"I am grateful to David Watkin, admirable continuo and solo cellist and now also a conductor"
Sir John Eliot Gardiner in
Music in the Castle of Heaven

"one of the greatest continuo cellists on the planet..." 

Richard Egarr 
BBC Music Magazine 
Dec '11


from Bach BWV 199
with Magdalena Kozena
EBS and
Sir John Eliot Gardiner



David Watkin has made a wide range of recordings including the Vivaldi Cello Sonatas with the King's Consort (Hyperion) and Haydn's Sinfonia Concertante with Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (Virgin). With pianist Howard Moody he has recorded Beethoven Cello Sonatas (Chandos) and Francis Pott's 1996 Sonata (Guild).  Their London debut in 1988 was described by The Times as ‘absolutely electrifying.’ They appeared  regularly on BBC Radio 3 and performances have included the complete works for piano and cello by Beethoven at Wigmore Hall. 

Watkin was Principal cello of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain for two years, played under conductors including Kirill Kondrashin, and received the Bulgin Medal for outstanding contribution. He has been Principal Cello in some of the world’s leading ensembles including the Philharmonia Orchestra, where he opened the first season in the new Philharmonie in Luxemburg with William Tell under Muti, and performed solos ranging from those in Brahms’ 2nd Piano Concerto under Mackerras, to one in the computer game ‘Medal of Honour’ . 

Unaccompanied Bach has taken him all over Europe, from the Palace of Frederick the Great at Potsdam to the Prague Spring Festival, and, as part of Sir John Eliot Gardiner's Bach Cantata Pilgrimage, included performances sitting by the font in which Bach was baptised. Highly unusually, his recording of the complete Suites won both a Gramophone  and  BBC Music Magazine Awards. He was the first cellist to be awarded the 
BBC Music Magazine Instrumental Award.

He has been a soloist with OAE at Queen Elizabeth Hall and Carnegie Hall, New York and performed the Schumann Concerto with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and ORR at the Lincoln Center, New York, and more recently with the SCO. He has been a guest artist with, among others, Robert Levin (QEH, Mozarteum, Salzburg) and Fredericka von Stade (Wigmore Hall, Chatelet, Paris). He has joined the Tokyo Quartet for performances of Schubert's C major Quintet including at Wigmore Hall and Edinburgh International Festival, and on their 2013 farewell tour. 
Their harmonia mundi usa recording together has now been released.


In 2012 and 2016 he was a juror for the Leipzig Bach Competition, has coached the European Union Baroque Orchestra, EUYO and 'I, Culture Orchestra' and coached and played alongside Principal players from the Berlin Philharmonic and Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestras in Aldeburgh Strings.

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