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Eric James Watson

Adjunct Lecturer

Music

Qualification

Postgraduate Diploma in Higher Education (PGDHE),
Nanyang Technological University,
National Institute of Education, Singapore

Master of Arts,
Nanyang Technological University,
National Institute of Education, Singapore


G.T.C.L., Principal Studies: Piano, Violin, Conducting, Composition
Graduate Trinity College of London, UK

L.T.C.L., Piano, Principal Study: Piano,
Licentiate Trinity College of Music, UK

L.T.C.L. Mus.Ed, Principal Study: Music Education
Licentiate Trinity College of London, UK

Biography

One of Singapore’s notable musicians, Eric was born in the UK and he moved to Singapore in 1994. Awarded the Ricordi prize, he is an established composer, conductor, music technologist and pedagogue.

His output is extensive, working in the genres of opera, musical theatre, film and television, and he has also written scores in many diverse genres including Electro-Acoustic music, Gamelan and Chinese Orchestra.

In 2001, he was the composer and musical director for the Singapore National Day Parade, for which he recorded an orchestral score with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra. And again in 2007, he wrote and arranged orchestral music for National Day, this time with four different orchestras - the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Singapore Chinese Orchestra, an Indian ensemble as well as a Malay ensemble.

In 2008, Eric was awarded first prize in the Singapore Chinese Orchestra International Composition Competition for his work, “Tapestries I - Time Dances”. In 2011, he wrote the first-prize winning piece “Aftermath” and in 2013, “Nebulae” for the Singapore Piano and Violin Competition. He has also written the musical, ‘A River In Time’ in which he achieved a fusion of Western Orchestra, Gamelan and a small Chinese Orchestra, as well as a second musical, “Land of A Thousand Dreams”. Numerous other works include “Singapura”, a set of orchestra variations based on the local melody of the same name; “The Wind” for Symphonic Band and Chorus; “Samarkand”, a concert march for symphonic band; “Concerto for Chinese Orchestra and Tabla” and “Songs of the North”, a Concerto Grosso for Chinese Orchestra, Fiddle, English Concertina, Pipa and Dizi; “Tapestries II - The Land Beneath the Wind” for Chinese Orchestra; “The Golden Orb” for Harp Ensemble; and a short symphonic piece “Intersections” written for the 'The Orchestra of the Musicmakers'.

Eric has a long teaching career since the 1970s where he has taught at various institutions such as the Central School of Speech & Drama, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), Urdang Dance Academy and Arts Educational School in London, UK, as well as LASALLE-SIA College of the Arts in Singapore. He is currently Senior Teaching Fellow at the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and in his pedagogical work, he takes a special interest in teaching both classical and contemporary orchestration, composition, jazz and improvisational techniques.

Highlights of Eric’s performance/composition/research interests in recent years include:

2014

“Hymn of Wusuli”, a re-orchestration for Western Orchestra  with Double Solo Erhu;

“Vermillion Pheonix” for Solo Dizi and Percussion;

Kou Pao Kun Award in Arts and Culture for New Immigrant

2013

“Nebulae” for Solo Piano,

(Winner of the Artist category composition for the Singapore National Piano and Violin Competition 2013);

“River Life” for Solo Yang Qin;

“Midsummer Common” for Chinese Orchestra, written for the 2013 Huayi Festival at the Esplanade, featuring the SCO and poetry readings

2012

 

“Voices” for Chinese Chamber Ensemble, recitation and painting commissioned by the Esplanade and Dingyi music company for the 10th anniversary of the opening of Esplanade Theatres on The Bay;

“One People, One Nation, One Singapore” arrangement for Wind Symphony and Chorus;

“Intersections I” for Symphony Orchestra, an overture commissioned by the Orchestra of the Music Makers premiered in Singapore and UK;

“A Conference of Voices”, a Concerto Grosso for Erhu, Violin, Fiddle and Chinese Orchestra (SCO);

“Mirages” for Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello”, premiered in Singapore by Chamber Sounds;

“The Golden Orb” for International Harp Ensemble, premiered in France;

“Carnival - Fiesta Del Sol” for Symphonic Wind Ensemble premiered by ITE Symphonic Wind Orchestra in National Band Competition

2011

 

“Aftermath” for Piano Solo,

(Winner of the Artist category composition for the Singapore National Piano and Violin Competition 2011);

“Tapestries III -- The Gate of the Grand Mansion” Concerto for Sanxian and Chinese Orchestra (SCO);

"Fantasy Concertante for Baroque Recorder, Dizi and Chinese Orchestra" (SCO);

“Pospero's Isle” for Chamber Ensemble premiered by Chamber Sounds;

"Building the Rainbow Bridge" Concerto for Double Bass and Chinese Ensemble

2010

 

"Red Dragonflies" for Symphonic Band;

“Tapestries II --The Land Beneath the Wind” for Chinese Orchestra (SCO);

“Concert March - Samarkand” for Symphonic Wind Orchestra premiered by ITE Symphonic Wind Orchestra in International Band Competition, Genting Malaysia