dan watson

Dan completed a Masters in orchestral conducting at Birmingham Conservatoire, and has studied with Michael Seal, Sian Edwards, Edwin Roxburgh, Daniele Rosina and others. He won an MBF Emerging Excellence Award and Birmingham Conservatoire’s Conducting Prize. Currently Dan holds principal and guest conductorships with a number of orchestras across the Midlands, and also regularly works with Royal Birmingham Conservatoire's LEAP Ensemble, which is dedicated to enthusing young musicians to pursue a lifelong passion in creating and performing. Dan was also recently appointed as the conductor of the NLMS Summer School Symphony Orchestra.

He 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 was Conductor and Artistic Director of Thumb contemporary music ensemble with whom he commissioned new music, performed at festivals and contemporary concert series, directed numerous performances resulting in over 50 premières of new works, and worked alongside the likes of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Mark-Antony Turnage.

Throughout his career, Dan has enjoyed working with soloists in the early stages of their careers. In recent years he has worked with Fenella Humphreys (Sibelius Violin Concerto), Sarah Sew (Elgar and Mendelssohn Violin Concerti), Izzy Howard (Brahms Violin Concerto), Danushka Edirisinge (Elgar and Shostakovich No. 1 Cello Concerti), and many others. In 2024 he is delighted to be continuing his association with the extraordinary Kanneh-Mason family as Mariatu will be working with Dan and the Stratford-upon-Avon Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Saint-Saëns' Cello Concerto No. 1.

He lives in Leicestershire with wife Sally, cat Morris, an increasingly inquisitive daughter, Bethan, and a small flock of chickens.