Valerie Watts—Flute, Principal
Valerie Watts started with the OKC PHIL during its 1988-1989 inception season and has been playing the flute for more than 35 years.
Her greatest musical influence was attending the Eastman School of Music’s annual concerts and preparatory school classes. She recalls walking the halls and being completely inspired by hearing all of the various incredible musicians. Watts’ father made a suggestion to choose the instrument that had the most beautiful melodies in the orchestra, either oboe or flute. She obviously chose the flute. Watts’ favorite composer is Brahms because his melodies, she believes, are just as beautiful as he was fascinating as a composer and as a man.
In addition to the OKC PHIL, Watts’ has performed or still performs with the Rochester Philharmonic, the Chicago Civic Orchestra, and the New Hampshire Music Festival Orchestra. During Christmas at the PHIL, Watts loves to play for the ballet and see the children dressed up in their holiday best peering over to look at the orchestra.
Watts holds a bachelor of music, masters of music, and a doctor of musical arts all in flute and all from Northwestern University. Other than the OKC PHIL, Watts is a Professor of Flute at the University of Oklahoma, School of Music.
Watts has led a very interesting life. She was born in Brussels, Belgium because her parents worked for the CIA there. She’s crazy about gourmet cooking and dedicated an entire year of her cooking life to perfecting her pie crust. And most recently, Watts and her husband adopted a son from St. Petersburg, Russia, who is the joy of their lives.