Joseph Breinl

Professor of Song Interpretation and Vocal Accompaniment at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz

© Melanie Paul


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 his generation. He has performed to critical acclaim at many of the world’s most prestigious venues, including Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein, the Semperoper Dresden and Suntory Hall in Tokyo.

Future engagements for Joseph include accompanying Waltraud Meier in a recital at the Zurich Opernhaus and the Wiener Staatsoper, recitals with Christianne Stotijn at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Wonderfeel Festival, Trondheim Chamber Music Festival, Schloss Elmau, La Monnaie and Oper du Rhin, Strasbourg. Joseph will also judge the 2017 Trondheim Chamber Music Competition.



  • 01 Aug 12 Recital with Waltraud Meier
    Edinburgh International Festival
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    “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

  • 01 Feb 12 'Portraits' Songs by Clara and Robert Schumann, Miah Persson and Joseph Breinl BIS CD
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    “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

  • 01 Aug 10 Recital with Christianne Stotijn
    Edinburgh International Festival
    More info  

    “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

  • 01 Mar 10 Recital with Christianne Stotijn
    Wigmore Hall
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    “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