dan watson


Dan is a freelance UK based conductor, developing his professional career through a varied portfolio of engagements encompassing orchestral and chamber work, opera and musical theatre. He completed a Masters in orchestral conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire.

Dan currently holds conductorships with Stratford-Upon-Avon Symphony Orchestra, Djanogly Community Orchestra, Blackwood Clarinet Choir, Thumb contemporary music ensemble, the Leicestershire Schools Symphony Orchestra and Nova Orchestra Classica. He has regular freelance work across the Midlands including conducting Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's LEAP Ensemble, which is dedicated to enthusing young musicians to pursue a lifelong passion in creating and performing.

Dan featured in the BBC series All Together Now: The Great Orchestra Challenge, as then principal conductor of The People's Orchestra. The program, designed to inspire and promote amateur music making, reflects many of Dan's continued aims as a conductor, to bring together professionals and community musicians alike, culminating in high standard performances and rewarding life experiences.

Dan has a particular interest in contemporary music. He is Conductor and Artistic Director of Thumb contemporary music ensemble with whom he won a Musicians Benevolent Fund Emerging Excellence Award, and has directed numerous performances resulting in over 50 premières of new works by established and emerging composers.

He lives in Hinckley, Leicestershire, with wife Sally, cat Morris, and an increasingly adventurous daughter, Bethan, who was born in December 2017.





Advanced Conducting course with Siân Edwards. Full bursary awarded

Masterclasses with George Benjamin on his Three Inventions for Chamber Orchestra and Steve Potter, Play


Wagner, Siegfried Idyll
Birmingham Conservatoire

July '12 – March '13: MBF EMERGING EXCELLENCE AWARD as Artistic Director and conductor of THUMB contemporary music ensemble

June 2012: Michael Beech Conducting Prize, at Birmingham Conservatoire

orchestras, Ensembles and organisations

ACE Dance and Music
Asklepios Orchestra

Bardi Symphony Orchestra

Bedworth Symphony Orchestra
Birmingham Conservatoire Ensembles

  1. -Symphony Orchestra

  2. -Repertoire Orchestra

  3. -Composers Ensemble

  4. -Thallein Ensemble

  5. -Wind Orchestra

  6. -Learning and Participation Ensemble (LEAP)

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Birmingham Philharmonic Orchestra

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Birmingham Schools Symphony Orchestra

Blackwell Concert Band

Blackwood Clarinet Choir

Bournville Clarinet Choir

Bridgnorth Sinfonia
Central England Concert Band

Chandos Symphony Orchestra

Cheltenham Symphony Orchestra

Dartington Festival Orchestra

Djanogly Community Orchestra

Elemental Opera

Eroica Camerata

Helix Ensemble

Greenbelt Festival

Leamington Sinfonia

Leicestershire Schools Orchestras

  1. -Symphony Orchestra

  2. -Wind Orchestra

  3. -Training Orchestra

Linden Park Symphony Orchestra

London Sinfonietta
National Saxophone Choir

Nova Orchestra Classica

Orchestre Philharmonia Mundi de Montréal
Royal Forest of Dean Symphony Orchestra

Royal Sutton Coldfield Symphony Orchestra

Salford Arts Theatre

Solihull Symphony Orchestra

Stan’s Cafe

Stratford-Upon-Avon Symphony Orchestra

Tamworth Ladies Choir

Tamworth Male Voice Choir

Tamworth Voices

The Orchestra of Moving Pictures
The People's Orchestra
Thumb Contemporary Music Ensemble

Town Hall Gospel Choir

Toy Sound Circus

Wyre Forest Symphony Orchestra