American pianist Howard Watkins is a frequent associate of some of the world’s leading musicians both on the concert stage and as an assistant conductor at the Metropolitan Opera. He has performed in numerous recitals and concerts throughout the Americas, Europe, Russia, Israel, and the Far East. In recent seasons, he has appeared in concert and on television with Joyce DiDonato, Kathleen Battle, Grace Bumbry, Mariusz Kwiecien, Matthew Polenzani, Michelle De Young, Marcello Giordani, Diana Damrau, Ben Heppner, Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón, Alexandra Deshorties, Lawrence Brownlee, Anthony Dean Griffey, and violinists Xiang Gao and Sarah Chang. Under the aegis of the Marilyn Horne Foundation, Mr. Watkins has performed in recitals and educational residencies in the United States, and he has also appeared in the Horne Foundation gala New York recital.
Mr. Watkins made his Carnegie Hall performing debut in 2002 as the harpsichord recitative accompanist in Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with James Levine and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus. He has given recitals and concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Spivey Hall, Kennedy Center, the Pierpont Morgan Library, the United States Supreme Court, Alice Tully Hall with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the three stages of Carnegie Hall, and the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia. In addition, he has performed with the MET Chamber Ensemble in Weill and Zankel Halls under the baton of James Levine. He has accompanied the classes of such legendary artists as Marilyn Horne, Renata Scotto, Regina Resnik, Regine Crespin, Frederica von Stade, Birgit Nilsson, Shirley Verrett, Håkan Hagegård, Elisabeth Soderstrom, and Josef Gingold among others. A number of his performances have been broadcast on WQXR in New York as part of George Jellinek’s “The Vocal Scene” and the “Young Artist Showcase”, and he has recorded for the Centaur and Prestant labels.
As an educator, Mr. Watkins was formerly the Vocal Arts Program Co-Coordinator of the Tanglewood Music Center, and he has taught at the Aspen Music Festival; the Banff Centre; Meadowmount School of Music; the International Vocal Arts Institute in Virginia, Israel, Japan, and China; VOICExperience in Florida and Savannah, Georgia with Sherrill Milnes and Maria Zouves; and the International Institute of Vocal Arts in Chiari, Italy. In 2015, he was a founding member of the Tokyo International Vocal Arts Academy. Formerly a faculty member of the Mannes College of Music, Mr. Watkins has also taught at the North Carolina School of the Arts in the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and worked on the music staffs of the Los Angeles Opera, the Washington National Opera, and Palm Beach Opera.
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Mr. Watkins received his undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton, and he completed his Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 1998 at the University of Michigan. In 2004, Mr. Watkins was honored as the recipient of both the Paul C. Boylan award from the University of Michigan for his outstanding contributions to the field of music, and a Special Achievement Award from the National Alumni Association of the University of Dayton. He is currently a resident of New York City.
Mr. Watkins appears courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera.