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 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 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, Sergei Leiferkus, Dame Felicity Lott, Simon Keenlyside, Christoph Prégardien, 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; 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 Liebersen, Christopher Maltman and Matthew Polenzani; and recordings of Tchaikovsky and Mahler with Christianne Stotijn for Onyx and English song with Bejun Mehta for Harmonia Mundi. 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.
Julius Drake is also a committed teacher and is invited to give master classes worldwide, recently in Aldeburgh, Brussels, Cincinatti, Toronto, Utrecht, and annually at the Schubert Institute in Baden bei Wien. He holds a Professorship at Graz University for Music and the Performing Arts in Austria, where he has a class for song pianists.
Concerts in the present schedule include tours of the US with Matthew Polenzani and Alice Coote; a Schubert recording with the tenor Christoph Prégardien, and concerts with him and Julia Kleiter in Vienna and Salzburg; shared recitals with the tenor Ian Bostridge and the cellist Steven Isserlis; concerts in his own series, ‘Julius Drake and Friends’, at the historic Middle Temple Hall in London; a tour of Japan and Korea with Anne Sofie von Otter and Camilla Tilling; and a four-part survey of Schumann’s songs at Het Concertgebouw, Amsterdam.