The Welsh bass-baritone Bryn Terfel, from Pant Glas near Caernarfon in Gwynedd, studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Arthur Reckless and Rudolf Piernay. He has won numerous and significant awards, and is now regarded as one of the world’s leading classical artists. But his strength is that he is capable of a wide range of singing styles, and is perfectly at ease in several genres, and is also a first-rate actor, with a stage presence second to none. He lives with his wife Lesley and three children at Bontnewydd, Gwynedd.
His awards include:
The 1988 Kathleen Ferrier Scholarship and the 1989 Gold Medal Award.
The 1988 Lieder prize at the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition.
The 1992 Gramophone Magazine “Young Singer of the Year”,
“Newcomer of the Year” in the inaugural International Classical Music Awards in 1993
The solo vocal category in the Gramophone Awards for his album An Die Musik
The “People’s Award” voted by listeners of Classic FM at the Gramophone Awards for his recording of the Vagabond
A Grammy Award for Best Classical Vocal performance for his recording of Operatic Arias
He has performed the role of Mozart’s Figaro in the world’s leading Opera houses, including New York’s Met, La Scala Milan, Vienna Staatsoper, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, the Chatelet Paris, Lyric Opera Chicago and San Francisco Opera.
He has also performed Figaro, Leporello and Jochanaan at the Salzburg Festival, Dr Miracle and Balstrode in Vienna, Leporello at the Chicago Lyric Opera and at the Met, Wolfram at the Met, Masetto, Balstrode and Jochanaan at the Royal Opera House, Jochanaan for Bayerische Staatsoper and Scarpla for Nertherlands Opera. But his masterpieces were his Falstaff and Wotan – performances which have ensured his place in Opera’s Hall of Fame for ever.
Bryn made his debut at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer of 1998. He has given recitals in La Scala, Milan, Florence, Berlin, Munich, Vienna, London, Edinburgh, Istanbul, New York, and venues throughout the USA and Canada. But he has remained true to his roots in Wales, and is a fervent ambassador for his country, the Welsh language and its unique musical culture. He founded the Faenol Festival, which for many years brought the world’s best singers to Wales, as well as providing a world stage for Welsh artists.
He has recorded for many of the world’s leading record labels, but mainly for Deutsche Grammophon. But his first label was SAIN, and he still records Welsh language works for the label, and appears regularly at Welsh festivals such as the National Eisteddfod of Wales. His best-seller on SAIN is the album of duets with his boyhood friend Rhys Meirion (‘Benedictus’: SAIN SCD 2500), and his latest release is a CD to raise money for the Air Ambulance in Wales, one of his many charity causes.