“Watkins is fully up to all of the composer’s challenges […] this is surely the finest account [of the Walton concerto] that has ever been recorded, manifestly superior in sensitivity and virtuosic élan from any other […] of the highest musical grasp and understanding.”
Robert Matthew-Walker, International Record Review
"Britain's finest cellist, Watkins' account [of the Elgar concerto] seems the best to have appeared on disc for years. It has intensity, presence and warmth, which never topples over into sentimentality."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
About Paul Watkins
Acclaimed for his inspirational performances and eloquent musicianship, Paul Watkins enjoys a remarkably varied and distinguished career as soloist, chamber musician and conductor. He regularly appears as concerto soloist with orchestras throughout the world. Recent highlights include concertos with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Colorado Symphony, Hong Kong and Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestras, and appearances at the BBC Proms as conductor and soloist.
A much sought-after chamber musician, Paul was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 until 2013, when he joined the Emerson String Quartet. He performs regularly with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and at festivals worldwide. He was the first ever Music Director of the English Chamber Orchestra, and also served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra from 2009 to 2012. Since winning the 2002 Leeds Conducting Competition he has conducted many of the major orchestras throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Paul records exclusively for Chandos Records, with recent releases including Britten’s Cello Symphony, the Walton, Delius, Elgar and Lutoslawski concertos, Mendelssohn’s music for cello and piano, and an ongoing series of British sonatas with his brother, Huw Watkins. In 2014, Paul was appointed Artistic Director of the Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival.