Benjamin Appl


Baritone Benjamin Appl is celebrated for a voice that “belongs to the last of the old great masters of song” with “an almost infinite range of colours” (Suddeutsche Zeitung), and for performances “delivered with wit, intelligence and sophistication” (Gramophone magazine). A former BBC New Generation Artist (2014-16), Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist and ECHO Rising Star (2015-16), Benjamin was also awarded Gramophone Award Young Artist of the Year (2016). He signed exclusively to Sony Classical in the same year and has since begun a multi-album deal with Alpha Classics, releasing his first album Winterreise in February 2021 to enormous critical acclaim.

Appl’s musical journey began as a young chorister at the renowned Regensburger Domspatzen, later continuing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London. Mentored by the legendary artist Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Appl describes the partnership as an ‘invaluable and a hugely formative influence. He [Fischer- Dieskau] is an inspiration – someone who is always searching and seeking a deeper understanding of music and of life. He was a role model for how to prosper as an artist, never just delivering, but each time creating.’

An established recitalist, Appl has performed at the Ravinia, Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, Edinburgh and Oxford International festivals; Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and at the KlavierFestival Ruhr. He has performed at major concert venues including Grand Théâtre de Genève, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Konzerthaus Berlin and Vienna, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Musée de Louvre Paris, in addition to which he is a regular recitalistatWigmoreHallandatHeidelbergerFrühling. Inequaldemandassoloistontheworld’s most prestigious stages, he collaborates with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Klaus Mäkelä, NHK Symphony Orchestra/Paavo Järvi, Philadelphia Orchestra/Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Staatskapelle Dresden/Christian Thielemann, Philharmonia/Maxim Emelyanychev, Seattle Symphony/Thomas Dausgaard, Vienna Symphony/ Karina Canellakis and many others.

Some of Appl’s recent recital debuts include Carnegie Hall, San Francisco Performances, Dallas Opera, Boston Celebrity Series, New York’s Park Avenue Armory (of all three Schubert song cycles), Sydney Opera House, Mozarteum Salzburg, Festival St. Denis, and three presentations of Winterreise by the Gran Teatre del Liceu Barcelona. A creative and innovative programmer, Benjamin seeks out diverse and enriching onstage partnerships including with pianists James Baillieu, David Fray, Alice Sara Ott, Arthur & Lucas Jussen, and Jorge Viladoms; the Armida String Quartet; accordionists Martynas Levickis and Ksenija Sidorova and lutenist Thomas Dunford.

Operatic highlights of recent seasons include his role and house debut as Harlequin Ariadne auf Naxos at Liceu Barcelona; Papageno Die Zauberflöte at Opéra de Rouen and his role debut as Guglielmo Cosí fan tutte with Classical Opera Company. In the 2023/24 season, Appl will make his role debut as Zurga Pearl Fishers at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées and revisits the role of Guglielmo in concert performances at Mozartfest Würzburg, Germany. A revered interpreter of early music, Benjamin enjoys regular collaborations with Les Talens Lyriques, the Gabetta Ensemble, Ensemble Masques and the Berliner Barocksolisten. Equally at home in new music, Benjamin has premiered compositions by Nico Muhly, David Lang and Matthias Pintscher, as well as enjoying a significant long-term partnership with composer György Kurtág.

This season, Appl appears in concert with Munich Philharmonic, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. Recital performances continue to dominate Appl’s season, with appearances at Tivoli Copenhagen, London’s Wigmore Hall, Oxford International Song Festival, Herkulessaal Munich, Munster, Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Potsdam, Rosey Hall Rolle, Brucknerhaus Linz and many more. Further afield, Appl tours to Mexico, giving multiple performances countrywide and makes his long-awaited return to Japan for several recitals.

Appl’s growing discography includes his second album for Alpha Classics entitled ‘Forbidden Fruit’, about which BBC Music magazine writes “The sheer breadth and ingenuity of the programming is, well... irresistible”; an album of orchestrated Schubert Lieder with Münchner Rundfunkorchester; a collection of Hans Sommer Orchestral Songs with Rundfunk- Sinfonieorchester Berlin; an album of Schumann duets with Ann Murray (DBE), accompanied by Malcolm Martineau; and a live recording of Schubert lieder with Graham Johnson for the Wigmore Hall Live label. His first solo album for Sony Classical, 'Heimat’, was Gramophone nominated and won the prestigious Prix Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Best Lieder Singer) at the 2017-18 Académie du Disque Lyrique Orphées d’Or. Other recent recordings include an album of Bach with Concerto Köln as well as Sibelius’s Kullervo with the BBC Scottish Symphony and Thomas Dausgaard for Hyperion Records.

Outside the concert hall, Appl recently appeared in a new realisation of Schubert’s song cycle Winterreise which was filmed in the Swiss Alps. Commissioned by the BBC and Swiss television station SRF, and directed by John Bridcut, the film offers a unique and insightful interpretation of Schubert’s epic work and was broadcast on BBC4 in 2022. In addition, he recently presented a series of programmes for BBC Radio 3 entitled ‘A Singer’s World’ and starred in the film ‘Breaking Music’ which celebrates both Argentinian Tango and German Lied traditions by breaking down traditional boundaries between musical genres.

Updated: 28/09/2023

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