Eric Watson – Composer-in-Residence

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Born in the UK, Eric Watson received tertiary musical training at Trinity College of Music in London where his principal studies were piano, violin, composition, and conducting for which he was awarded the Ricordi prize. After graduating he worked as repetiteur in opera and music director for musicals.

For the last twenty over years, Eric Watson has lived in Singapore where he is active as composer, conductor, music technologist and pedagogue. His experience embraces opera, musical theatre, film and television and he has written scores in many diverse and different genres including Electro-Acoustic music, Gamelan and Chinese Orchestra. In 2001, he was the composer and musical director for the Singapore National Day parade for which he recorded an orchestral score with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and again in 2007 he wrote and arranged orchestral music for National day with four different orchestra’s — the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, a smaller Indian ensemble and a Malay ensemble.

In 2006,Eric Watson was awarded first prize in the Singapore International Competition for Chinese Orchestral Composition for his work, Tapestries I – Time Dances; and in 2011 he wrote the first prize winning piece Aftermath for the Singapore Piano and Violin competition.

Since residing in Singapore he has written the musical, A River In Time in which he achieved a fusion of Western orchestra, gamelan and small Chinese orchestra, followed by second musical, Land of A Thousand Dreams. Numerous other works include Singapura, a set of orchestra variations based on the local melody of the same name; The Wind for Symphonic Band and Chorus, Samarkand a concert march for symphonic band, Concerto for Chinese Orchestra and Tabla and Songs of the North, a concerto grosso for Chinese orchestra, fiddle, English concertina, pipa and dizi , Tapestries II – The Land Beneath the Wind for Chinese orchestra, The Golden Orb for harp ensemble and recently a short symphonic piece Intersections written for ‘The Orchestra of the Musicmakers’. Eric Watson is currently Senior Teaching Fellow at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and in his pedagogical work he takes a special interest in teaching both classical and contemporary orchestration, composition, jazz and improvisational techniques. He is one of the composers and conductors for the Asian Traditional Orchestra and his activities as performer, composer and lecturer take him to many parts of South East Asia, China, Japan, Australia and Europe. Publications include Grades 1 to 8 theory Workbooks and two volumes of piano arrangements Main Stream & Standard Jazz.