David Watkin wins BBC Music Magazine Award

David Watkin wins BBC Music Magazine Award

Published: 06/04/2016

An internationally-renowned cellist and Head of Strings at Scotland’s national conservatoire has been awarded the one of the BBC’s highly acclaimed classical music awards for instrumental performance.

David Watkin, Head of Strings at RCS, has been awarded the BBC Music Magazine’s Instrumental Award for his recording of Bach Cello Suites. He is the first cellist to win this award.

The Awards recognise the very best instrumentalists and composers in the classical music industry. The BBC Music Magazine Awards are unique in that they are the world’s only classical music awards voted for by the public. The recording is also a travellers’ choice on the British Airways global playlist.

The BBC magazine noted a “certain poignancy” in the award for instrumental performance – which went to David Watkin for his album of JS Bach Cello Suites, saying:

“It’s very hard to put into words why this recording is so special. One of the finest Baroque cellists at last commits to disc great works he’s lived with for many years”¦This is inspirational solo Bach of the highest order, intimate and exalted, and it’s a profoundly moving achievement.”

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said:

“I am extraordinarily proud of what David Watkin has achieved as a musician, performer and as an educator. His unique style of teaching has given our students opportunities to think differently about how they perform. David’s teaching encourages active listening, collaboration and thoughtful rehearsal and performance.Watching him use his unique talents to bring forth the next generation of world-class musicians is a great pleasure. He is one of our leading musicians and I am delighted that he has been recognised with this award and I am doubly proud that he has chosen to teach at RCS.”

David joined RCS as Head of the Strings department in 2014 and has revolutionised the way Strings students at the Royal Conservatoire approach their music studies. Bach Cello Suites is his latest recording, which has previously been awarded a Gramophone Award, with Gramophone writing: “Watkin’s profound musicianship, is more than enough to accelerate this recording of Bach Cello Suites to the top of the tiny league of ”˜definitive’ recordings.”

The winners were announced at a ceremony at Kings Place, London, hosted by BBC Radio 4’s James Naughtie and BBC Music Magazine Editor Oliver Condy.

“The thrill of listening to, shortlisting and then inviting our readers to vote on the finest discs of the year never diminishes,” said Mr Condy.

“The sheer variety of this year’s winners – from the intimate journey of one man and his cello in JS Bach to the vast forces assembled for Verdi’s Aida – simply underlines the vibrant state of classical music recording today.”

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