Romance - Parish Alvars  



Photo: David Watkins David Watkins "effortless mastery ... totally spellbinding"

His solo concerts have taken him all over the world, performing many of the compositions that have been written especially for him. He has also performed as soloist with the London Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, etc. and appeared as soloist with the London Sinfonietta at the London 'Proms' with Sir Simon Rattle conducting. Since winning first prize in an International American Competition with his composition 'Petite Suite' for Harp, he has written many pieces including the 'Concertino Pastorale', which he played with the London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall, Walter Susskind conducting.

The music playing is Romance by Parish Alvars from the CD The Eternal Dreamer

The American Harp Journal Winter 2018: David Watkins: An Intimate Portrait by John Browne
Editor’s Note: In honor of Professor David Watkins’ 80th birthday, we present an intimate portrait of this iconic harpist, teacher, composer and arranger. This is the first article in The American Harp Journal about Prof. Watkins and is the culmination of numerous visits by John Browne to Prof. Watkins’ remote home in Bwlch y Cibau,1 Wales for interviews, conversations and archiving assistance. (Thank you to Elizabeth Huntley and Karen Vaughan for “sowing the seeds” for this article.)
View PDF here

Sample Programme
Martin Peerson The Fall of the leafe
John Dowland My Lady Hunsdon's Puffe
William Croft Sarabande and Ground
John Parry Sonata in D (Allegro - Aria - Gavotte)
Louis Spohr Fantasy in C Minor
Mikhail Glinka Nocturne
Albert Zabel Sad Marguerite at the Spinning Wheel
David Watkins A Welsh Landscape (Titlun Cymreig)
William Matthias Three Improvisations
Antonio Ruiz-Pipo Cancion y Danza
Felix Godefroid Concert Study
Marcel Tournier L'Eternel Reveur
Vers la Source
Au Matin
Claude Debussy La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin
Premiere Arabesque
David Watkins Petite Suite (Prelude - Nocyutnr - Fire Dance)

From recent reviews:

Technical Mastery and Control in Harp Concert
David Watkins (harp)
City Museum

There could hardly have been a better way to take time out from the hassles of the festive season than spending an hour in the enchanting company of harpist David Watkins.

David had chosen a programme of short and attractive pieces which really highlighted the instrument's best qualities, and which he presented with the bare minimum of spoken introduction, ensuring that this hour-long recital was virtually wall-to-wall music.

Despite this, part of David's charm is his really unassuming delivery, both when playing music by other composers and, indeed, his own pieces.

In a recital which encompassed works from Croft to Godfroid and featured such immediately appealing items as Zabel's Sad Marguerite At the Spinning Wheel, Spohr's Fantasy and a crossover version of Liszt's well-known Consolation which now seemed better suited to the harp than the original piano, David's assured technical mastery and control were irrefutable.

A Welsh Landscape, dedicated to Pembrokeshire poet, sculptor and fellow-harpist Rosalind Sharples, attested to David's standalone skill as a composer where, not surprisingly, the writing was both totally idiomatic and eminently successful in conveying the music's descriptive programme. With a short seasonal inclusive, Simon Wright's simple yet effective take on Silent Night, and a generous encore, this was not only an immensely enjoyable concert, but the perfect template for those who follow, in terms of length, content and balance.

Plymouth Herald 15 December 2008.

Recital for the Mayfield Festival
"Thank you for a wonderful recital. It was not only your playing with such sensitivity and colours but the sheer presentation and the way you had the audience in the palm of your hand." 

Neil Mackie C.B.E. 28 April 2008

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