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, New London Music Society and Nova Orchestra Classica. He also has regular freelance work as guest conductor for ensembles such as Helix Ensemble, Chandos Symphony Orchestra and 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 Barwell, Leicestershire, with wife Sally, cat Morris, and an increasingly inquisitive 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
Symphony Orchestra
Repertoire Orchestra
Composers Ensemble
Thallein Ensemble
Wind Orchestra
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
British Police Symphony Orchestra
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
Symphony Orchestra
Wind Orchestra
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
Rugby School
Salford Arts Theatre 
Solihull Symphony Orchestra
Stan’s Cafe
Stratford-Upon-Avon Festival Chorus
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