Bryn Terfel

Composers

Biography

Born: Nov 9, 1965; Wales  
The Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel rose with astonishing speed to the top ranks of international operatic stardom in the 1990s. He is known for a big, warm voice, intelligent and dramatically apt portrayals, a six-foot-three-inch frame and those intangibles that add up to star presence.

He was born Bryn Terfel Jones and was brought up in a small village near Snowdonia, speaking Welsh. Even as a small child he was busy singing; he went to Read more various eisteddfods (singing competitions) throughout Wales, his supportive mother, Nesta, chauffeuring him around. He used the money he won to buy soccer shoes. The eisteddfods taught him to face the stage calmly. "When I went to college I was streets ahead of others because I was used to facing the public," he says. He was awarded a scholarship when he applied to London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His teachers there were Arthur Reckless and Rudolf Piernay. Since there was already a professional singer named Bryn Jones, he adopted his middle name, for his stage billing.

He won two of the main prizes for Guildhall singers: the Kathleen Ferrier Scholarship in 1988 and the 1989 Gold Medal Award. Also in 1989, he won the Lieder Prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and second prize all-around in that competition. This competition is broadcast Europe-wide, and he immediately began getting requests to sing from the leading conductors. Sir Georg Solti called him "one of the great talents of the last ten years."

Although he got offers for all sorts of repertory, he weighed them with care, with a view to preserving the voice through a long career. Although he was already being offered the role of Wotan in three of Wagner's Ring operas, he started singing such roles as Figaro, and Leporello (lighter and more lyrical roles) and Jokanaan in Strauss' Salome (a heavier, though still lyrical, one, but relatively short). He edged into Wagnerian territory in the lyrical part of Wolfram in Tannhäusser, a part known for the lovely "Song to the Evening Star." In 1992, he won the Gramophone Magazine "Young Singer of the Year" citation and the "Newcomer of the Year" award at the inaugural International Classical Music Awards in 1993.

He has added Dr. Miracle and Captain Balstrode (Britten's Peter Grimes) to his roles, moved over from Leporello to Don Giovanni, sung Nick Shadow in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress, and has triumphed in Verdi's Falstaff, which he plays with notable humanity and restraint; his Falstaff is a braggart who overrates himself, but not the buffoon some other singers make him. He also sings the evil Scarpia in Tosca.

He is active on the recital and concert stage. Mendelssohn's Elijah is one of his mainstays. Songs of Handel, Vaughan Williams, Schubert, and Richard Rodgers figure in his recitals and recordings.

He remains a passionate fan of football (both soccer and rugby) and enjoys opening major international matches such as the Bledisloe Cup in Australia. When the Rugby World Cup was held in Cardiff, Wales, he opened it with a memorable duet with pop singing star Shirley Bassey of the Rugby theme song, "World In Union."

In 1999, the small Welsh island of Bardsey revived an ancient tradition (which died out in 1927) by inviting Terfel to become their honorary monarch. Even though he has conquered the world of opera -- even overcoming the dismal acoustics of the Sydney Opera House -- he remains centered on Wales, where, whenever he can, he still helps his father with the farming chores. Read less

Handel: Messiah / Hickox, Terfel, Langridge, Rodgers, Et Al
Release Date: 07/29/1992   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 522   Number of Discs: 2
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Delius: Sea Drift, Songs Of Sunset, Etc / Hickox, Terfel
Release Date: 03/15/1994   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9214   Number of Discs: 1
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Browse 1-25 of 204 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Elgar: The Apostles / Hickox, London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: CHAN 241-49 Release Date: 08/26/2014   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Sir Edward Elgar
    Performer:  Alison Hargan,  Alfreda Hodgson,  David Rendall,  Stephen Roberts  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hickox
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Symphony Orchestra,  London Symphony Chorus
    On sale! $18.99
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  • 2.
    Mahler / Abbado, Berliner Philharmoniker [11-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 00206510 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 11
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler,  Alban Berg
    Performer:  Eteri Gvazava,  Anna Larsson,  Renée Fleming,  Guy Braunstein  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Orféon Donostiarra,  Lucerne Festival Orchestra  ... 
    On sale! $59.98
    CD: $53.49
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  • 3.
    Sir Colin Davis - The Complete RCA Legacy
    Label: Rca   Catalog: 300607 Release Date: 04/15/2014   Number of Discs: 51
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Jean Sibelius  ... 
    Performer:  Jan-Hendrik Rootering,  Barbara Fleckenstein,  Ben Heppner,  Heinrich Weber  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Colin Davis
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra,  Bavarian Radio Chorus,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $119.98
    CD: $112.49
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  • 4.
    Richard Strauss: Complete Operas
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 002013902 Release Date: 03/25/2014   Number of Discs: 33
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Anneliese Rothenberger,  Cäcilie Reich,  Eva Maria Rogner,  Ira Malaniuk  ... 
    Conductor:  Joseph Keilberth,  Giuseppe Sinopoli,  Karl Böhm,  Sir Georg Solti  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Bavarian State Opera Orchestra,  Bavarian State Opera Chorus,  Dresden Staatskapelle  ... 
    Recommendation
    On sale! $259.98
    CD: $169.99
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  • 5.
    Berlin Philharmonic - Centenary Edition
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001923302 Release Date: 10/22/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Hector Berlioz,  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss  ... 
    Performer:  Géza Anda,  Walter Berry,  Gundula Janowitz,  Hilde Rössl-Majdan  ... 
    Conductor:  Arthur Nikisch,  Alfred Hertz,  Richard Strauss,  Bruno Walter  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna Singverein,  Swedish Radio Chorus  ... 
    On sale! $149.98
    CD: $137.99
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  • 6.
    Homeward Bound / Bryn Terfel, Mormon Tabernacle Choir
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001893102 Release Date: 09/10/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George David Weiss,  Marta Keen Thompson,  Samuel Stennett,  Paul Mealor  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Sissel,  Tamara Mumford
    Conductor:  Mack Wilberg
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Mormon Tabernacle Choir,  Orchestra at Temple Square
    On sale! $18.98
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  • 7.
    Lullabies / Catrin Finch
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 4791482 Release Date: 07/30/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Schumann,  Johannes Brahms,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Catrin Finch,  Hannah Stone,  Bryn Terfel,  Kate Royal  ... 
    CD not available
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  • 8.
    Claudio Abbado - The Symphony Edition [41-CD Set]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001846502 Release Date: 07/02/2013   Number of Discs: 41
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Ludwig van Beethoven,  Franz Schubert  ... 
    Performer:  Violeta Urmana,  Thomas Moser,  Thomas Quasthoff,  Karita Mattila  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Mozart,  Chamber Orchestra of Europe,  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $129.99
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  • 9.
    The Verdi Edition - 12 Great Operas
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1105 Release Date: 06/25/2013   Number of Discs: 17
    Composer:  Giuseppe Verdi
    Performer:  Gwynne Howell,  Peter Hoare,  Bryn Terfel,  Kenneth Tarver  ... 
    Conductor:  Bernard Haitink,  Carlo Rizzi,  Edward Downes,  Antonio Ros-Marbá  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus,  Barcelona Teatro Liceu Orchestra  ... 
    DVD: $148.99
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  • 10.
    Claudio Abbado - A Life Dedicated To Music
    Label: Euroarts   Catalog: 2059588 Release Date: 05/28/2013   Number of Discs: 8
    Composer:  Modest Mussorgsky,  Igor Stravinsky,  Johannes Brahms,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Barbara Bonney,  Bryn Terfel,  Lucio Gallo,  Ramón Vargas  ... 
    Conductor:  Claudio Abbado
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra,  Eric Ericson Chamber Choir,  Swedish Radio Choir  ... 
    Recommendation
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  • 11.
    Puccini: Tosca / Gheorghiu, Kaufmann, Terfel, Pappano [blu-ray]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 758159 Release Date: 05/21/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Zheng Zhou,  Bryn Terfel,  Jonas Kaufmann,  Angela Gheorghiu  ... 
    Conductor:  Antonio Pappano
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
    Blu-ray Video: $24.99
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  • 12.
    The John Eliot Gardiner Collection
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001826002 Release Date: 04/30/2013   Number of Discs: 30
    Composer:  Claudio Monteverdi,  Henry Purcell,  Johann Sebastian Bach,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Marinella Pennicchi,  Michael Chance,  Mark Tucker,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  John Eliot Gardiner
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  English Baroque Soloists,  Monteverdi Choir,  His Majesties Sagbutts and Cornetts  ... 
    CD: $104.49
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  • 13.
    Britten: Gloriana / Barstow, Jones, Langridge, Opie, Summer, Mackerras, Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001820602 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Benjamin Britten
    Performer:  Philip Langridge,  Della Jones,  Jonathan Summers,  Bryn Terfel  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Charles Mackerras
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Welsh National Opera Chorus,  Welsh National Opera Orchestra
    On sale! $19.98
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  • 14.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Terfel, Croft, Blythe, Owens, Levine, Metropolitan Opera
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001754309 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eric Owens,  Gerhard Siegel,  Bryn Terfel,  Richard Croft  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $29.99
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  • 15.
    Wagner: Das Rheingold / Terfel, Croft, Blythe, Owens, Levine, Metropolitan Opera [blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001753859 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eric Owens,  Gerhard Siegel,  Bryn Terfel,  Richard Croft  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 16.
    Wagner: Die Walkure /  Westbroek, Kaufmann, Voigt, Levine, Metropolitan Opera
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001754409 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Stephanie Blythe,  Hans-Peter König,  Richard Croft,  Deborah Voigt  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 17.
    Wagner: Die Walkure / Westbroek, Kaufmann, Voigt, Levine, Metropolitan Opera [blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001753959 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Stephanie Blythe,  Hans-Peter König,  Richard Croft,  Deborah Voigt  ... 
    Conductor:  James Levine
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 18.
    Wagner: Siegfried / Terfel, Morris, Siegel, Voigt, Levine, Luisi
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001754509 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eric Owens,  Hans-Peter König,  Richard Croft,  Patricia Bardon  ... 
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    DVD: $39.99
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  • 19.
    Wagner: Siegfried / Terfel, Morris, Siegel, Voigt, Levine, Luisi [blu-ray]
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 001754059 Release Date: 03/19/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Wagner
    Performer:  Eric Owens,  Hans-Peter König,  Richard Croft,  Patricia Bardon  ... 
    Conductor:  Fabio Luisi
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Metropolitan Opera Chorus,  Metropolitan Opera Orchestra
    Blu-ray Video: $39.99
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  • 20.
    50 Best Sensual Classics
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 333022 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  James Horner,  Pietro Mascagni,  Sergei Rachmaninov,  Nino Rota  ... 
    Performer:  Jean-Bernard Pommier,  Cécile Ousset,  Mikhail Rudy,  Natasha Marsh  ... 
    Conductor:  Mariss Jansons,  Lawrence Foster,  Simon Rattle,  François-Xavier Roth  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Berlin Philharmonic Cellists,  Ahn Trio,  Virtuosi
    CD: $11.99
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  • 21.
    EMI Eminence - The Original Jacket Collection [50-CD Set]
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 393872 Release Date: 02/26/2013   Number of Discs: 50
    Composer:  Richard Wagner,  Richard Strauss,  Ralph Vaughan Williams,  William Byrd  ... 
    Performer:  David Nolan,  Jonathan Small,  George Malcolm,  William Bennett  ... 
    Conductor:  Karl Anton Rickenbacher,  Vernon Handley,  George Guest,  George Malcolm  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  London Philharmonic Orchestra,  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra,  Cambridge St. John's College Choir  ... 
    On sale! $201.98
    CD: $154.99
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  • 22.
    Label: Net Fx   Catalog: 4780792 Release Date: 01/29/2013   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Robat Arwyn,  Karl Jenkins,  César Franck,  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov  ... 
    Performer:  Bryn Terfel,  Rhys Meirion,  Aled Jones,  Dewi Ellis Jones  ... 
    CD: $8.99
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  • 23.
    Classical Album 2013
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 1206561 Release Date: 11/27/2012   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  André Rieu,  Paul Mealor,  Francesco Sartori,  Ennio Morricone  ... 
    Performer:  André Rieu,  Katherine Jenkins,  Russell Watson,  Milos Karadaglic  ... 
    Conductor:  Gareth Malone,  Barry Wordsworth
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Escala
    On sale! $21.99
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    $17.99
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  • 24.
    Andrea Bocelli - The Complete Opera Edition [18 CD-Set]
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 001769302 Release Date: 11/19/2012   Number of Discs: 18
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Georges Bizet,  Umberto Giordano,  Ruggero Leoncavallo  ... 
    Performer:  Paolo Gavanelli,  Barbara Frittoli,  Andrea Bocelli,  Mario Luperi  ... 
    Conductor:  Zubin Mehta,  Myung-Whun Chung,  Marco Armiliato,  Steven Mercurio  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Orchestra,  Florence Maggio Musicale Chorus  ... 
    CD: $212.99
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  • 25.
    An Evening With The Royal Opera
    Label: Opus Arte   Catalog: 1086 Release Date: 11/13/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Gioachino Rossini,  Giuseppe Verdi,  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Georges Bizet  ... 
    Performer:  Ekaterina Siurina,  Diana Damrau,  Renée Fleming,  José Cura  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Orchestra,  Royal Opera House Covent Garden Chorus
    DVD: $19.99
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