Orly Watson is a pianist, organist, and composer. He spent some years as a chorister at Armagh Cathedral and studied the organ with Theo Saunders and Baron George Minne, and the piano with Simon Mawhinney before moving to England to read Music at Somerville College, Oxford. He then pursued pianistic studies with Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He is Official Accompanist at Queen’s University Belfast where is also a PhD composer and teaching assistant.
He has lectured on musical subjects at QUB and DkIT. Orly is active as a solo recitalist with a special emphasis on the music of Liszt and other Romantic composers, and is also widely esteemed as one the leading figures in the new generation of Irish accompanists. He was awarded the Peter Rankin Pianist Internship by Northern Ireland Opera and spent a period working as a chamber music pianist at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, Dublin. He is active as an operatic répétiteur and has worked with NI Opera. He has also worked extensively for Ulster Touring Opera since its formation.
He is a committee member of the Ulster Society of Organists and Choirmasters, and has worked extensively to raise interest in organ music around NI through his touring organ recital series. He spent more than six years as Organist and Director of Music at Dromore Cathedral and remains active in the field of church music as both organist and choirmaster. He makes occasional orchestral appearances and has worked with the Ulster Orchestra. His doctoral research examines the role of Romantic aesthetics in contemporary composition, and some of his works place a particular emphasis on the influence of Irish landscape and folklore. A number of his works have been published in the UK.