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. The New Yorker has described him as the “collaborative pianist nonpareil”.
He appears regularly at all the major music centres and festivals: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, New York; The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and Philharmonie, Berlin; the Châtelet and Musée du 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 has 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 Wigmore Hall, London, the BBC and The Royal Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. 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, Angelika Kirchschlager, Iestyn Davies, Véronique Gens, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside, Christopher Maltman, Mark Padmore, Christoph Prégardien, Amanda Roocroft and Sir Willard White.
Julius Drake is frequently invited to perform at international chamber music festivals – most recently, Lockenhaus in Austria; West Cork in Ireland; Oxford in England; Boswil in Switzerland and Delft in the Netherlands.
Julius Drake holds a professorship at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria, where he has a class for song pianists, and is professor of collaborative piano at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He is regularly invited to give master classes worldwide; recently in Aldeburgh, Brussels, Utrecht, Cincinnati, New York, Toronto, Minneapolis, Ann Arbor, Vienna, and at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien.
Julius Drake’s many recordings include a widely acclaimed series with Gerald Finley for Hyperion, from which the Barber Songs, Schumann Heine Lieder and Britten Songs and Proverbs 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, Ian Bostridge, Joyce DiDonato, Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Polenzani; recordings French Sonatas for Virgin Classics with Nicholas Daniel; of Kodaly and Schoeck sonatas with the cellists Natalie Clein and Christian Poltéra for the Hyperion and Bis labels; Tchaikovsky and Mahler with Christianne Stotijn for Onyx; English song with Bejun Mehta for Harmonia Mundi; and Schubert’s ‘Poetisches Tagebuch’ with Christoph Prégardien, which won the Jahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2016.
Julius Drake’s most recent CDs have been widely critically acclaimed and include Janacek’s Diary of One who Disappeared with the Scottish tenor Nicky Spence (Hyperion), winner of a 2020 Gramophone Award and a 2020 BBC Music Magazine Award; ‘Paradise Lost’ (Alpha) with the Austrian soprano Anna Prohaska; and Vol. 6 of the Liszt Complete Songs (Hyperion) with the German soprano Julia Kleiter. The second CD in this Liszt series with Angelika Kirchschlager won the BBC Music Magazine Award in 2012.
Concerts in the current and coming seasons include a series to celebrate the Beethoven anniversary at the 92ndSt Y in New York, a Mahler series at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and a two-season series at the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin. Other highlights include recitals at La Scala, Milan with Aleksandra Kurzak, at Wigmore Hall with Alice Coote, in Barcelona with Sarah Connolly, at the Schubertiade, Austria with Christoph Prégardien and Ian Bostridge, tours in Europe with Anna Prohaska and Eva-Maria Westbroek, and recitals at the 2021 Salzburg Festival and Edinburgh Festival with Gerald Finley