Meet the Soloists
Sasha Rozhdestvensky is considered to be one of Russia’s finest young violinists. Yehudi Menuhin pronounced him to be “one of the most talented and refined violinists of his generation”, while the legendary violinist Ivry Gitlis said of him: “He belongs to the great line of outstanding artists. His approach and relationship to music and the violin is intense, highly sensitive and intelligent”.
He has appeared internationally with leading orchestras such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie Orchester, l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio-France, London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and has recorded numerous works for the THESIS and CHANDOS labels.
Janice Watson is one of the worlds major sopranos, renowned for the beauty of her sound. A flautist originally, she began taking singing seriously at the instigation of tenor Phillip Langridge, and studied with Johanna Peters and Renata Scotto. At the age of 23 she won the Kathleen Ferrier Award and the Royal Overseas League Gold Medal. She is also a Grammy winner with 2 further nominations to her name.
Janice has performed in most of the major Opera Houses of the world with many of the world’s leading conductors, and has been a regular guest with both English National Opera and Welsh National Opera. She has sung many times at the Royal Albert Hall Proms and the Edinburgh Festival.
Janice first made her name singing Mozart and Britten, but with the maturing and broadening of her voice is now equally at home singing Verdi, Richard Strauss, Janacek and Wagner.
Daniel Benn is a highly experienced young cellist who has enjoyed success as a soloist, chamber musician and orchestral player. He was a founding member of the Accendo Quartet, prize winners of both the Cavatina and St James’ chamber music competitions and grateful recipients of masterclasses from András Keller, Rolf Gothoni as well as the Belcea and Endellion Quartets.
After graduating from New College, Oxford, where he read Music, Daniel spent five years under the tutelage of Louise Hopkins at the Guildhall during which time he performed on several occasions with the LSO under both Sir Simon Rattle and Valeriy Gergiev. In 2018 he was a member of the London Sinfonietta Academy, the premiere scheme for contemporary instrumentalists, as well as being a member of the LPO’s Foyle Future First programme.
He has performed numerous concerti across Europe including tours of the Elgar Concerto to France, Spain and Slovenia and the Dvorak Concerto to Malta. He made his Cadogan Hall debut in October 2016 playing the Elgar Concerto and has since performed the Dvorak Concerto across the South of England under the baton of Adrian Brown.
Nicola Ihnatowicz was a choral scholar at Clare College, Cambridge under the musical direction of Tim Brown where she read history, achieving 1st class honours. Now a student of Zoë South, Nicola is an Emerging Artist for Midsummer Opera, and on the professional singers’ scheme with the Philharmonia Chorus.
Recent and forthcoming roles have included Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni) for Midsummer Opera, Vitellia (La Clemenza di Tito) for Midsummer Opera, Tosca (title role – Midsummer Opera Emerging Artist cover), La Gioconda (title role – Midsummer Opera Emerging Artist cover), Helmwige (Die Walküre) with Midsummer Opera and the Royal Orchestral Society, Nancy (Albert Herring), Dama (Macbeth) for Midsummer Opera, The Governess (The Turn of the Screw) for New Palace Opera, Elisabetta (Don Carlo) and Echo (Ariadne auf Naxos) for New Palace Opera. Nicola is also in demand as a concert soloist, with recent and forthcoming performances including Vaughan William’s Dona Nobis Pacem with the Royal
Orchestral Society, Nielsen’s 3rd Symphony and Beethoven’s 9th symphony with Bromley Symphony Orchestra, Rawsthorne’s 2nd Symphony with Southgate Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Great Mass in C Minor and Janacek’s Glagolitic Mass
Joe Shefer Theatre credits include: JUDY! (Arts Theatre West End), Through The Mill (Southwark Playhouse), The Trial of the Jew Shylock, La Ronde (Rosemary Branch), Piaf, Flora The Red Menace & Company (Ye Olde Rose & Crown), Children of Darkness (Leicester Square), Cleveland Street The Musical (Above The Stag), The Laramie Project (London Theatre Workshop), Heidegger’s Shadow (Courtyard), Two, Trap ForA Lonely Man & A Christmas Carol (Lion & Unicorn), Scampolo (Leytonstone Festival), Desire (Albany Empire), Kiddy-Fiddler on the Roof (Edinburgh Festival), The Last Maharajah (Hoxton Hall).
Film and TV includes: Secrets of The Bible (Turin Shroud), Tales of The Supernatural, Love Song: The Triumph and Tragedy of Tchaikovsky, Hichestan, Haunted 2 & 3.
Joe is delighted to be working with Adrian Brown again, having previously narrated Paddington Bear’s First Concert with Southgate Symphony Orchestra.