NMC in 2012.