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25 March 2013, 15:37
The British trumpet player, who features on every 007 soundtrack from Dr No to Skyfall, died at his home on Friday.
After being taught to play the cornet at the age of four, he played in a brass band conducted by his father. As well as playing on the soundtrack to every Bond film, first appearing on Dr. No in 1962 at the age of 17, Watkins also worked with a wide range of musicians including The Beatles, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
He was a visiting professor for trumpet to the Royal Academy of Music, and gave masterclass clinics at music colleges around Europe. He also set up his own instrument manufacturing company with Dr Richard Smith, supplying trumpets and cornets to players around the world.
Musicians have taken to Twitter to post their messages of support, including Bond composer David Arnold: "Very very sad news... the legend that was Derek Watkins, gentleman, musical genius and Trumpet on EVERY Bond score has just passed away." After the release of Skyfall, Arnold described Watkins as a lucky charm for all the Bond composers.