‘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, in July 2008. Jane Watts will return to the USA in 2012.
The internationally-acclaimed Welsh organist enjoys a career that has taken her all over the world. She has given recitals in Europe, the USA, Hong Kong, Barbados, Australia and New Zealand, and made numerous appearances in festivals and concerts throughout the United Kingdom: additionally she has been both a soloist in, and a jury member of, the prestigious St Albans International Organ Festival. Recent UK highlights include the world première recording of two organ concerti by Richard Popplewell with the Ulster Orchestra under Sir David Willcocks, and recitals in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Swansea, the latter as part of the Swansea Festival.
2008 marked Jane Watts’ 20th anniversary as an exclusive artist with Priory Records. ‘From the first few bars, you can tell why Jane Watts’ performances have gathered such superlatives’ began the review in Gramophone magazine of her recording made on the organ of the Ulster Hall, Belfast; other recordings, including those from Westminster Abbey, Chartres Cathedral, Sydney Town Hall and Wellington Cathedral, New Zealand have been equally well received, as has a CD of Handel Organ Concerti, conducted by Sir David Willcocks. A recital recorded in St Andrew’s Cathedral, Sydney will be issued next year.
Jane Watts has also made numerous recital recordings for BBC Radio 3 in Britain, France and Germany, and broadcast on radio in America, Australia and New Zealand. She has been organist of The Bach Choir since 1991, the only woman since the Choir’s foundation in 1876 to hold the post and, in addition to appearing as a soloist with the Choir throughout the world, has also featured in its recordings: during its visit to the 10th Al Bustan Festival in Beirut, she undertook the formidable organ part in the world première of Naji Hakim’s Gloria.
Amongst the orchestras with which Jane Watts has appeared as soloist are the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the Bournemouth Sinfonietta. Conductors with whom she has appeared include Matthias Bamert, Richard Hickox, David Hill, John Mauceri (with whom she made her debut at the BBC Proms), Sir Roger Norrington, Tadaaki Otaka, Howard Shelley, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Sir David Willcocks.