"Scott Watkins is a polished player in his prime." - Folio Weekly "Watkins plays with great sweeps and washes of sound ... with a vivid imagination and fire ... this was a highly praiseworthy concert – a fulfilling musical evening." - New York Concert Review "Watkins plays authoritatively and expressively." - The Dallas Morning News
Scott Watkins is an American classical pianist and graduate of The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music with a degree in piano performance where he held the Van Cliburn Scholarship and studied with Bela Siki. He was also a student of Canadian pianist Raymond Dudley at The University of South Carolina where he earned the Master of Music degree. He holds a Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from The Florida State University where he studied with Edward Kilenyi. He won the prestigious Artistic Ambassador Award in 1985, and the Patricia D’Angelus Award at the Memphis Beethoven International Piano Competition in 1999. Since those early days his career has taken him to many of the world's concert stages, and he has enjoyed many collaborations with some of the finest orchestras and noted soloists, including soprano Elizabeth Futral, tenor Stanford Olsen, and violinists Eugene Fodor and Hillary Hahn. He has worked with conductors Fabio Mechetti, Andrew Lloyd Jones, Heping Liu, Michael Krajewski, Christopher Confessore, Phillip Spurgeon, Christopher Wilkins, Marguerite Richardson, and Daniel Dominick among many others.
Called “a polished player in his prime,” by Folio Weekly, his performances have been described as “fresh, forceful, and exciting” (Tallahassee Democrat) … and “colossal, with instances of delicate lyricism” (La Nacion, Buenos Aires). He was called “superb” by the Chicago Sun Times. As a recitalist, his playing has often been described as sophisticated: "Watkins keeps one ear open at all times for the composer’s voice” (Daily Bulletin, Tryon, North Carolina) …“a versatile interpreter with ethereal and delicate touches of color" (Die Welt, Frankfurt) … “always seeks to penetrate the depths of the music." (La Hora, Quito, Ecuador) … "a rousing, virtuosic performance, excitingly played with finesse and spirit. This was, in sum, a performance of distinction” (The State, Columbia, South Carolina) … "a sparkling performance, from the flourishes of the passage work and finely articulated voicing, to the full, lush sound of romanticism ... a splendid performance" (The Press Journal, Vero Beach, Florida). His most recent Carnegie Hall recital was described as "a highly praiseworthy concert - a fulfilling musical evening" (New York Concert Review).
Watkins is currently Professor of Piano at Jacksonville University, and since 2011, he has held the position of Visiting Foreign Scholar at Beifang University’s Conservatory of Music and Dance in Yin Chuan, China, where he performs, teaches, and lectures during the Spring. Watkins’ latest recording, American Piano Sonatas, was released in September on Jacksonville University’s record label, Dolphinium Records, and includes music by Howard Hanson, William Schirmer, and Carlisle Floyd. Peter Burwasser, music critic for Fanfare Magazine writes that Watkins plays “splendidly, bringing a fine balance of colorful tonality and elegance” to the works. Scott Cantrell of The Dallas Morning News was equal in his praise writing that "Watkins offers an enterprising triptych of formally traditional but stylistically varied sonatas spanning seven decades [which] he plays authoritatively and expressively." In 2016, Watkins discovered the unpublished manuscript of American composer Howard Hanson's "Symphonic Rhapsody" - composed in 1919. Carl Fischer published Watkins' edition of the work in December, 2017.
JS Bach No. 1 in D minor
JS Bach No. 4 in A major
Beethoven No. 2 in B-flat major
Beethoven No. 3 in C minor
Beethoven No. 4 in G major
Beethoven No. 5 in E-flat major
Beethoven Choral Fantasy
Beethoven Triple Concerto
Chopin "La ci darem la mano" Variations (Mozart)
Chopin No. 1 in E minor
Gershwin "Rhapsody in Blue"
Gershwin Second Rhapsody
Grieg Concerto in A minor
Hanson Concerto in G major
Khachaturian Concerto in D-flat major
Liszt Concerto No. 2 in A major
Mozart No. 12 in A major
Mozart No. 17 in G major
Mozart No. 20 in D minor
Mozart No. 27 in B-flat major
Rachmaninoff No. 2 in C minor
Rachmaninoff "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini"
Schumann Introduction and Allegro appassionato
Tchaikovsky No. 1 in B-flat minor