About

The pianist 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. His passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for Wigmore Hall, London; The Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; 92nd Street Y, New York; and the Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin. He curates an annual series of song recitals – Julius Drake and Friends – in the historic Middle Temple Hall in London. Julius holds a Professorship at Graz University in Austria for Music and the Performing Arts, where he has a class for song pianists. He is also a Professor of Collaborative Piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He is regularly invited to give masterclasses worldwide.  

His many recordings include a widely acclaimed series with Gerald Finley for Hyperion Records (from which ‘Songs by Samuel Barber’, ‘Schumann: Dichterliebe & other Heine Settings’ and ‘Britten: Songs & Proverbs of William Blake’ won the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Gramophone Awards); recordings with Ian Bostridge and Alice Coote for EMI; with Joyce DiDonato, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson and Matthew Polenzani for Wigmore Live; and with Anna Prohaska for Alpha. Julius’ recording of Janáček’s ‘The Diary of One Who Disappeared’, with tenor Nicky Spence and mezzo-soprano Václava Housková for Hyperion Records, won both the Gramophone and the BBC Music Magazine Awards in 2020.

Concerts this season include three recitals in the series ‘Lied und Lyrik’ in the Boulez Saal Berlin; recital tours in the USA with Matthew Polenzani, Japan with Ian Bostridge, and European tours with Gerald Finley and Anna Prohaska.
Other highlights include Oxford International Lieder Festival with Christine Rice; the Aldeburgh Festival with Andrè Schuen; the Wigmore Hall, London with Brindley Sherratt; l’Athénée, Paris, Middle Temple Hall, London with Alan Clayton; and in Stuttgart with Günther Groissböck, as well as performances in Bath, Brugg, Basel and Rome with Ian Bostridge.

Biography


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 festivals and music centres: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, New York; The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; the Philharmonie, Berlin; the Châtelet and Musée du Louvre, Paris; La Scala, Milan; Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid; Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and the BBC Proms, London. Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000 to 2003, Julius was also musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s ‘The Diary of One Who Disappeared’, which toured to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam, and New York. Since 2009, Julius has been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales.

Julius’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for Wigmore Hall, London; The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam; the 92nd Y, New York; and the Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin. 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, Ian Bostridge, Dame Sarah Connolly, Alice Coote, Lucy Crowe, Angelika Kirchschlager, Iestyn Davies, Veronique Gens, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside, Christopher Maltman, Mark Padmore, and Sir Willard White. Julius is frequently invited to perform at international chamber music festivals – most recently, Stiftung Schleswig-Holstein, Lübeck; West Cork, Ireland and Oxford, England.

Julius holds a Professorship at Graz University in Austria for Music and the Performing Arts, where he has a class for song pianists. He is also a Professor of Collaborative Piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He is regularly invited to give masterclasses worldwide; in Aldeburgh, Brussels, Utrecht, Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Vienna, and annually at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien.

Julius’ many recordings include a widely acclaimed series with Gerald Finley for Hyperion Records (from which ‘Songs by Samuel Barber’, ‘Schumann: Dichterliebe & other Heine Settings’ and ‘Britten: Songs & Proverbs of William Blake’ won the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Gramophone Awards); award winning recordings with Ian Bostridge and Alice Coote for EMI; several recorded recitals for Wigmore Hall Live with artists including Joyce DiDonato, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Polenzani; recordings of French Sonatas for Virgin Classics with Nicholas Daniel; Kodaly and Schoeck cello and piano sonatas with Natalie Clein and Christian Poltéra for Hyperion Records and BIS Records; Tchaikovsky and Mahler songs with Christianne Stotijn for Onyx Classics; English song with Bejun Mehta for Harmonia Mundi; and Schubert’s ‘Poetisches Tagebuch’ with Christoph Prégardien, which won the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik in 2016.

Julius’ most recent CDs have been widely critically acclaimed and include Janáček’s ‘The Diary of One Who Disappeared’ with tenor Nicky Spence and mezzo-soprano Václava Housková, winner of a 2020 Gramophone Award and a 2020 BBC Music Magazine Award; ‘Paradise Lost’ with the soprano Anna Prohaska; and Volume 6 of the Liszt Complete Songs (Hyperion Records) with the soprano Julia Kleiter. The second CD in this Liszt series with Angelika Kirchschlager won the BBC Music Magazine Award in 2012.

Concerts this season include three recitals in the series ‘Lied und Lyrik’ in the Boulez Saal Berlin; recital tours in the USA with Matthew Polenzani, Japan with Ian Bostridge, and European tours with Gerald Finley and Anna Prohaska. Other highlights include Oxford International Lieder Festival with Christine Rice; the Aldeburgh Festival with Andrè Schuen; the Wigmore Hall, London with Brindley Sherratt; l’Athénée, Paris, Middle Temple Hall, London with Alan Clayton; and in Stuttgart with Günther Groissböck, as well as performances in Bath, Brugg, Basel and Rome with Ian Bostridge.

Current Professorships


Guildhall School of Music logo

Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London

Professor of Piano

Past Professorships


Kunst Uni Graz logo

University of Graz, Austria

Professor of Lied Piano

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