Ian graduated from the Royal Academy of Music, London in 2000 with Accordion as principal Instrument. He has a busy and varied free-lance career performing with orchestras around the world as well as leading European chamber groups (London Sinfonietta, Ensemble Modern, Britten Sinfonia, Scottish Ensemble, CHROMA, Icebreaker). He also plays on film scores, with bands (Sophie Solomon, The Divine Comedy, Blur) and in the West End.
The London Sinfonietta's mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today's culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent.
The ensemble is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre with headquarters at Kings Place, and continues to take the best contemporary music to venues and festivals across the UK and worldwide with a busy touring schedule. Since its inaugural concert in 1968 - giving the world premiere of Sir John Tavener's The Whale - the London Sinfonietta's commitment to making new music has seen it commission over 300 works, and premiere many hundreds more.
The core of the London Sinfonietta is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The ensemble has just launched its Emerging Artists Programme, which will give professional musicians at the start of promising and brilliant careers the opportunity to work alongside those Principal Players on stage across the season.
The London Sinfonietta's recordings present a catalogue of 20th-century classics, on numerous prestigious labels as well as the ensemble's own London Sinfonietta Label. Most recently, a performance of Philip Cashian's Piano Concerto was released on NMC.
Ian Watson accordion
Sinfonietta Shorts is a series of bite-sized pieces of new music from today's leading composers; commissioned and premiered by the principal players of the London Sinfonietta. Each work has enduring relevance and is a great introduction to the best new music of our time. Already in the series are pieces by Anna Meredith, Dai Fujikura, Harrison Birtwistle, Mark Bowden, Jonathan Harvey, Francisco Coll, Matt Rogers, Jordan Hunt, Deborah Pritchard, Samantha Fernando and Richard Baker.
Green Spring is a fast and lively piece with a folk influence, created by composer Elspeth Brooke and played by accordionist Ian Watson. The title evokes new life and a nod to the English pastoral, but the piece is not without its darker moments, using the low, darker range of the accordion. The piece also utilises vibrato and bellow shakes – Brooke describes the accordion in the piece as resembling “a very resistant pair of lungs” – due to the push and pull of the bellows.
Green Spring was recorded on 13 June 2016 at All Saints East Finchley, London.
Recording Producer & Engineer: David Lefeber