Paul Watkins enjoys a distinguished career both as a cellist and as a conductor, and in the 2009-10 season became the first ever music director of the English Chamber Orchestra.
As solo cellist he performs regularly with all the major British orchestras including the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, London's Philharmonia, and City of Birmingham Symphony.
Outside the UK he has performed with the Netherlands Philharmonic, Melbourne Symphony, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and the RAI National Symphony Orchestra of Turin. Recent highlights include his debut at Carnegie Hall performing Brahms’ Double Concerto with Daniel Hope, and appearances with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, City of Birmingham Symphony, Philharmonia, and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
He also premiered (and was the dedicatee of) Mark-Anthony Turnage’s new concerto with the Royal Flemish, Tampere, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestras and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig.
A dedicated chamber musician, he was a member of the Nash Ensemble from 1997 to 2013, and joined the Emerson String Quartet in 2013. He has given solo recitals at the Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, South Bank Centre, Manchester's Bridgewater Hall, and Queens Hall in Edinburgh.
In 2009 he signed an exclusive contract with Chandos Records. Recent releases include the Delius, Elgar, and Lutoslawski concertos, and discs of British music for cello and piano. Mr. Watkins plays a cello made by Domenico Montagnana and Matteo Goffriller in Venice, c.1730.