Ilker Arcayürek


"Nominated for OPUS KLASSIK 2021 in two categories - 'Solistic vocals of the year - song' & 'Young artist of the year'"

The Path of Life (Schubert), Prospero Classical (released April 2021)

"… he is a sought-after man. Anyone who listens to his current CD immediately understands why […] A bright, light timbre that characterizes the lyrical tenor […] He reaches any height effortlessly […] Arcayürek has the gift of storytelling."

Media House Aachen, Audible Magazine


Kultur & Leben

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Born in Istanbul and raised in Vienna, tenor Ilker Arcayürek has emerged as one of the most exciting and versatile vocal artists in recent years – hailed by the press for his “golden tenor” (Opera Now Magazine) and quickly establishing himself “in a class of his own” (The Guardian). He is a winner of the International Art Song Competition of Germany’s Hugo Wolf Academy, a finalist of the 2015 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and was a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist. He was also selected to perform at Ronaldo Vilazon’s “Stars of Tomorrow” for ARTE. In 2017 Champs Hill Records released his first solo album “Der Einsame”, featuring Schubert songs accompanied by Simon Lepper, to great critical acclaim. His latest recording with Simon titled “Path of Life” for Prospero Classical has recently been nominated for 2 OPUS KLASSIK Awards.

On the concert platform he has worked with orchestras such as Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Tonkünstler-Orchester, Tokyo Philharmonic, RSO Vienna, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre National de Lyon, Danish Chamber Orchestra, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia under conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Ivor Bolton, Laurence Equilbey, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Philippe Herreweghe, Riccardo Minasi, Mikhail Pletnev, Lars Vogt and Adam Fischer. Recent highlights have included Britten Serenade with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Felix Kleiser, the tenor arias in the St Matthew Passion at the Palau in Barcelona under Simon Halsey with Soloists from Berliner Philharmoniker, Mozart Requiem at the Vienna Konzerthaus and with the Antwerp Symphony and Beethoven 9 with the RSO Wien under Marin Alsop.

Next season and beyond he will return to the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Philippe Jordan, perform Schumman’s Das Paradies und die Peri with the Symphonischer Chor Hamburg at the Elbphilharmonie, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with WDR Koln and Mozart Mass in C with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin as well as concerts with Orchestre des Champs-Élysées and Collegium Vocale Ghent (Dvorak Requiem, Beethoven Missa Solemnis and Schuman Das Paradis und die Peri).

On the opera stage this season he will make his Canadian Opera Company debut as Tamino Die Zauberflöte and for Opera Vlaanderen and Opéra National de Montpellier performing the roles of Ariel, Pater Ecstaticus in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust.

Ilker has been a member of the studio of Zürich Opera (2009-2013) a member of the ensemble of the Stadttheater Klagenfurt (2013-2015) and Staatstheater Nürnberg (2015-18) singing various roles such as Tamino Die Zauberflöte, the title role Idomeneo, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Ferrando Così fan tutte and Rodolfo La Bohème. As a guest artist he has performed at Teatro Real Madrid in Kasper Holten’s production of Wagner’s Das Liebesverbot, Munich Opera Festival of the Bayerische Staatsoper in the world premiere of Nikolaus Brass’ Die Vorübergehenden, Salzburg Festival in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia, Volksoper Wien in Lortzing’s Zar and Zimmerman and for Opera Graz the role of Lyonel in Flotow’s Martha and as the title role in Weber’s Oberon. In summer 2019 Ilker made his US operatic debut in the role of Nadir in Les Pêcheurs de Perles at Santa Fe Opera.

Alongside his commitments to symphonic and operatic repertoire, Ilker is a passionate exponent of Lied, working with pianists such as Simon Lepper, Hartmut Höll, Ammiel Bushakevitz, Daniel Heide and Wolfram Rieger. He has given recitals at the Edinburgh International Festival, Wigmore Hall, the Schubertiada Vilabertran, deSingel Antwerp, at the Innsbruck Festwochen and the Bibliotheksaal Polling. He made his highly anticipated United States recital debut in February 2019 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York and with San Francisco Performances, accompanied by pianist Simon Lepper and the duo will return there for a recital this season. Other future recital dates include those at Oxford Lieder, Schubertiade, Life Victoria Barcelona (Die schone Mullerin) and Hospitalhof Stuttgart as part of the Hugo Wolf Akademie.

Ilker makes his home in Zürich with his wife and daughter.

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SCHUBERT Die Schöne Müllerin

LIFE Victoria Festival Barcelona (November 2021)

"La seva veu conté una màgica sensualitat, un refinament en l’expressió que fa discórrer la paraula en un just i absolut significat conceptual."

"[Ilker Arcayürek's] … voice contains a magical sensuality, a refinement in the expression that makes the word run through in a just and absolute conceptual meaning."

"La veu d’Arcayürek fluïa amb encant en lieder com “Agraïment al rierol”, “Salutació matinal” o “Les flors del moliner”, secundat per un pianisme ofert per Baillieu com si es tractés d’un rierol en què l’aigua avança amb una naturalitat màgica. El seu cant brillant, eloqüent del lied “Mein!” mostrava una veu que es projectava amb una nítida diafanitat i eloqüència."

"Arcayürek's voice flowed charmingly in lieder as "Gratitude to the Stream", "Morning Greeting" or "The Miller's Flowers", supported by a pianism offered by Baillieu as if it were a stream in which the water advances with a magical naturalness. His brilliant, eloquent chant of the lied "Mein!" showed a voice that was projected with sharp diaphany and eloquence."

Lluís Trullén, Revista Musical Catalana

Mozart's Requiem

Antwerp Symphony Orchestra, Herreweghe (video stream, April 2021)

Tenor Ilker Arcayürek […] seemed to bring forward some of the melancholy and vulnerability characterising his wonderful Schubert Lieder renditions.

Edward Sava-Segal, Bachtrack

Britten's Serenade for tenor, horn and strings

Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Felix Klieser (horn), Muziekgebouw (video stream, March 2021)

The performance was captivating and convincing, Arcayürek sensitive and lyrical in his storytelling […] blending sophisticatedly with the strings and showing emotional depth. The highlights […] were in the nuances – the ebbing phrases, the subtle changes in mood, Arcayürek moving from the whimsical to the melancholy […] showing incredible control over variations in timbre.

Mark Thomas, Bachtrack

The Path of Life (Schubert), Prospero Classical

with Simon Lepper, piano (released April 2021)

Nominated for OPUS KLASSIK 2021 in two categories - "Solistic vocals of the year - song" & "Young artist of the year"

Outstanding - 5 stars

Kultur & Leben

With Arcayurek’s light, bright tenor […] the “galloping” songs — Willkommen und Abschied; Auf der Bruck — are delivered with athletic aplomb, the singer’s diction immaculate.

Hugh Canning, Album of the week, The Sunday Times

… he is a sought-after man. Anyone who listens to his current CD immediately understands why […] A bright, light timbre that characterizes the lyrical tenor […] He reaches any height effortlessly […] Arcayürek has the gift of storytelling.

Media House Aachen, Audible Magazine

Arcayurek […] masters the diction perfectly, but also the interpretation with a rediscovery of every moment for the listener. […] A great success in short.

Elodie Martinez, OperaOnline

With his light, dynamically very flexible, clearly articulating and appropriately text-comprehensible tenor voice, Arcayürek succeeds in very characteristic interpretations. The balanced voice with its flawless timbre and its lyrical sensualism allow him to sing Schubert without a false pathos and without false inwardness but always with dramatic tension. Arcayürek sings with feeling and just as much taste, giving his voice a vulnerability that is touching.

Remy Franck, Pizzicato

....offers an excellent showcase for the tenor’s gifts. [...] His tone is bright, open and honest… [Ilker Arcayürek] is particularly suited to the more plangent numbers, which show off his beautiful piano timbre and long legato lines.

Hugo Shirley, Gramophone

Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen, AVI Music

with Fiona Pollak, piano (released May 2020)

Tenor Ilker Arcayürek’s voice possesses many characteristics from which every singer would benefit: a beautiful, smart tone combined with a strong technique, a richness of sound from the head voice to the low register, and above all a fine articulation and the resulting expressiveness in dealing with the text. He therefore belongs to a type of singer who can fill the text with life, who is not only a singer but also a narrator. Each song on this CD is performed in a very characteristic way because Arcayürek is deeply involved and his singing correspondingly intense.

Remy Franck, pizzicato

It makes for a delightful album, taking core Austro-Hungarian repertoire as its basis but pushing out, too, to further corners of the former empire […] We start and end with Mahler, and the opening performance of the songs that give the album its title show off the same easy, instinctive manner that characterised his Schubert. […] his singing is always appealing, his interpretations admirably honest. And a gentle, heartfelt performance of ‘Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen’ provides a touching conclusion to a lovely album.

Hugo Shirley, Gramophone

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