Wednesday, May 6, 2020 | 7:30pm
Herbst TheatreVenue Information
Songs by SCHUBERT, TCHAIKOVSKY, R. STRAUSS, HAHN, CHABRIER, SOMERVELL, VAUGHAN WILLIAMS, SCHUMANN, GURNEY, BOLCOM, QUILTER, BRAHMS, SCHOENBERG, WOLF, GRIEG, WEBER and MACMILLAN
About This Performance
Suave-toned and supremely inspired, baritone Benjamin Appl makes his SF Performances debut in a varied and energetic program of songs and Lieder. “…fearlessly physical, with a broad palette of tones and styles.” (New York Times)
Described as “the current front-runner in the new generation of Lieder singers” (Gramophone Magazine, UK), Benjamin Appl, Gramophone Award Young Artist of the Year 2016, is celebrated by audiences and critics in recital, concerts and opera. He was a member of the BBC New Generation Artist scheme from 2014–16 and was also a Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist and ECHO Rising Star for the 2015–16 season, appearing in recital at major European venues including the Barbican Centre London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wiener Konzerthaus, Philharmonie Paris and Cologne and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg. He became an exclusive SONY Classical recording artist in May 2016.
He trained as a chorister at the renowned Regensburger Domspatzen and continued his studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and graduated from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, where he now teaches German Lieder. He had the good fortune to be mentored by one of the greatest singers of the twentieth century, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau.
Operatic appearances include Conte Almaviva in Le Nozze di Figaro in London, Owen Wingrave (title role) at the Banff Festival, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas at the Aldeburgh and Brighton Festivals, Schaunard in La Bohème with the Munich Radio Orchestra, Baron Tusenbach in Eötvös’s Tri Sestri for the Deutsche Staatsoper, Seele in Mozart’s Grabmusik with the Classical Opera Company and a new commission for Bregenz Festival (Das Leben am Rande der Milchstraße by Bernhard Gander). Conductors he has worked with include Marin Alsop, Christian Curnyn, Thomas Dausgaard, Johannes Debus, Edward Gardner, Reinhard Goebel, Michael Hofstetter, Bernard Labadie, Alessandro de Marchi, Paul McCreesh, Sir Roger Norrington, Jordi Savall, Ulf Schirmer and Christian Thielemann.
In concert he has appeared with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Staatskapelle Dresden, Gabrieli Players & Consort, Les Violons du Roy, the Bach Collegium Stuttgart, the Dunedin Consort, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Concerto Köln, the Symphony Orchestra of India, the Seattle Symphony, Vienna Symphony, and on multiple occasions with the major BBC orchestras. He made his BBC Proms debut in September 2015 singing Brahms’ Triumphlied with Marin Alsop and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the BBC Concert Orchestra. His oratorio repertoire includes Bach’s Magnificat, St. John and St. Matthew Passions, Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem, Händel’s The Messiah, Haydn’s The Creation and Britten’s War Requiem.
An established recitalist, he has performed at the Ravinia, Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, Edinburgh International, Life Victoria Barcelona, Leeds Lieder and Oxford Lieder festivals, deSingel Antwerp, Heidelberger Frühling, and with Graham Johnson at the KlavierFestival Ruhr. He has performed at major concert venues including Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam, Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg and the Musée de Louvre, Paris, in addition to which he is a regular recitalist at Wigmore Hall and at the Schubertiade Hohenems and Schwarzenberg. He works closely with pianists Graham Johnson and James Baillieu. The 2017–18 season also saw him tour to India and Hong Kong, and perform in the ZDF Advent concert at the Frauenkirche, Dresden with Staatskapelle Dresden under the baton of Christian Thielemann, broadcast on national television.
During the 2018–19 season, Benjamin Appl made his professional recital debut in the USA, with a tour including performances at Park Avenue Armory, New York; Lincoln Performance Hall, Portland; Dixon Hall, New Orleans; Mixon Hall, Cleveland and the Phillips Collection, Washington DC. He also continues his exciting partnership with Hamburg Ballet, singing for new productions by John Neumeier throughout the season. Mr. Appl appeared in concert with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Järvi (Japan debut), the Philharmonia Orchestra, Concerto Köln, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, alongside recital appearances at Wigmore Hall, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the Kilkenny Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, Life Victoria Barcelona, Schubertiade Hohenems, the Rheingau Music Festival, and the Girona Summer Festival. In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, he gave multiple performances of Britten’s War Requiem, with orchestras including the Liverpool Philharmonic, NDR Philharmonie, and the Philharmonisches Orchester Vorpommern. He sang the role of Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Sir Roger Norrington, and gave a performance of Mahler and Bernstein in front of 16,000 people at the Osaka Castle Hall in Japan, broadcast by MBS TV. His new Sony Classical recording, Bach with Concerto Köln, was released in September 2018.
Benjamin Appl’s discography includes Schumann duets with Ann Murray (DBE), accompanied by Malcolm Martineau; his debut solo disc Stunden, Tage, Ewigkeiten accompanied by James Baillieu, which was released in April 2016 on Champs Hill records; and a live recording of Schubert lieder with Graham Johnson for the Wigmore Hall Live label. His first solo album of German and English song for Sony Classical, Heimat, was released to great acclaim in March 2017, and won the prestigious Prix Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Best Lieder Singer) at the 2017–18 Académie du Disque Lyrique Orphées d’Or.
Described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘in a class of his own’ James Baillieu has been the prize-winner of the Wigmore Hall Song Competition, Das Lied International Song Competition, Kathleen Ferrier and Richard Tauber Competitions. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2010 and in 2012 received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Trust Award. In 2016 he was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Outstanding Young Artist Award.
James has given solo and chamber recitals throughout Europe and further afield. He collaborates with a wide range of singers and instrumentalists including Lawrence Power, Jack Liebeck, the Elias and Heath Quartets, Ian Bostridge, Dame Kiri te Kanawa, Annette Dasch, Pumeza Matshikiza, Jamie Barton, Markus Werba and Catherine Wyn Rogers. Venues include Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Berlin Konzerthaus, Vienna Musikverein, the Barbican Centre London, Wiener Konzerthaus, Cologne Philharmonie and the Laeiszhalle Hamburg. Festivals include Festpillene i Bergen, Spitalfields, Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Bath, City of London, Aix-en-Provence, Verbier, St Magnus, Derry, Norfolk & Norwich and Brighton Festivals. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Ulster Orchestra, the English Chamber Orchestra and the Wiener Kammersymphonie.
An innovative programmer, James has already curated a number of projects, including series for the Brighton Festival, Wigmore Hall, BBC Radio 3, Verbier Festival, Bath International Festival and Perth Concert Hall.
James has presented his own series at the Wigmore Hall with Adam Walker, Jonathan McGovern, Ailish Tynan, Tara Erraught, Henk Neven, Iestyn Davies, Allan Clayton and Mark Padmore amongst others. This series was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Chamber Music and Song Award for an outstanding contribution to the performance of chamber music and song in the UK during 2016. Recent collaborations include Benjamin Appl, Kathryn Rudge, Jamie Barton and Lise Davidsen. This season’s engagements include appearances at Wigmore Hall in London, Park Avenue Armory in New York, Phillips Collection in Washington, Cleveland in the US and performances at the Heidelberger Frühling and Konzerthaus Dortmund.
Recent collaborations include appearances with Allan Clayton, Louise Alder, Adam Walker, Benjamin Appl, Lise Davidsen, Tara Erraught, Amy Harman and Markus Werba at venues including Wigmore Hall, Oxford Lieder, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Bozar Brussels, Louvre Paris, Pierre Boulez Saal, Hong Kong City Hall and the Vancouver Playhouse.
James enjoys working with young musicians and is a Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, a coach for the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, a course leader for the Samling Foundation, and is head of the Song Programme at the Atelier Lyrique of the Verbier Festival Academy. He is also International Tutor in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music. This season James will lead masterclasses with Mark Padmore at the Aldeburgh Festival for the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme as well as for the Samling Foundation.