Joseph Breinl


Joseph Breinl studied the piano in Munich with Karl-Hermann Mrongovius and Gitti Pirner. Winning a scholarship from the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes he attended the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, where he continued his studies of piano and song accompaniment with Willem Brons, Rudolf Jansen and Udo Reinemann. Joseph also worked closely with Irwin Gage and Graham Johnson, who have both remained important musical influences in his career.

Numerous radio broadcasts and high-profile appearances have earned Joseph Breinl a reputation as one of the most highly respected piano accompanists and chamber musicians of the younger generation. He has performed to critical acclaim at many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Teatro alla Scala, Vienna’s Musikverein, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Semperoper Dresden and Suntory Hall in Tokyo. He is also a guest at distinguished festivals such as the Schubertiades at Schwarzenberg and Hohenems, the Ruhr Piano Festival, Edinburgh Festival and the Münchner Opernfestspiele. Joseph Breinl has been awarded numerous prizes at international competitions, including the 2003 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition, and the 2005 ECHO Rising Star prize with the mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn. Joseph works regularly with Miah Persson, Christianne Stotijn, Andre Morsch and Kammersängerin Waltraud Meier. 

Highlights of Joseph Breinl‘s 12/13 concert season include recitals at the opera houses in Zurich and Brussels, the Concertgebouw and Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Bunka Kaikan Tokio, Musikverein Wien, Konzerthaus Dortmund and at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. Alongside mezzo-soprano Christianne Stotijn and double bass player Rick Stotijn, Joseph will perform a world premiere of a new cycle written by the renowned American composer  and author of a large body of vocal music, Ned Rorem.

Since 2010 Joseph Breinl has been professor of song interpretation and vocal accompaniment at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz.


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Recital with Waltraud Meier, Edinburgh International Festival 2012

Edinburgh Festival

"Breinl was exceptional in his exploration of anguished memory in the long postlude"

The Guardian, August 2012
"Bringing their extensive operatic stage experience to bear on a programme of Schubert, Schumann and Strauss lieder, Meier and Breinl evoked all the nuance of every setting in a character-led approach where the emotion of the poetry was paramount...the exquisite controlled beauty of Meier and Breinl's performance was heart-stopping in its intensity", August 2012

BIS CD: 'Portraits' Songs by Clara and Robert Schumann, Miah Persson and Joseph Breinl

CD recording

"He has not remained just a student of Graham Johnson, but has become a truth-teller and artist of the highest caliber. The difficult issue of rubato in Schumann is not an issue for him at all, but a welcome ally in spelling out the pulse and nuances of a phrase. His tone and voicing of the various lines are luminous. The mood of each song is skillfully cast through an admirable synthesis of technique and poetry. The extended postlude to Frauenliebe und Leben is quite a challenge artistically, and I have heard it played countless times, on recordings and in recitals over five decades, by the best of artists. They include Bruno Walter, Gerald Moore, Geoffrey Parsons, and Graham Johnson. However I can think of no finer performance of this passage—no finer performance of the entire cycle, in fact—than Joseph Brienl’s."

Fanfare, Classical Music Review, February 2012

Edinburgh Festival 2010 - Recital with Christianne Stotijn

Edinburgh Festival

"Breinl’s accompaniments, particularly the postlude to the 14th song, were models of articulacy. Among the encores, Strauss’s Morgen had surely been hopefully awaited by the audience. It was exquisitely sustained." 

Glasgow Herald, August 2010

Recital with Christianne Stotijn - March 2010

Wigmore Hall

"Joseph Breinl was the perfect partner, his piano playing minutely sentient, warmly supportive and chillingly evocative. ... Breinl’s fingers recreated the sound of distant bells and moonlit brooks in beautifully mixed and mingled tones..."

Times Online, March 2010
“… Stotijn’s Wigmore recital began with four songs of varied mood from Tchaikovsky, all dealing with love but moving from the outright bliss and carefree happiness of “The sun has set” and “It was in Early Spring” to a tense version of “Had I only known”. Here Joseph Breinl was exceptional in his sensitivity of accompaniment, the prelude and postlude setting the scene and describing the subject, a handsome horse-man, while Stotijn’s refrain of “If only I had known, had realised” served as a thoughtful pause.”, March 2010