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German baritone Appl to perform at PSU

Benjamin Appl, a renowned German vocalist, will be performing in a concert on Friday, Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sharon Kay Dean Recital Hall in McCray Hall. The concert will display the talents of his versatile voice as a German baritone as he performs the hour-long work “Winterreisse.”

Benjamin Appl has sung concerts across Europe and Asia. Appl is also studied with noted German baritone Dietrich Discher-Dieskau in Schwarzenberg, Austria. In 2010, Appl moved to London, and furthered his studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Rudolf Piernay. 

Appl shared his thoughts on performing in a press statement.

“Every time I perform it, Winterreise feels like a new and different journey, depending on my own mood, the atmosphere in the hall, and of course the shared creativity with the all-important pianist,” Appl said. “This journey will be lifelong, as no singer ever gets tired of it, or feels (they have) mastered it. Fischer-Dieskau’s ten recordings are proof of that. For singers, Schubert’s “Winterreisse” is a lifetime companion, yet a daunting one as we confront all the great recordings and performances that are already out there. The challenge for every singer is not to be inhibited, but to find fresh ways of understanding and transmitting both words and music to their own generation…”

Appl teaches at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, where he teaches his expertise of German art song, alongside countless masterclasses across the world. Appl also works with world-renowned contributors to the interpretation of German art song.

“Appl’s rich baritone is able to execute complex melismas (quickly moving) or sustained legato passages with great ease,” said Lydia Bechtel, instructional professor of music history and voice. “While he excels in solo recitals of art song literature, he is also adept as a concert soloist or on the operatic stage. This is impressive because oftentimes singers do not handle the shifts between genres as skillfully as Appl.”

Benjamin Appl was chosen to perform as part of the Solo and Chamber Music Series at McCray Hall, which features several world-famous musicians and vocalists each year to perform in Pittsburg, Kansas. 

Bechtel gave some motivation to anyone who may be hesitant to attend the concert. 

“It’s a rare opportunity to see someone as skilled as Benjamin Appl perform Franz Schubert’s masterpiece Winterreise, live in concert,” Bechtel said. “The work is an hour-long journey through a man’s experience with love lost, moments of reflection, frustration, hope, and despair. It speaks to universal truths of the human experience, that despite being presented in German, are evident through Schubert’s expert union of voice, poetry, and piano.”

Tickets can be purchased online, at pittstate.edu/tickets, at the Garfield Weede Building Monday through Friday, or at the door prior to the concert. 

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