Alexei Watkins

Alexei Watkins

Key Facts

  • Instrument: Horn

Biography

Born in 1995 in London, Alexei studies French Horn at the Royal Academy of Music on a Sir Elton John Scholarship under the tuition of Michael Thompson, Martin Owen, Katy Woolley and Roger Montgomery. He also currently holds the Gill Culpin Award.

He is a keen orchestral player, and has played with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia and is currently Principal Horn of the Britten Pears Orchestra (2014-15). He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (2011-13) and was also Principal Horn of Thames Youth Orchestra (2010-13). As a soloist, Alexei has performed the Britten Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings both in the UK and abroad with Thames Youth Orchestra and Mozart’s 4th Horn Concerto at Hampton School, where he held a Music Scholarship.

Alexei holds strong interests in chamber music and is a member of several ensembles at the Academy. He was a member of Aldeburgh Young Musicians (2011-2013), where he enjoyed playing in ensembles and exploring contemporary music. Here, he held a Leverhulme scholarship and performed in venues such as Snape Maltings and Latitude Festival. In April 2015 Alexei recorded Mozart’s Gran Partita with the Royal Academy of Music Soloists Ensemble and Strauss’ Symphony of Wind and Serenade with Aldeburgh Winds. At the Academy, Alexei won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Ensemble Prize with his Brass Quintet in June 2015.

Alexei is very keen to promote new music and most notably, premiered the ‘Serenade’ for Tenor, Horn and Strings by Alex Woolf, commissioned by Aldeburgh Music as part of the Britten Centenary celebrations in November 2013 at Snape Maltings. Continuing this collaboration with composer Alex Woolf and fellow oboe student at the Academy, Tom Blomfield, Alexei is a founding member of the Trio for Oboe, Horn and Piano, ‘Watch This Space’. In the Summer 2015, Alexei was the horn player in the Britten Pears Contemporary Music course under the direction of Oliver Knussen and Colin Matthews.