Alexei Watkins

Alexei Watkins

Key Facts


Born in 1995, London based French Horn player Alexei graduated from the Royal Academy of Music with a First Class Honours Bachelor of Music Degree in July 2017 and was awarded the D Day Fund Award. He also currently holds the Dennis Brain Prize and the Gill Culpin Award.

He is a keen orchestral player, and is currently on trial with the Hallé for the position of 2nd Horn and with the BBC Symphony Orchestra for the 5th Horn chair. He has also played with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru and is currently Principal Horn of the Britten Pears Orchestra (from 2015). As a soloist, Alexei has given several recitals across the country. He 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 has a strong interest in chamber music; he has played with the Nash Ensemble and is a founding member of the Grove Ensemble, a Wind Quintet formed at the Academy in 2014. 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, both for Linn Records. At the Academy, Alexei won the Worshipful Company of Musicians Brass Ensemble Prize with his Brass Quintet in June 2015 and is now a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

Alexei is very keen to promote new music and most notably, premièred 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, he has commissioned and premièred several works by composer Alex Woolf such as Aria for Horn and Piano and the trio Watch This Space for Oboe, Horn and Piano.  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.

In September 2017 he started a Postgraduate Course with a Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music under the tuition of Michael Thompson, Martin Owen and Katy Woolley. Alexei is very grateful for generous financial support from the Countess of Munster Musical Trust and Revd John Wates.


Musicians’ Company Award: RAM Brass Ensemble 2015

Page Updated: May 2018