Chamber Choir

Benjamin Appl, baritone

Described as the current front-runner in the new generation of Lieder singers’ (Gramophone Magazine, UK), Benjamin Appl, Gramophone Award Young Artist of the Year 2016, was a BBC New Generation Artist from 2014-16 and was also a Wigmore Hall Emerging Artist and ECHO Rising Star for the 2015-16 seasonHe became an exclusive SONY Classical recording artist in 2016 and his first solo album of German and English song for Sony Classical, 'Heimat’, won the prestigious Prix Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau (Best Lieder Singer) at the 2017/18 Académie du Disque Lyrique Orphées d’Or.  

In concert he has appeared with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin, Gabrieli Players & Consort, Les Violons du Roy, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, Concerto Köln, the Symphony Orchestra of India, the Seattle Symphony, Vienna Symphony, and the major BBC orchestras, among othersNow an established recitalist, Benjamin Appl had the good fortune to be mentored by one of the greatest singers of the twentieth century, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, and has performed at the Ravinia, Rheingau, Schleswig Holstein, Edinburgh Internationaland Oxford Lieder festivals, Heidelberger Frühling, and the KlavierFestival Ruhr. He has performed at major concert venues including Festspielhaus Baden-Baden, Het Concertgebouw, AmsterdamElbphilharmonie, Hamburg and the Musée de Louvre, Paris, and he is a regular recitalist at Wigmore Hall and at the Schubertiade Hohenems and Schwarzenberg. He works closely with pianists Graham Johnson and James Baillieu.    

The 2018-19 season will see Benjamin Appl make his professional recital debut in the USA, with a tour including performances at Park Avenue Armory, New York and the Phillips Collection, Washington DC. Mr. Appl will appear in concert with the NHK Symphony Orchestra under Paavo Järvithe Philharmonia Orchestra, Concerto Köln, the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie, and the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, alongside recital appearances at Wigmore Hall, the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, Oxford Lieder Festival, and Schubertiade HohenemsHe will sing the role of Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Roger Norrington, and will give a performance of Mahler and Bernstein at the Osaka Castle Hall in Japan, broadcast by MBS TV.  His new Sony Classical recording, ‘Bach’ with Concerto Köln, is due for release in September 2018.   

Wolfram Rieger, piano

Wolfram Rieger received his first piano lessons from his parents and later from Konrad Pfeiffer in Regensburg. He soon developed a deep affection for Lied interpretation and therefore continued his studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich with the famous Lied pianists Prof. Dr. Erik Werba and Prof. Helmut Deutsch. After earning diploma with distinction, he attended several masterclasses with Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Hans Hotter and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. Even during his studies he began teaching at Munich's Hochschule für Musik until in 1991 he started his own Lieder class for singers and pianists In 1998 he became Professor of a Lied class at Berlin's Hochschule für Musik "Hanns Eisler". Wolfram Rieger regularly holds masterclasses in Europe and Japan. 

Wolfram Rieger is a regular guest artist at many important music centres and festivals throughout the world, including the Schubertiade FeldkirchSchubertiada a Vilabertran, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Châtelet, London's Wigmore Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Musikverein and Konzerthaus, Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Munich Festivals, Konzerthaus Berlin and Kölner Philharmonie. He appears both as recital accompanist and chamber musician with such renowned artists as Brigitte Fassbaender, Barbara Bonney, Juliane Banse,Michelle Breedt, Anja Harteros,Thomas Hampson, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Olaf Bär, Matthias Goerne, Thomas Quasthoff, Peter Schreier, Michael Schade, The Cherubini Quartet, The Vogler Quartet , The Petersen Quartet among many others. 

A prolific recording artist, Mr. Rieger is well-represented on numerous CDs., many of which received various awards. 

Awards and distinctions include the honorary medal of the Associació Franz Schubert de Barcelona and the Hugo-Wolf-Medal of the International Hugo Wolf Academy Stuttgart. 

Steven Philcox, Program Director

Steven Philcox is regarded as one of Canada’s finest collaborators and is a frequent partner of Canada’s vocal elite performing in concert halls across North America where he continues to garner the reputation as one of this country’s most expressive and colorful interpreters.

From 1999-2010, Philcox was a celebrated member of the music staff of the Canadian Opera Company where he served as répétiteur and assistant conductor on more than 35 productions and was the pianist of choice for the continuo of Handel and Mozart. In 2006, Philcox distinguished himself in an auspicious debut conducting the final performance of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

Increasingly recognized for his teaching, Philcox has given masterclasses throughout Canada and is regularly invited to mentor young artists at many of Canada’s prestigious summer programs. Recent highlights include Opera on the Avalon, Toronto Summer Music, Vancouver International Song Institute, and the Centre for Operatic Studies in Italy.

In 2011, Philcox co-founded the Canadian Art Song Project with tenor Lawrence Wiliford. CASP’s mission is to foster the development of new song through an annual commission and its performance as well as providing opportunities for Canadian artists to program and, in doing so, reinvigorate the existing song literature. Since its inception, CASP has brought together composers, writers, and performing artists in the creation of ten new works for voice and piano. It has released four CDs dedicated to the music of Derek Holman, John Greer, and Norbert Palej, all of which have been received with great critical acclaim. For more information please visit: canadianartsongproject.ca

Philcox is currently Associate Professor and head of Collaborative Piano studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music.

Chamber Music