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Ian Watt

Ian Watt

...a dazzlingly virtuosic performance...

The Herald

Watt's exceptional range of timbre is especially apparent in John McLeod's inventive Fantasy on Themes from Britten's Gloriana, while the opening of (Britten's) Nocturnal is sublime...

BBC Music Magazine

Solo - Guitar


  • Ian Watt - classical guitar


Ian Watt's wide repertoire encompasses music from Europe and America, spanning half a millennium. Programmes include a wide range of classical repertoire in each concert with some music written before 1750 and some works from Spain. Both substantial works, such as sonatas, and shorter pieces are programmed together. Composers whom Watt particularly enjoys presenting include Luis Milan, Francesco da Milano, Robert de Visée, Bach, Paganini, Sor, Aguado, Chopin, Albéniz, Granados, Tarrega, Falla, Turina, Rodrigo, José Marín, Villa-Lobos, Ponce and Barrios.


Born in Aberdeenshire, Scotland in 1991, Ian Watt first came to international attention when, at 18, he was awarded 2nd prize (silver medal) at the 2009 Parkening International Guitar Competition (USA), the world’s preeminent guitar competition. He has since won numerous prestigious competitions, including the Heinsberg International Guitar Competition and the Westfalian Guitar Spring International Competition.

Since then, he has appeared as a soloist throughout Europe and the world. To date, in addition to the UK, Watt has performed in the USA, China, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Hungary, Ukraine, Denmark, Holland, Estonia, Norway and Belgium and as a concerto soloist with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia and Scottish Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also increasingly in demand as a teacher, regularly giving masterclasses internationally, most recently in China (at the Central Conservatory in Beijing), Germany, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

As well as his performances on BBC Radio, Watt was featured in a BBC 2 documentary which included a performance of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez and his performances have also been seen and heard on television and radio stations in the USA, Austria and Holland. His debut album, "Invocación – Impressions of Spain", was released by Nimbus Alliance in 2011 and his second recording, "Britten, Walton, McLeod, Wilson and Dowland" was released by Nimbus in 2013. His most recent recording was an album of solo guitar works by the contemporary British composer, Paul Coles.

A keen advocate of contemporary music, Watt took part in Peter Maxwell Davies’ 75th birthday celebration concerts in Glasgow in November 2009, giving a performance of the rarely heard ‘Dark Angels’ song cycle for voice and guitar in the composer’s presence. He has since collaborated with composers Rory Boyle and most recently John McLeod, whose Guitar Concerto (dedicated to Watt and the composer’s first work for the instrument) he premiered in March 2010.