Benjamin Appl (30 November)
Hailed as ‘the most promising of today’s up-and-coming song recitalists’ (Daily Telegraph), the German baritone Benjamin Appl started his musical life as a young chorister with the renowned Regensburger Domspatzen, continuing his studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München and London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama. A crucial mentor, the great Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, is remembered with particular gratitude. ‘My years of working with [him] were invaluable’, writes Appl, ‘and had a hugely informative influence on me. He is an inspiration, someone who was always searching and seeking a deeper understanding of music and of life...never just delivering, but each time creating’. While still part of the BBC New Generation Artists scheme from 2014-16, Benjamin Appl made his proms debut in Brahms’ Triumphlied with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment under Marin Alsop and has since been in considerable demand on the recital and oratorio platforms in London (Barbican), Amsterdam (Concertgebouw), Paris (Philharmonie) and Vienna (Wiener Konzerthaus). His discography includes a CD of settings of Heine by Rubinstein, Schubert, Mendelssohn and Schumann (Champs Hill Records), secular arias by J.S. Bach, sacred music by Fauré (Sony Classical), cantatas by the Bach family (Hänssler) and the role of Kullervo in Sibelius’s Kullervo Symphony with Thomas Dausgaard conducting the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (Hyperion).
Leisure time is taken up with his ‘new’ car, a bright red 1974 Volkswagen Beetle, or ‘the peculiar hobby of my childhood, which was building landscapes for nativity scenes’.