Champagne & Chopin, Annual Membership Meeting, Concert & Reception

Tuesday, September 20, 2016, 7:00pm
Champagne & Chopin
Annual Membership Meeting, Concert & Reception

Concert is free and open to the public.
Doors open 30 minutes in advance of concert.

*Reservations required, please e-mail or call 904-355-7584
with the number of seats in your party by Thursday, September 15*



Scott Watkins, piano



Symphonic Rhapsody, Op. 14
Howard Hanson

Sonata in B-flat major, KV 570
W. A. Mozart

Andante cantabile

Frédéric Chopin

A-flat major, Op. 42
D-flat major, Op. 64, No. 1 Minute
A-flat major, Op. 69, No. 1
D-flat major, Op. 70, No. 3
E-flat major, Op. 18 Brilliante
A-flat major, Op. 34, No. 1



American pianist Scott Watkins is a graduate of The University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music with a degree in piano performance where he held the Van Cliburn Scholarship and studied with Bela Siki. At the University of South Carolina, where he earned the Master of Music degree, he studied with the late Canadian pianist Raymond Dudley. He holds a Doctor of Music degree in piano performance from The Florida State University where he studied with the late Edward Kilenyi. He won the prestigious Artistic Ambassador Award from The U. S. Department of State in 1985, and the Patricia D’Angelus Award at the Memphis Beethoven International Piano Competition in 1999. Since those early days his career has taken him to many of the world's concert stages, and he has enjoyed many collaborations with some of the finest orchestras and noted soloists, including soprano Elizabeth Futral, tenor Stanford Olsen, and violinists Eugene Fodor and Hillary Hahn.  He has worked with conductors Fabio Mechetti, Andrew Lloyd Jones, Heping Liu, Michael Krajewski, Christopher Confessore, Christopher Wilkins, and Daniel Dominick among many others.  He has been soloist with the Brevard Symphony Orchestra of Florida, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Lanzhou Symphony Orchestra in China, the Montevideo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sherman, Texas, Symphony Orchestra, and the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela.


Called “a polished player in his prime,” by Folio Weekly, his performances have been described as “fresh, forceful, and exciting” (Tallahassee Democrat) … and “colossal, with instances of delicate lyricism” (La Nacion, Buenos Aires). He was called “superb” by the Chicago Sun Times. As a recitalist, his playing has often been described as sophisticated: "Watkins keeps one ear open at all times for the composer’s voice” (Daily Bulletin, Tryon, North Carolina) …“a versatile interpreter with ethereal and delicate touches of color" (Die Welt, Frankfurt) …  “always seeks to penetrate the depths of the music." (La Hora, Quito, Ecuador) … "a rousing, virtuosic performance, excitingly played with finesse and spirit. This was, in sum, a performance of distinction” (The State, Columbia, South Carolina) … "a sparkling performance, from the flourishes of the passage work and finely articulated voicing, to the full, lush sound of romanticism ... a splendid performance" (The Press Journal, Vero Beach, Florida).


His lastest recording, American Piano Sonatas, has garnered high praise from critics.  Scott Cantrell wrote in The Dallas Morning News that “Watkins plays authoritatively and expressively,” and Fanfare Magazine’s Peter Burwasser said that “Watkins plays splendidly bringing a fine tonal balance and elegance” to the three sonatas by Howard Hanson, Carlisle Floyd, and William Schirmer.


Watkins’s solo recital at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall in October, 2015, was met with enthusiastic critical acclaim.  Rorianne Schrade, in the New York Concert Review, wrote that his performance of Bela Bartok’s Piano Sonata “was bold and bracing in its relentless rhythms without ever devolving into the earsplitting harshness.” Equally praiseful of the Hanson Sonata, Schrade said that he played “with excellent attention to detail and respect for the score and with the fidelity of a music historian.”


Debussy’s Preludes, Book II, she said “were a good match for Mr. Watkins’ gifts. He plays with the requisite clarity, but with great sweeps and washes of sound when required. These were excellent performances. All in all, it was a highly praiseworthy concert – a fulfilling musical evening.”


In 2014 Scott Watkins was a guest artist at both the College Music Society’s National Conference in Indianapolis and at the Society of Composers National Conference at the University of Florida. He is currently Associate Professor of Music at Jacksonville University where he is the coordinator of keyboard studies, and teaches classes in piano literature and collaborative arts along with a class of gifted piano students. Since 2011, he has held the position of Visiting Foreign Scholar at Beifang University’s Conservatory of Music and Dance in Yin Chuan, China, where he teaches and lectures each Spring.


Watkins was named a Shigeru Kawai Concert Artist in 2011.