The penultimate concert in our lunchtime series pairs South African pianist James Baillieu with the thrilling German baritone Benjamin Appl for a performance of Schubert’s famous song cycle, Winterreise. Based, like Die Schöne Müllerin, on the poetry of Wilhelm Müller, Winterreise follows a spurned young lover as he embarks on an allegorical journey through a stark and wintry land. It is a rapturous meditation on love and longing that only the finest singers can match.

Benjamin Appl is perhaps the most exciting young Lieder singer performing today. The last protégé of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, he has been a BBC New Generation Artist (2014-16) and a Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist (2015-16), and won Gramophone Magazine’s Young Artist of the Year Award in 2016. His most recent recording – Heimat – has been rapturously received.

Appl is accompanied by James Baillieu, one of the most sought-after accompanists in Europe, with whom Appl toured Europe in 2015-16 as part of the ECHO Rising Stars series. Shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Outstanding Young Artist Award in 2016, Baillieu has worked with many of the leading singers of our time, including Ian Bostridge and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

[Benjamin Appl is] the current front-runner in the new generation of Lieder singers Gramophone Magazine
James Baillieu is in a class of his own The Daily Telegraph

Photo credit: Falk Kastell