Stacey Watton thumbnailWhen Classical music magazine described Stacey many years ago as “A Versatile and accomplished artist, and Scottish reviewers heralded him as a ”A Wizard” of the Double Bass. They didn’t realise that more versatilities were to follow. Stacey is Principal Double Bass with the London Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players and is also Principal with the Esprit Ensemble, Primavera Chamber Orchestra, Chamber Domaine, the English Soloist’s Ensemble, the National Symphony and the Johann Strauss Gala Orchestras. Stacey is also a Principal Bass for Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and had the pleasure of conducting his flagship show “Love Never Dies” the sequel to Phantom. He has also appeared as a guest principal with larger groups such as the Royal Concertgebouw, the Royal and London Philharmonics, the Hallé, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Stacey made his concerto début on the Bass at the age of thirteen and on the Piano at seventeen. He won the Eugene Cruft Prize for the Double Bass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he studied as a scholar. He also appeared live on Russian television and radio after becoming a prize-winner at the first International Koussevitsky Double Bass competition in Moscow in 1995.

Having had a tremendously busy career as a concerto soloist, chamber musician and orchestra principal performing on recordings, live television and radio broadcasts, not to mention having a busy commercial career recording the sound tracks to most of the Hollywood films you love past and present, Stacey has now embarked on a career as a conductor. To gain initial experience he started in earnest and without fear making his London debut conducting Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom sequel “Love Never Dies”. Recently he conducted Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Mahler’s 4th Symphony chamber versions, with some of the professions’ finest musicians at his own music festival. The performance was well received and lead him on to conduct Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s world famous epic show ‘Les Miserables’ as Associate Musical Director.

Jorma Panula, world legendary guru of conducting, who mentored the likes of Esa Pekka Salonen, Atso Amila, Mikko Franck, Sakari Oramo, and Jukka-Pekka Saraste, said “Yes!! You describe the music!” after he saw Stacey conduct Dvorak’s 9th Symphony, in Finland. Atso, Jorma’s esteemed colleague and a Conducting/Composing master in his own right said “Stacey has so much more to offer than just clear beating like most other good conductors offer these days and he looks like he loves being on the podium.”

Stacey’s career as a soloist, has seen him perform numerous concertos in prestigious venues throughout the world and is one of the few bassists in England to make regular concerto appearances. He was deeply honoured to perform Bottesini’s B Minor Concerto with the Bavarian Radio Chamber Orchestra at the Vredenburg International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht, Holland. He impressed audience and colleagues alike at the ease at which he performed the technically challenging Dragonetti’s Grande Allegro with the wonderfully spirited London Chamber Orchestra at St John’s Smith Square, London. Stacey has also enjoyed sharing the recital stage with eminent ‘cellists Steven Isserlis, Torleif Thedeen, and Daniel Mueller-Schott. Performances with the “Mighty” Belcea Quartet and Ian Bostridge at the Gulbenkian International Music Festival Lisbon and Perth International Music Festival were also a highlight of his playing career. Other International artists such as Nigel Kennedy have commented that Stacey is a “remarkable talent”. Each year he is reunited with his chamber music family at Julian Rachlin and Friends International Festival in Dubrovnik, Croatia and Janine Jansen International Chamber Music Festival in Utrecht, Holland. He is very proud to be included in a family which also includes one of the most famous ‘cellists of all, Mischa Maisky and the ground breaking revolutionary Clarinettist Martin Frost. Oh and Sir Roger Moore 007. See his Elephant on utube and all will be revealed.

His time with the English Chamber Orchestra also allowed him the privilege of working with the likes of Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Maxim Vengerov, Teresa Berganza, Pincas Zuckerman, Monserrat Cabillé, Pavorotti, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Andras Schiff, Radu Lupu and Joshua Bell to name very few.

Stacey is the Managing and Artistic Director of “The Esprit Ensemble Limited” and his recording company and session orchestra, “First Take Music”, regularly record for commercial sessions at Abbey Road Studios in London.