top of page


"… young US conductor Kensho Watanabe gamely stepped in with direction that was focused and controlled yet bursting with energy, teeming with detail yet never micromanaged. His Mahler Fourth sounded – unsurprisingly – gloriously nimble and buoyant under a chamber orchestra, and his characterisations were masterful, especially in the raw, devilish scherzo, high on grotesquerie."

David Kettle, The Scotsman

31 January 2020 | Scottish Chamber Orchestra

"…in Mr. Watanabe’s turbocharged tempo bursts, in his accents and phrases hurled like lightning bolts, in well-considered details that revealed previously overlooked sinews and muscles in the score’s anatomy... all of the theatrically astute details seemed instinctual – but, of course, instinct isn’t worth much without technique, and Mr. Watanabe would seem to have that by the truckload...

The orchestra responded with some of its best playing in memory – the luxurious sheen of the strings was especially impressive."

Mike Greenberg, incident light

9 November 2019 | San Antonio Symphony

"… the younger maestro displayed the intelligence and agility that has made him a favorite with local audiences since his days as a conducting fellow at the Curtis Institute…Watanabe embedded a great deal of personality into Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony, diving into the work with confidence and a forceful hand. It sounded like youth personified – a balance of received wisdom and contemporary thought about how this music should be played."

Cameron Kelsall, Bachtrack

26 April 2019 | The Philadelphia Orchestra

bottom of page