Jane Watts

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"I cannot remember when I last enjoyed organ-playing, either recorded or live, as much. The star of the show is Jane Watts, who boasts that rare combination of a secure technique, intelligent musicianship and an ability to communicate genuine enjoyment and enthusiasm for the music." - Gramophone

"Seldom do you hear an instrumentalist so confident and capable as Jane Watts: she demonstrated total self-possession, in addition to ample musical knowledge" - so wrote the reviewer in New York - The Sun of her recital in Trinity Church, Wall Street, New York City, a recital which marked Miss Watts ninth visit to the USA since her American debut in 1991.

The internationally-acclaimed Welsh organist continues to enjoy a career that has taken her all over the world. Jane Watts has given recitals in Europe, Hong Kong, Barbados, Australia and New Zealand, together with numerous appearances in festivals and concerts throughout the United Kingdom. She has been both a soloist in, and a jury member of, the St Albans International Organ Festival, and opened its 2014-15 recital series. In 2011 Jane Watts was invited to give the opening recital of the first International Organ Series to be presented in the prestigious Frits-Philips Concert Hall in Eindhoven, Holland. In January 2015 she gave the Celebrity Recital as part of London's 'Bloomsbury Organ Day' - "A case of impeccable technique being employed fully in the service of the music, not self-promotion" (The Organ, Spring 2015), and in September 2015 she opened the season's recital series in St John's, Smith Square, London. More recent British highlights include the inaugural recital in October 2018 on the restored organ in the Welsh Church of Central London, opening the 2018 Summer series in Ripon Cathedral, opening the 2019 series in St Alphage, Burnt Oak and performances in Norwich Cathedral, Chester Cathedral, the Llandeilo Festival, Y Tabernacl Cardiff and for the Alton Organ Society. Jane Watts was the organist in the 2018 BBC Proms performance of Mahler's 8th Symphony, with the BBC NOW under Thomas Sondergard. Subsequently she appeared with the same orchestra under Adrian Partington as organist in Stanford's Mass 'Via Victrix', and under Mark Wigglesworth in Britten's 'War Requiem': all three concerts were broadcast on BBC Radio 3. An appearance as soloist in the Royal Albert Hall in July 2021 had to be cancelled due to Covid restrictions. More recent engagements have taken her to The Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, the Llandeilo Festival and St David's Cathedral, Pembrokeshire.

Miss Watts has recorded exclusively for Priory Records since 1988. Her many recital recordings have garnered superlative reviews from a widely-respected range of publications: the next will be from St Andrew's Cathedral in Sydney. In 2007 she recorded the two organ concertos by Richard Popplewell with the Ulster Orchestra under Sir David Willcocks. She has also recorded several recital programmes for the BBC, in Britain, France and Germany, and additionally broadcast on radio in the USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Jane Watts has appeared as concerto soloist under conductors including Matthias Bamert, Richard Hickox, Sir Roger Norrington, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Sir David Willcocks, and with orchestras including the London Philharmonic, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Ulster Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.

From 1991 Jane Watts was, in parallel with her busy career as a soloist, the organist of the world-famous Bach Choir of London - the first woman to hold the post since the Choir's foundation in 1876. Under Musical Director Sir David Willcocks, and his successor in 1998 David Hill, Miss Watts appeared both as soloist and as organ accompanist to the Choir in Britain, the USA, Europe, the Middle East and New Zealand. During its visit to the 10th Al Bustan Festival in Beirut, she undertook the formidable organ part in the world premiere of Naji Hakim's Gloria. She relinquished this position in July 2010, when the Musical Director required the postholder additionally to act as Assistant Conductor.