Anne Schwanewilms

Engagements this season and beyond include a concert of Strauss with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, recitals at Wigmore Hall, De Doelen Rotterdam and a return to the Bayerische and Wiener Staatsopers.

She features on the 2018 Grammy award-winning Wozzeck (Naxos) in the category ‘Best Opera Recording’.

© Javier del Real


German Soprano Anne Schwanewilms performs to great acclaim at the world’s major opera houses and concert venues.

Ms. Schwanewilms’ repertoire of operatic heroines extends beyond those of Strauss to include, among others, Elsa Lohengrin, Elisabeth Tannhäuser, Madame Lidoine Dialogues des Carmélites, Marie Wozzeck and Desdemona Otello.

In concert, Anne Schwanewilms sings works by Berg, Mahler, Strauss, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schoenberg, Verdi and Wagner. She is considered one of today’s finest lieder recitalists, appearing regularly with Malcolm Martineau, Charles Spencer and Roger Vignoles, both in Europe and abroad.

In 2002, Anne Schwanewilms was named Opernwelt’s Singer of the Year. She features on the Houston Symphony Wozzeck regarding (Naxos) which won Opera Recording (20th and 21st Century) at the 2017 ECHO Klassik Awards.



  • 02 Oct 17 Recital, Charles Spencer
    Wigmore Hall
    More info  

    “…the high-flying rapture and generous tone we associate with the soprano’s Strauss came to the fore… the physical stillness relieved by the most elegantly expressive hand gestures in “Das Glück” (“Joy”) and a dash of the comedy Schwanewilms does so well in “Umsonst” (“In vain”)….Schwanewilms kept the direct soldier-worship of No. 1 inward, only to retreat into even more secret raptures in stanzas about harp-led lullabies and dawn choruses…. Amazing how Schwanewilms can fleck a single note with gold in mid-flight.”
    David Nice, The Arts Desk, 3 October 2017

  • 19 Apr 17 Recital, Malcolm Martineau
    Theater of the Arts, Washington DC
    More info  

    “She’s famed for her shimmering upper voice and spun-sugar high notes, but Schwanewilms’s tangier, more forthright middle and lower registers proved just as distinctive, as did her word-specific treatment of song texts.

    If there was a pervading sense of micro-managerial vocal control on the soprano’s part, it paid dividends, and she was able to let her hair down, too — as in her wry treatment of Strauss’s “Ach, was Kummer, Qual und Schmerzen.” And when she bathed songs such as Wolf’s “Verborgenheit: Lass, o Welt, o lass mich sein” and Strauss’s “Die Nacht” and “Morgen” in silvery floated tone, the results were ravishing.”
    Washington Post, 21 April 2017

    “Throughout the evening Schwanewilms floated pearly-soft high notes, as at the end of Strauss’s “Du meines Herzens Krönelein,” in an intense performance of unadorned elegance.

    She reached a high point in the demanding high writing of “Der Genesene an die Hoffnung,” with beautifully placed pianissimo notes.”
    Charles T. Downey, Washington Classical Review, 21 April 2017

  • 08 Apr 17 MAHLER Symphony No. 8
    Royal Festival Hall
    More info  

    “In an attempt to portray the score’s imaginary directions, all the soloists sang from different stations around the hall, Anne Schwanewilms’ Penitent outstanding from an upper box…”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 11 April 2017

    “The orchestral detailing and choral moulding of the closing scene of Goethe’s Faust that takes up the symphony’s second part was compellingly done, with Judith Howarth and Anne Schwanewilms standing out in a strong group of soloists.”
    Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 9 April 2017

  • 13 Mar 17 Schöne Welt CD
    More info  

    “…she is able to walk that silken thread, deploying a dark-hued, low range for the creepy part of Death in “Death and the Maiden” and floating the top notes in the tender, slow “An den Mond”…”
    Charles T. Downey, Washington Post, 29 July 2016

  • 02 Jul 16 WAGNER Lohengrin
    Bayerische Staatsoper
    More info  

    “Schwanewilms is also a most sympathetic Elsa, her remorse in Act 3 deeply moving.”
    Joseph So, Musical Toronto, 4 July 2016

    “Wunderbar tönend sang Anne Schwanewilms die Rolle der Elsa und zeigte, dass ihre zarte, glockenreine Stimme ebenfalls kein Problem damit hat, es mit einem Wagnerorchester aufzunehmen.”
    Daniel Url, Bach Track, 4 July 2016

  • 09 Jun 15 Mahler/Schoenberg CD
    Onyx Classics
    More info  

    “…the heartfelt performance by Anne Schwanewilms and meltingly beautiful accompaniment by Malcolm Martineau – just listen to that carefree song in the piano on Wenn dein Muetterlein   – make this compelling listening…”
    Claudia Pritchard, Independent, 31 May 2015

    “Schwanewilms has lovely, floated high notes. She interprets with perception, and sings with heartbreaking purity.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 26th July 2015

  • 09 Nov 13 STRAUSS Die Frau Ohne Schatten
    Metropolitan Opera
    More info  

    “The cast was headed by the magisterial German soprano Anne Schwanewilms in her company debut as the Empress, the woman without a shadow…As the Empress, Ms. Schwanewilms brings a vocal refinement and dignity to her performance … her singing is warm and true. She spins high-lying phrases with focused sound and pliant lyricism. ”
    Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 8th November 2013

    “In contrasting glory, debuting soprano Anne Schwanewilms fascinated as the Empress with a cool, flutelike voice—not a huge sound but with an eerie, haunting shimmer in the character’s extremely high tessitura. Even more effective was her elusive stage presence. She never walked but danced, and her expressions always looked distant and enigmatic, more like an elaborately crafted mask than a human face.”
    James Jorden, New York Observer, 12th November 2013

    “…the Empress finds humanity, her soul, compassion. At that point, the voice of Schwanewilms soars, in great lines, wide-reaching — vertically in great melodic intervals — horizontally in outstretched phrases, the Strauss lyricism that captivates. ”
    Robert P. Commanday, San Francisco Classical Voice, 20th November 2013


Read Anne’s interview in Bayreuth Almanac 2017 (German version and English version)