Justine Watts Obituary, Death – The news that Justine Watts, our coworker, friend, and the conductor of the Scottish Ballet Orchestra, passed away in a calm and tranquil manner while she was surrounded by her close family was extremely upsetting to all of us. Justine was an incredible role model for everyone who worked with her because she was the leader of our orchestra who had been here the longest (since 2001).
Her exuberance, sense of humor, and playful spirit were contagious. During the period that she was employed by Scottish Ballet, Justine demonstrated selflessness by continuing to provide helpful direction to younger players who were recruited into the ranks. A significant number of these players went on to earn employment in professional orchestras across the United Kingdom and farther afield.
When promotions were handed out on stage, Justine always made sure to pay close attention to who was dancing which role and was extremely generous with her applause and compliments. She did a wonderful job of integrating the dancers and the orchestra into one cohesive unit. In a same vein, Justine’s meticulousness and commitment to quality made certain that the SBO maintained a stellar reputation, which will leave an incalculable legacy.
In the five years since her diagnosis, Justine has confronted her illness with an optimistic approach, amazing bravery, and extraordinary resilience. During this time, she has continued to lead the orchestra on numerous successful tours of the Scottish Ballet, most recently leading the orchestra for A Streetcar Named Desire in Glasgow. Justine’s fortitude has been astounding. All of those people whose lives she touched will grieve her passing deeply. During this extremely difficult moment, her husband Ewen and their three sons are in our thoughts and prayers.