Julius Drake (1959).

  • Profession: Pianist.
  • Residences: London.
  • Relation to Mahler: Participant Mahler Festival 2020 Amsterdam.
  • Born: 05-04-1959 London.

Julius Drake is an English pianist who works as a song recital accompanist and chamber musician.

The “collaborative pianist nonpareil” (The New Yorker) Julius Drake 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 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’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. His annual series of song recitals – Julius Drake and Friends – in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London, has featured recitals with many outstanding vocal artists including Sir Thomas Allen, Olaf Bär, Iestyn Davies, Veronique Gens, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside and Sir Willard White. Since 2009 he has been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales, and he holds a Professorship at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria.

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; 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 Kodály and Schoeck sonatas with the cellists Natalie Clein and Christian Poltera for the Hyperion and Bis labels; Tchaikovsky and Mahler 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 is now embarked on a major project to record the complete songs of Franz Liszt for Hyperion – the second disc in the series, with Angelika Kirchschlager, won the BBC Music Magazine Award 2012 – and a series of four Schubert recitals recorded live at Wigmore Hall with Ian Bostridge.

Concerts in the coming seasons include recitals in his series, ‘Julius Drake and Friends’ at the historic Middle Temple Hall in London; concerts in Cologne, Brussels and Schwarzenberg with Ian Bostridge; in Amsterdam, Madrid, London and Philadelphia with Sarah Connolly; in Vienna, Zurich, and Leeds with Angelika Kirchschlager; in Vienna, Hamburg, and London with Gerald Finley; in Bilbao, London and Vilabertran with Christoph Pregardien; and in New York with Matthew Polenzani. Further engagements include a Beethoven song series for the 92nd Street Y in New York , a Mahler series for the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and a Mendelssohn/Liszt series for the Wigmore Hall, London.

Recording Gustav Mahler – Urlicht (lieder) with Christianne Stotijn (Onyx, 2006).

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