Nathaniel Watson is a versatile artist who has performed successfully in a wide variety of musical styles. Highlights include Der Freischütz with the New York Philharmonic under Sir Colin Davis, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony under Kurt Masur, and in Carnegie Hall with Sir Roger Norrington in the conductor’s debut concert in New York. He appeared in the title role in the Boston Early Music Festival production of Cavalli’s Ercole amante in Boston, at Tanglewood, and at the Utrecht Festival in Holland, and was featured in the Salzburg Festival production of Weill’s Mahagonny. He has appeared as soloist with the orchestras of Boston, Baltimore, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Tokyo, Seattle, Santiago (Chile), Montréal, Québec, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto. Recent seasons have included performances of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with Nicholas McGegan and Philharmonia Baroque, Messiah with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center, Mendelssohn’s Paulus and Mahler’s Eighth Symphony with L’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, and Handel’s Semele with Pacific Opera Victoria. Performances of Messiah with Tafelmusik in 2015 marked his 21st collaboration with the great Toronto ensemble.
Born in Boston in 1955, Mr. Watson is a graduate of the Eastman School, where he studied with Thomas Paul; and Yale School of Music, where he studied with Phyllis Curtin and Blake Stern. He was a member of the Waverly Consort in for three years while living in New York City, where he also sang often with such groups as the New York Philharmonic, the St. Thomas Choir, Opera Ensemble of New York, and Orchestra of St. Luke's. He moved to Montreal in 1994, and has performed with most of the major orchestras and early music ensembles in North America, as well as several opera companies, having sung some 35 roles, including Papageno at the Carmel Bach Festival, the Speaker (also Magic Flute) in Calgary, Count Almaviva in Marriage of Figaro with Opera Atelier (Toronto), Eugene Onegin at the Banff Festival, and Sid in Albert Herring at Britten’s own Aldeburgh Festival.
Nat appears on a CD of Honegger’s Jeanne d’Arc au bûcher with Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic, and a release of Scarlatti’s Agar et Ismaele esiliati with Seattle Baroque. He is also featured in recordings of the Bach Passions, the St. John with Alex Weimann and Orchestre Arion (Montréal), the St. Matthew with Jeffrey Thomas and the American Bach Soloists, and as Polyphemus in Acis and Galatea with Les Boréades de Montréal, directed by Eric Milnes. He has recently appeared with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles in Handel’s Messiah, as well as a concert performance of Handel’s Rodelinda with Mercury Baroque in Houston. His long-time teacher was Herbert Burtis.
Nathaniel Watson has recorded works by the American composers Samuel Barber, Philip Glass, Andrew Imbrie, and Claudio Spies, as well as premiering works by Mr. Spies, Miriam Gideon, Scott Lindroth, Ronald Perera, Lewis Spratlan, Chan Ka Nin and Earl Kim. He has been featured soloist in Ruth Fazal’s Oratorio Terezin, a work that has been performed in six countries, including Israel, and in Carnegie Hall.