Andrew (Andy) Watts has enjoyed a career as a freelance musician spanning 45 years.

After reading history and music at Cambridge University he studied modern bassoon with Martin Gatt at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and baroque bassoon with Danny Bond at the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague.

Between 1988 and 2016 he was principal bassoon with The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, playing for conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Charles Mackerras, Frans Brüggen and Gustav Leonhardt. An enthusiast for music education for all ages, he was a regular member of the OAE’s education team.

Andy has played for many of the UK’s leading period instrument orchestras such as the Academy of Ancient Music, The English Concert and The English Baroque Soloists. He took part in several recording and concert projects for Nikolaus Harnoncourt in Vienna and Graz with Concentus Musicus, and played for a season with the Drottningholm Court theatre orchestra in Stockholm.

Away from the orchestral scene, Andy leads his own folk/early music fusion ensemble The Carnival Band. The band recently recorded 100 broadside ballads of the 17th century for a major research project led by Professor Christopher Marsh of Queen’s University, Belfast.