Tristan Watson, originally from York, moved to Cardiff in 2008 to take up a place at Cardiff University to read music. His degree focused on all aspects of music strengthening his skills in performance, composition, theory and analysis. Before he began at Cardiff University, performance was Tristan’s main interest. He held the position of principal clarinet with the Young Sinfonia, Yorchestra and his county youth orchestra with whom he played his first concerto with under the direction of Simon Wright.
This love for performance grew over the course of his degree, where he played in the university symphony orchestra for four years as well as giving many solo recitals. In 2008 he successful audition for the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain and played with them for two years. Performing with this top level ensemble kindled a love for wind orchestras and in 2009, Tristan became the founding conductor of the Cardiff University Wind Ensemble, an ensemble which he has enjoyed many successes with over the past 3 years. In 2011 the ensemble received a gold award at the National Concert Band Festival in Cheltenham and again in Southampton in 2012.
More recent performances have seen Tristan perform regularly with the York Young Soloists, Leeds Youth Opera and the Yorkshire Wind Orchestra. Performances towards the end of this year will see Tristan join forces with soprano Martha Hayward, performing recitals in Sheffield, Wakefield and Leeds.
Alongside performance, Tristan is very fond of creating new music and in 2012 completed a masters degree in composition at Cardiff University under the guidance of Arlene Sierra, Robert Fokkens and Judith Wier. As a composer, Tristan has spent time working with members of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Exaudi Vocal Ensemble and the flautist Rowland Sutherland. He has had works performed by ensembles such as the Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group and more recently by catch_22 ensemble as part of a Tour de France cultural exchange event in Leeds.
In early 2012 Tristan took up the position of orchestral manager intern with the Welsh Sinfonia. The experience he gained working with one of the top Welsh chamber orchestras lead him to his first full time job as the performance and workshop coordinator at the Leeds College of Music. At Leeds College of Music Tristan is responsible for coordinating all the student performances taking place on and off the campus. Tristan’s role also requires him to work with the academic staff to schedule a series of visiting tutors to give master classes and workshops. This aspect of the job has seen Tristan work with many top level musicians including pianist Wolfgang Manz, soprano Deborah York and violinist Charlie Siem.