Andrè Schuen | Biography


Andrè Schuen
Please note that because of the Covid−19 pandemic, we are currently unable to provide reliable information about forthcoming live performances.
Making music came as naturally to Andrè Schuen as speech. The baritone, raised in a family of multilingual musicians, communicates as fluently with melody as he does in German, Italian and Ladin, the regional tongue of the part of the South Tyrol in which he was born. His repertoire embraces everything from Lieder and opera to traditional Ladin folk music and spans the spectrum of human emotions. Above all, it reflects the singer’s passion for words and his determination to convey their meaning in performance.
Critics have been inspired by Schuen’s combination of vocal authority, tonal warmth and expressive intelligence. “This dark, unstrained baritone is one of the most beautiful things you can hear at the moment; it is an unreservedly wonderful voice,” observed the Frankfurter Rundschau, while Gramophone has praised his enormous expressive range and ability to spin “long, quiet lines that flow with consummate ease”.
Andrè Schuen’s artistry, matured over time, has led to invitations to perform on the world’s leading stages and to an exclusive agreement with Deutsche Grammophon. For his DG debut album, set for release on 5 March 2021, he has recorded Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with pianist Daniel Heide. This will be followed by albums devoted to Schubert’s two other late song-cycles, Winterreise and Schwanengesang. Schuen marked the start of his new relationship with the Yellow Label in early August 2020 with the online release of his interpretation of “Ungeduld” from Die schöne Müllerin for DG’s Musical Moments series.
In December 2019 the Stuttgarter Zeitung published an interview in which Schuen outlined his down-to-earth attitude to his profession and deep love for art song. “Career is a secondary word for me,” he declared. “Opera and song are equally important to me,” he added, “but song offers me greater freedom as an artist.” That sense of freedom is rooted in Schuen’s early experience playing and singing Ladin folk music as part of a family ensemble that also included his mother, father, two sisters and a cousin. The group created a bridge between the artificial divide that all too often separates the complementary worlds of classical and folk song.
Born in 1984 in La Val, South Tyrol, Andrè Schuen studied cello as a child. He later switched his focus to singing and won a place at the Salzburg Mozarteum where he studied with the Romanian soprano Horiana Brănişteanu and received lessons in Lieder and oratorio from fellow baritone Wolfgang Holzmair. His formative training also included masterclass sessions with, among others, Kurt Widmer, Sir Thomas Allen, Brigitte Fassbaender, Marjana Lipovšek and Olaf Bär.
After graduating with distinction in 2010, Schuen earned critical acclaim as one of the few performers to appear throughout Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s 2014 cycle of Mozart’s Da Ponte operas at the Theater an der Wien, for which he sang the roles of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Guglielmo. His partnership with pianist Daniel Heide has flourished in concert and on disc, and he has also given critically acclaimed recitals with Thomas Adès, Andreas Haefliger and Gerold Huber. In 2009 he appeared as singer and actor at the Salzburg Festival in Luigi Nono’s Al gran sole carico d’amore and, the following year, joined the festival’s Young Singers Project. Schuen was a member of Graz Opera from 2010 to 2014 and made his debut with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle in 2011.
Highlights of recent seasons include recitals at London’s Wigmore Hall, the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg & Hohenems; Guglielmo in a new production of Così fan tutte at the Salzburg Festival in 2020; and J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons. In September 2020 he made his Bayerische Staatsoper debut, again in the role of Guglielmo, and a month later made his Wiener Staatsoper debut in the title-role of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.
Andrè Schuen’s future plans include concerts with Quatuor Diotima in Paris and Orléans and appearances as Papageno in Die Zauberflöte at the Wiener Staatsoper (April 2021); the title-role in The Marriage of Figaro at the Aix-en-Provence Festival (July); and return appearances as Guglielmo at the Salzburg Festival followed by performances of Die schöne Müllerin, Winterreise and Schwanengesang with Daniel Heide at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg & Hohenems (August).
February 2021