by Daniel Hathaway
As a stop on his first United States tour, Benjamin Appl will visit Cleveland for a recital in Mixon Hall at the Cleveland Institute of Music on Friday, January 18 at 8:00 pm. The German-born baritone, 36, said in a telephone conversation from his New York hotel that he’s delighted to be sponsored by the Cleveland Art Song Festival. “Especially in the United States, art song recitals are quite rare and it’s very difficult to find promoters who trust there will be enough of an audience,” he said. “My agency in New York told me that it’s absolutely wonderful because the Cleveland organization is a real flagship for this art form.”
Appl, who began his singing career as a treble in the Regensburger Domspatzen — the “Sparrows” of the famous Bavarian cathedral choir of boys and men — spent his early adult years in finance and business administration. Then he became Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau’s last student, and his life changed.
Since then, Appl has etched out distinguished international credentials in opera and concert music, but he has specialized in Lieder, a subject he now teaches at the Guildhall School in London. It’s music dear to his heart, but he knows it’s often a hard sell in the 21st century. “When I decided to do a lot of song recitals, I knew this would not be an easy step,” he said. [Read more…]