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Professor Roderick Watkins

Professor Roderick Watkins was appointed Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University in February 2019.

He first joined Anglia Ruskin in 2014, as Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, before being appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) in 2015.

Prior to joining ARU, he was Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University, where he was appointed Professor of Composition and Contemporary Music in 2005.

He was a member of the Advisory Group for Lord Stern’s Review of the Research Excellence Framework (2015-16), and the Research England/UUK Working Group developing the Knowledge Exchange Concordat (2018). He was for many years a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and has wide ranging experience of external examining, peer reviewing and research panel membership. He also has wide ranging experience as a trustee or board member of a number of arts, education and charitable organisations.

He is a composer with a particular interest in digital sound synthesis and the combination of acoustic and synthetic timbres. His compositions have been performed and broadcast across Europe and the UK and include a number of significant commissions. HIs opera The Juniper Tree, commissioned by the Munich Biennale and co-produced with Almeida Opera, IRCAM and the London Sinfonietta, was premiered in 1997 in Munich and London – and called “a triumph” by the Times. Other works include Labirinto (Montepulciano Festival, 1991), Red Light (London Sinfonietta, 1998), Still (Britten Sinfonia, 2000), Trace (Ensemble Intercontemporain, 2010) and Lament (Amsterdam Cello Octet, 2011).

Roderick grew up in Norfolk but went to America for his undergraduate education, gaining a BA in Philosophy and a BMus in Composition from Oberlin College and Conservatory of Music. Thereafter he returned to the UK to undertake an MMus and PhD at the Royal Academy of Music, followed by a year at IRCAM in Paris. His composition teachers included Hans Werner Henze, with whom he went on to collaborate closely on a number of projects throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.