About the Album
The idea for this album of new music for soprano voice first came when Ben’s uncle, Peter Robbins, commissioned him to write a setting of the text ‘In Paradisum’. Having spent 20 years working in the pop industry, Ben returned to his classical roots and waited for inspiration. He woke at 4 am one morning, went straight into the studio and by lunchtime we had done a first run-through. Shortly after this we submitted the track ‘In Paradisum’ to Classic FM’s first composing competition and in September 2007 Ben received a phone call telling him that he had won.
We wanted the album to have a unique, ethereal and spiritual feel to it. The kind of music that transports you to a new place.
Fiona Jessica Wilson – Soprano
Born in London into a family of musicians, Fiona began her musical studies on the cello. An illness at the age of 16 put an abrupt end to her cello playing at which point she discovered her soprano voice and won a choral scholarship to Cambridge where she read French and German. Whilst there she made several recordings with Trinity College Choir and toured Europe, the USA and Asia. At this time she recorded Schubert’s Ave Maria to critical acclaim, which was subsequently put on a Classic FM compilation CD, as well as being used on TV series such as E.R. and West Wing.
Alongside working as a commercial recording artist, Fiona is also passionate about presenting classical music, in particular opera, in a more accessible way and performs her own lecture/recitals: ‘Mozart’s Muses’ and ‘Classical Crossover: Killing Opera?’ She is currently in demand on the luxury cruise ships where she appears as Guest Artist, performing her show of songs and arias by Handel, Mozart, Puccini, Rogers and Hammerstein and Ivor Novello (amongst others).
Ben Robbins - Composer/Producer
Ben was born into a theatrical family and so from an early age was no stranger to theatres, studios rehearsal rooms and film sets. At the age of 7 he was a Chorister at Westminster Cathedral where for the next 5 years he was engulfed in music, singing alongside professional singers and taking part in numerous broadcasts and recordings. At 13 he won a music scholarship to King’s College, Wimbledon, where he studied piano and oboe, winning competitions in both instruments.
His first job was as assistant engineer at RGJones Studios, where he worked for the next ten years learning his craft as an engineer, working alongside artists such as A-ha, Cliff Richard, Leo Sayer, The Moody Blues, D-Influence, Gabrielle, Shola Ama, Jason Donovan, and Vanessa Mae. In 1996 he set up his own studios to concentrate on writing and production, having hits with Tina Arena,Toby Bourke,Errol Brown,Rick Astley and Laura Pausini (co-producing her first song sung in English ‘The Extra Mile’ for which he was nominated a Latin Grammy award.) In 2002 he was signed to Rive Droite Music (Right Bank) as house producer and songwriter and subsequently set up ‘Private and Confidential Music’ with MD Sir Harry Cowell in 2005.
Ben has recently set up his own facility in Soho, central London.