Bryn Terfel

Bass-Baritone

Schubert Club Performances:

  • November 6, 1996
  • April 28, 2000
  • April 19, 2004
  • April 23, 2008
  • April 20, 2016

Bryn Terfel

With five appearances to date, Sir Bryn Terfel holds the Schubert Club record for singers. His inspiring story goes back to when he was a boy of four in rural North Wales and began singing on stage at the Eisteddfod, the annual Welsh festival of poetry and music:

When he was 23 Bryn entered the prestigious Cardiff Singer of the World competition in the Welsh capital. Although he came in second to Dmitri Hvorostovsky (another Schubert Club “Cherished Guest”) in the famous “Battle of the Baritones”, it brought him worldwide recognition and launched his career. Here he is at the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition in 1989, singing an aria from what would become one of his signature roles, Mozart’s Figaro:

In 1995, having just signed an exclusive recording contract, Terfel recorded two of his most beautiful recitals. This is a pair of related excerpts (audio only) from those albums, both poignant songs on the theme of leaving home: “Whither Must I Wander”, which Terfel sang in his 2004 Schubert Club recital, is one of Ralph Vaughan Williams’s “Songs of Travel”, settings of Robert Louis Stevenson:

The other item is from Terfel’s album of songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, whose third show Allegro tells of the unfulfilled dreams of a young man named Joe who leaves his small Midwestern hometown to make a life for himself in the big city of Chicago. Towards the end of the play, he has a vision of his people imploring him to “Come home!”:

In all five of Bryn Terfel’s Schubert Club recitals, Schubert featured prominently. In 2016, he offered Auf dem Wasser zu singen. Here’s an excerpt from that lovely song “to be sung on the water” from his 2011 Verbier Festival appearance:

Also on the program in all five of Bryn Terfel’s Schubert Club recitals were the songs of his beloved Welsh homeland. In these clips he presents two of them in a 2002 Amsterdam concert – the haunting lullaby Suo Gân and the nostalgic My Little Welsh Home (“I am dreaming of the mountains of my home”):

Artist note by Richard Evidon

From the Schubert Club Archive:

Signed photo of Terfel from 1996

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Cover of Terfel’s 1996 program

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Program from Terfel’s 1996 performance

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Signed photo of Terfel from 2004

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