Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, guitarist Ian Watt has appeared throughout the world, giving concerts in the USA, China, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Denmark, Holland and Estonia, and performing concertos with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra. His playing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland, Classic FM, NDR Radio (Germany) and WSMC Radio (USA)
In the field of contemporary music, Watt has worked extensively with John McLeod, premiering all of the composer’s guitar works and making the premiere recording of Fantasy on themes from Britten’s Gloriana to mark the Britten Centenary in 2013. Watt was also the first to make a commercial recording of Dreammusic, a piece by one of Scotland’s greatest 20th century composers, Thomas Wilson. More recently, he recorded an album of solo guitar works by the contemporary British composer Paul Coles for Nimbus Alliance records, with whom he has released two other solo albums, Invocación – Impressions of Spain (2011) and Britten, Walton, McLeod, Wilson and Dowland (2013).
Increasingly in demand as a teacher, Watt has been a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland since 2013 and given masterclasses in China, Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Having studied with Allan Neave at both Aberdeen City Music School and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly the RSAMD), his awards and prizes include 1st prize (in addition to both the audience and junior jury prizes) at the Heinsberg International Guitar Competition 2011, 1st prize at the ‘Westfalian Guitar Spring’ International Competition 2010, 2nd prize at the Parkening International Guitar Competition 2009 and 2nd prize at the Vienna International Guitar Competition ‘Homage to Karl Scheit’ 2010.
‘…possessed a musicality and charisma – a temperament, even – that allows one to transcend the bonds of an instrumental community’ – Soundboard (U.S.A), 2009
‘Time stopped in this interpretation and the concentration of young Ian Watt’s guitar playing acted like a zoom lens on pain and reflection.’ – The Herald (Scotland), 2009
‘…an eighteen year old phenom.’ – Soundboard (U.S.A.), 2009
‘…astoundingly atmospheric playing in Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez…’ – The Herald (Scotland), 2008
‘Flawless, passionate and driven…’ – Aberdeen Press and Journal (Scotland), 2006