Eugene Watanabe, String Area Chair

BM, Curtis Institute, Violin Performance
BM, Curtis Institute, Piano Performance

Past Teachers

Leon Fleisher, Joseph Silverstein, Claude Frank, Arnold Steinhardt, Andres Cardenes

Professional Affiliations and Activities

Eugene and his wife Dr. Vera Watanabe were the founders of the Gifted Music School and also the GRIT program in public schools.  As Executive Director and String Area Chair, he leads a synergistic team of faculty, administrators, students and parents, and donors.  He was the first student in the history of Curtis to graduate with degrees in piano and violin.

As a music educator, Watanabe's students have regularly gained acceptance to the top music programs in the country including Juilliard, Colburn, New England Conservatory, Cleveland, Michigan, San Francisco, Peabody, and Manhattan. Prolifically active in training national level violinists, in just the past 8 years, he has sent 6 students to Juilliard, 4 to Colburn, 2 to Michigan, 3 to San Francisco Conservatory, and many Utah Universities.    His students have been regularly recognized at national solo and chamber competitions as well as international events.  Watanabe achieved a rare double win at the 2019 MTNA Nationals in Spokane having taught the 1st place awardees in both the Junior High and High School categories. The Dorothy Richard Starling Foundation has generously provided full tuition funding to 3 of Mr. Watanabe's outstanding students.

International performance career as a violinist and pianist; frequent lecturer at universities and teacher's conferences. Performances with Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, Hamburg Symphony, Saint Lawrence String Quartet, New Zealand String Quartet, New York String Orchestra at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Utah Symphony with which he has performed 16 concertos. Solo tours through Europe, Canada, and United States. Major awards at Honens International Competition, Kosciuzko Chopin Competition, Bachauer Young Artist Competition, two-time MTNA National winner, Kingsville Competition. In 2017, Watanabe was awarded the Governor Mansion Artist Award for his work and service to the community.