The Erlkings


The Erlkings are the world's premier Schubert-based folk/rock band. Comprised of four classically trained multi-instrumentalists, the Erlkings perform new arrangements of Schubert's finest songs in fresh and original English translations.

Equally comfortable in an elegant concert house or a smokey beer hall, the Erlkings are the only group around getting audiences dancing to Goethe and Schiller.

The band was founded by American baritone and classical guitarist Bryan Benner after finally discovering a way to mix his passion for modern songwriting and his love of Schubert lieder. Bryan met Austrian percussionist Thomas Toppler on a tour of Puccini's Tosca in Japan. They began playing together on the beach one day and discovered an undeniable musical rapport. Thus the Erlkings were born!

The Erlkings made their musical debut at Vienna's famous jazz club "Porgy and Bess", with great success. Since then they have been in high demand for their original and exciting performances.

Line up:
Bryan Benner: Guitar/Vocals
Simon Teurezbacher: Tubist
Ivan Turkalj: Cello 
Thomas Toppler: Percussion

"For a year I refused to hear them. What trendy band was this, and how dare they traduce the greatest songwriter of them all? Pop arrangements in ENGLISH. Ugh! One day I saw that they were to perform at one of my favourite venues: Wilton’s Music Hall. I went on line to discover more – and heard and saw a performance of ‘Auf dem Wasser zu singen’ that blew me and all my prejudices away.

Not only are THE ERLKINGS paving the way for a new generation of Schubert fans (there were more young faces in the audience than I’ve seen at any other concert hall), they are also offering a new perspective on a repertoire already prized by so many. Every arrangement and translation demonstrates a true love and respect for Schubert as well as a willingness to break from convention and discover new facets of these wonderful songs. As a life-long student of Schubert’s Lieder, I consider THE ERLKINGS to be a most precious addition to his legacy."

Richard Stokes - Professor of Lieder at the Royal Academy of Music, London

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