Paul and Huw Watkins


Beethoven: 7 Variations on Bei Männern, WoO46
Debussy: Cello Sonata in D minor
Elliott Carter: Sonata for Cello and Piano
Schumann: 3 Fantasiestücke, Op. 73
Brahms: Cello Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 99


Paul Watkins first came to public attention as winner of the string section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 1988. Equally in demand as a conductor, in 2002 he won both first prize and audience prize at the Leeds Conductors’ Competition.

As a cellist Paul performs regularly with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Symphony and BBC Philharmonic Orchestras. He has made five concerto appearances at the Proms performing works by Elgar, Sullivan, Lutosławski, Tobias Picker and William Schuman. His recordings include: the complete Britten solo cello suites; a programme of twentieth century British repertoire; music written in the Theresienstadt concentration camp; Tobias Picker’s Cello Concerto; and Takemitsu’s Orion and Pleiades.

As a conductor he has worked with many of the top orchestras of the UK, Austria, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Huw Watkins has been described by The Independent on Sunday as “a pianist of alert intelligence and a composer with something to say”.

Huw has given premieres of works by Alexander Goehr, Peter Maxwell Davies, Mark-Anthony Turnage and John Woolrich. His concerto engagements have included Grace Williams’s Sinfonia Concertante with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and his own Piano Concerto with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Huw has made a number of recordings including Thomas Adès’ song cycle The Lover in Winter with Robin Blaze, and Goehr’s Symmetry Disorders Reach.

Huw’s compositions have been commissioned, performed and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, Nash Ensemble, Belcea and Petersen quartets, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and Ensemble 360.

We are proud to host these prodigiously talented brothers just before the 100th birthday of America’s greatest living composer, Elliott Carter. They will perform his Sonata for Cello and Piano of 1948, a pivotal work in which Carter gives contrasting characters to the instruments and builds audible drama between them.