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.
He appears regularly at all the major music centres: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre New York; the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Philarmonie Berlin; the Châtalet and Musée de Louvre Paris; La Scala Milan and Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid; Musikverein and Konzerthaus Vienna; and Wigmore Hall and BBC Proms London.
Director of the Perth International Chamber Music Festival in Australia from 2000 – 2003, Julius Drake was also musical director of Deborah Warner’s staging of Janáček’s Diary of One Who Vanished, touring to Munich, London, Dublin, Amsterdam and New York. Since 2009 he was been Artistic Director of the Machynlleth Festival in Wales.
Julius Drake’s passionate interest in song has led to invitations to devise song series for the Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. A 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.
Julius Drake is frequently invited to perform at international chamber music festivals – most recently, Kuhmo in Finland; Delft in the Netherlands; Oxford in England; Boswil in Switzerland and West Cork in Ireland – while his instrumental duo with Nicholas Daniel has been described in The Independent newspaper as ‘one of the most satisfying in British chamber music: vital, thoughtful and confirmed in musical integrity of the highest order’.
Julius Drake’s many recordings include a widely acclaimed series with Gerald Finley for Hyperion, for which the Barber Songs, Schumann Heine Lieder and Britten Songs and Proverbs have 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 Kodaly and Shoeck sonatas with the cellists Natalie Clein and Christian Poltera for the Hyperion and Bis labels; of Tchaikovsky and Mahler with Christianne Stotijn for Onyx; English song with Bejun Mehta for Harmonia Mundi; and Schubert Lieder ‘Poetisches Tagebuch’ with Christoph Prégardien, winner of the Jahrpreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2017.
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 for 2012 – and a series of four Schubert recitals recorded live at Wigmore Hall with Ian Bostridge.
Julius Drake holds a Professorship at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria, where he has a class for song pianists. He is regularly invited to give master classes worldwide; recently in Aldeburgh, Brussels, Utrecht, Cincinnati, Toronto, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Vienna and at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien.
Concerts in the 2017-18 season include recitals in his series, ‘Julius Drake and Friends’ at the historic Middle Temple Hall in London; concerts in Frankfurt, Dresden, Vienna, and Florence with Ian Bostridge; in Bristol and Barcelona with Mark Padmore; in Madrid and Amsterdam with Sarah Connolly; in Geneva with Willard White; in Vienna with Alice Coote and Angelika Kirchschlager; and in New York with Gerald Finley, Matthew Polenzani and Christoph Prégardien. “Working with Julius Drake has been one of the great joys and inspirations of my life. Here’s to another quarter century!” -Ian Bostridge
Images by Marco Borggreve Text courtesy of IMG Artists