Joan Watson was Canada’s foremost horn soloist, principal horn, lecturer and educator. Joan was highly regarded as a consummate musician and skilled virtuoso. Her contributions across the country included serving as principal horn of the award-winning Canadian Opera Orchestra and as a founding member of the prestigious True North Brass quintet. She held the position of associate principal horn of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for 14 seasons (having won the job while 8 months pregnant), and was principal horn of the Esprit Orchestra, the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, and the Pacific Opera and Vancouver Opera Orchestras.
Joan was frequently heard on the CBC as a chamber musician and with New Music Concerts. She had been a featured soloist at the International Women’s Brass Conference, the International Horn Symposium in Banff, and the International Brass Quintet Symposium in Atlanta. Joan was a featured soloist and lecturer at the International Horn Symposium in Chicago in 2009.
As well, you could hear her on numerous commercials, television shows and movie scores. Joan’s solo CD, Songs My Mother Taught Me, is a wonderful collection of favourite soothing tunes. Joan had a 25-year-old relationship with Yamaha Canada as a Yamaha artist and clinician. In 2008, the Yamaha Corporation chose to make a poster of Joan, making her the first woman brass player in the world featured on a Yamaha poster.
A member of the University of Toronto’s faculty of music, Joan taught horn and lectured on Performance Skills, audition preparation, practice tips, and creating a passionate and fulfilling life of music making.