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Howard Watkins

Howard Watkins
Festival weeks 1-2

American pianist Howard Watkins is a frequent associate of some of the world’s leading musicians on the concert stage and as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera.   His appearances throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, Russia, and Israel have included collaborations with Renée Fleming, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee, Diana Damrau, Thomas Hampson, Kathleen Battle, Grace Bumbry, Mariusz Kwiecien, Anna Netrebko, and Matthew Polenzani at such venues as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Spivey Hall, Kennedy Center, the United States Supreme Court, Alice Tully Hall, the three stages of Carnegie Hall, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.

His current and former faculty affiliations include The Juilliard School, the Bard College Conservatory of Music, the Merola Opera Program, the Santa Fe Opera Apprentice Program, the Yale School of Music as a Visiting Presidential Fellow, the Tanglewood Music Center, the Aspen Music Festival, the Mannes School of Music, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the International Vocal Arts Institute (Israel, Japan, and China), IIVA in Italy, the Brancaleoni Music Festival in Italy, the Tokyo International Vocal Arts Academy (TIVAA) as a founding member, and VOICExperience in Orlando, Tampa, and Savannah.  Currently a guest Master Coach for the Cafritz Young Artists of Washington Opera and the Opera Theater of St. Louis, Mr. Watkins has worked on the music staffs of Palm Beach Opera, the Washington National Opera, and the Los Angeles Opera.

A native of Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Watkins completed the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Accompanying and Chamber Music at the University of Michigan.  Honored as the 2004 recipient of the Paul C. Boylan award from the University of Michigan for his outstanding contributions to the field of music, he is also the 2019 recipient of the Lift Every Voice Legacy Award from the National Opera Association.  He was recently recognized as one the 2022 Top Professionals of the Year by Musical America in part for his work to celebrate the music of Black composers and singers.

Mr. Watkins appears courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.