Julia Watson began her musical journey on violin at age four in her hometown of Albany, located on the wild coastline of South Western Australia. With a childhood immersed in the music of many world cultures, travel and adventure, Julia was well placed to explore and experiment through the play of music. Julia completed Bachelor studies at the University of Western Australia under the tutelage of renowned Australian Violinist Paul Wright, completing a Bachelor of Music Performance, and gaining honours for her graduating recital.
Julia completed a Masters of Research on Violin at Edith Cowan University under the tutelage of internationally acclaimed violinist Alexandre Da Costa. The focus of her research and performance is the convergence and collaborative possibilities of virtuosic violin and chamber orchestra repertoire, with Persian, Arabic and Turkish musical traditions. Julia seeks to create musical projects, which explore the convergence of seemingly different musical styles in an exploration of both historical questions, along with a modern context of cross-cultural musical collaboration. It is in this arena that Julia is most inspired to contribute to the musical culture and expression of a rapidly changing world. This research and exploration was presented in two public recitals in 2017 - Where the Desert Meets the Sea, a convergence of Ottoman and Venetian Soundscapes; and 1001 Nights in the Harem, exploring the contemporary compositions of Fazil Say's virtuosic violin concerto, and Laurissa Wyllie.McCarthy's exploration of Arabic maquam and baroque sounds for string quartet, tabla and harpsichord in her composition Sequala Impromptu.
With these musical explorations in mind Julia and Laurissa Wyllie.McCarthy co-founded Ensemble Mosaic, who appeared at Fairbridge Festival in 2018. This project seeks to explore further the links between Western Art Music and Arabic and Persian musical traditions, along with an exploration of Arabic and Persian repertoire in a modern context with oud, Persian percussion and strings.
Julia undertook intensive training in the tango style mid 2018 with a renowned faculty of today's leaders of Tango, hailing from Buenos Aries. With these explorations into Tango, and particularly the Nuevo Tango of Piazzolla and contemporary composers, the group Gypsy Noir was formed. This ensemble explores the extensive tango repertoire with Sarah Saunders on piano and Madeline Antoine on violin.
Julia attended Global Musician Workshop, of the Silkroad Project with a particular interest in furthering her exploration of cross-cultural musical projects. A highlight of this experience was the music learnt and shared with Arabic music specialist Bassam Saba, co-founder of the New York Arabic Orchestra and exponent of both Western Classical and Arabic musical traditions.
Julia is a common fixture of the Perth classical music scene as a freelancing violinist, performing with ensembles including the Perth Symphony Orchestra, Indian Ocean Ensemble and Fremantle Chamber Orchestra; who regularly hosts international Dutch violinist Rudolf Koleman. Julia has held concertmaster position for Fremantle Chamber Orchestra, and Faith Court Orchestra including concerts with soloists Alexandre Da Costa and Shaun Lee Chen.
With world music a passion alongside classical performance, Julia has played, recorded and toured with gypsy-fusion-rockers Joe Black Trio, Argentinian tango group Zigatango, electro-swing outfit Ensemble Formidable and appeared as soloist with percussion ensemble Defying Gravity.
Julia has performed nationally and internationally including tours within Australia, and to Southeast Asia, Europe USA and Canada. Julia continues to freelance and perform with a number of world music and contemporary ensembles alongside her freelancing classical career, and is excited to see those worlds coming ever closer together.