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Past Events > 2020

27. The Sound of Silence: Benjamin Appl & Sholto Kynoch

14 October 2020, 19:30 - 21:00

The baritone Benjamin Appl has been described as possessing a voice that ‘belongs to the last of the old great masters of song’ with ‘an almost infinite range of colours’ (Süddeutsche Zeitung), an ‘exacting attention to text’ (New York Times), and artistry that is ‘unbearably moving’ (The Times).

Continuing our day’s theme of spirituality, the sacred and the secular across the ages, Benjamin Appl and pianist Sholto Kynoch present a programme that explores silence and introspection as the starting point for music. At the heart of the programme, we hear Schumann’s Liederkreis Op.39, which sets poems by Joseph von Eichendorff: not only in the song ‘Die Stille’ (‘The Silence’), the cycle is permeated with moments of silence and a longing for peace. Songs by Schubert also run through a programme that includes Gregorian chant, Baroque masters Monteverdi, Bach and Stölzel, and songs by Mendelssohn, Wolf, Strauss, Ives, and Macmillan.

EMERGING ARTIST: Nardus Williams
Every evening recital this year will begin with Schubert songs performed by singers who have arguably been hardest hit by the current crisis: artists who are already forging careers but not yet at a stage where they can view current circumstances as a temporary setback. Tonight, we hear outstanding soprano Nardus Williams, who is an ENO Hareweood Artist and has been described by Opera Today as possessing a ‘superbly controlled, sensuous soprano which has sheen and shimmer as well as real focus of tone.’

This concert will be streamed completely live from the Holywell Music Room. Shortly afterwards, it will also be available to watch again (using the same ticket and link) until 1 November 2020. Click here for further information on how tickets will work this year.

After a short break at the end of the concert, there will be a Q&A with the artists. Please email any questions you have during the interval or at the end of the concert ([email protected]) or post them on social media (#OLF2020), and the artists will answer as many as time allows.



Artist Portrait

Benjamin Appl

Benjamin Appl


Hailed as ‘the most promising of today’s up-and-coming song recitalists’ (Financial Times), baritone Benjamin Appl is celebrated by audiences and critics alike for a voice that ‘belongs to the last of the old great masters of song’ with ‘an almost infinite range of colours’ (Suddeutsche Zeitung), ‘exacting attention to text’ (New York Times), and artistry that’s described as ‘unbearably moving’ (The Times). Named Gramophone Award Young Artist of the Year in 2016, Appl wa... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Sholto Kynoch

Sholto Kynoch


Sholto Kynoch is a sought-after pianist who specialises in song and chamber music. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, which won a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2015, cited for its ‘breadth, depth and audacity’ of programming. In July 2018, Sholto was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music in the RAM Honours. Recent recitals have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Heidelberger Frühling in Germany, the Zeist International Lied Festival in Holland, the LIFE Victoria festi... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Nardus Williams

Nardus Williams


Praised for her ‘superbly controlled, sensuous soprano’ (Opera Today), British soprano Nardus Williams is an English National Opera Harewood Artist, was a member of the Houston Opera Studio for the 2018/19 season and is a former Jerwood Young Artist at Glyndebourne. Highlights of the 2020/21 season include Countess, Mozart, Le Nozze di Figaro (Opera Holland Park) and Mimi, Puccini, La Boheme (English National Opera's Drive & Live series). Recent highlights for Williams include Micaëla, Bizet, Carmen (English Natio... Read Full Biography

Festival Passes

This event is part of a series:

Connections Across Time - A Brief History of Song

Over a packed eight days, world-class artists including Benjamin Appl, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly and Roderick Williams will present some 40 concerts and events, from venues across Oxford and completely live. From the comfort of your own home, you will be able to enjoy these concerts live-streamed in the highest quality. We’ll be exploring every possible advantage of this temporary ...

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