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Julius Drake


Julius Drake, described by The New Yorker magazine as the ‘collaborative pianist nonpareil’ lives in London and enjoys an international reputation as one of the finest instrumentalists in his field, collaborating with many of the world’s leading artists, both in recital and on disc.

He appears regularly at all the major music centres and festivals: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre New York; The Kennedy Center, Washington; The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Philharmonie, Berlin; the Châtelet and Musée du Louvre Paris; La Scala, Milan and Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid; Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms London. Julius Drake is also invited to perform at international chamber music festivals – most recently, West Cork in Ireland; Oxford in England; Boswil in Switzerland, Delft in the Netherlands and Lockenhaus in Austria.

Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000 to 2003, Julius Drake was Artistic Director of the Leeds Lieder Festival in 2009, and musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished, touring to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam and New York. Since 2009 he has been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales.

His passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC, The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Boulez Saal, Berlin. His annual series of song recitals in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London, has featured recitals with many outstanding vocal artists including Sir Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Ian Bostridge, Gerald Finley, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Mark Padmore, Sir Simon Keenlyside and Sir Willard White.

Julius Drake’s many recordings include a widely acclaimed series with Gerald Finley for Hyperion, from which the Barber Songs, Schumann Heine Lieder and Britten Songs and Proverbs won the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Gramophone Awards; six award winning recordings with Ian Bostridge for EMI; several recitals for the Wigmore Live label, with among others Alice Coote, Joyce DiDonato, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Polenzani; recordings of French oboe and piano Sonatas for Virgin Classics with Nicholas Daniel; of Kodaly and Schoeck ’cello and piano sonatas with the ’cellists Natalie Clein and Christian Poltera for the Hyperion and Bis labels; Tchaikovsky and Mahler songs with Christianne Stotijn for Onyx; English song with Bejun Mehta for Harmonia Mundi; and Schubert’s Poetisches Tagebuch with Christoph Prégardien, which won the Jahrpreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2016.

Julius Drake’s most recent recordings include a critically acclaimed performance with Nicky Spence of Janacek’s Diary of One who Disappeared (Hyperion), Liszt Complete Songs - vol 6 (Hyperion) with Julia Kleiter and Paradise Lost (Alpha) with Anna Prohaska.

Julius Drake holds a Professorship at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria, where he has a class for song pianists and also teaches at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music. He is regularly invited to give master classes worldwide; recently in Aldeburgh, Brussels, Utrecht, Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Vienna, and at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien.

Concerts in the coming seasons include a series to celebrate the Beethoven anniversary at the 92nd Street Y in New York and a Mahler series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; recitals at La Scala, Milan with Aleksandra Kurzak, at Wigmore Hall with Alice Coote, in Barcelona with Dame Sarah Connolly, in Berlin with Angelika Kirchschlager, in New York and Madrid with Günther Groissböck, in Munich and at the Edinburgh Festival with Gerald Finley, at the Schubertiade, Austria with Christoph Prégardien and Ian Bostridge, and tours in Europe with Anna Prohaska and Eva-Maria Westbroek.

Last updated: Mar 2020