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 was nominated for 2 OPUS KLASSIK Awards.

Arcayürek’s versatility results in him having a busy and varied career on the opera stage, symphonically and on the recital platform.

He has worked with orchestras such as Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Tonkünstler-Orchester, Tokyo Philharmonic, RSO Vienna, Rundfunk Sinfoniorchester Berlin, Orchestre National de Belgique, Orchestre National de Lyon, Netherlands Radio Philharmonic, Antwerp Symphony, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Royal Northern Sinfonia under conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Ivor Bolton, Laurence Equilbey, Marin Alsop, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Philippe Herreweghe, Riccardo Minasi, Mikhail Pletnev, Lars Vogt, Simon Halsey and Adam Fischer.

Recent highlights have included Liszt Eine Faust-Sinfonie with Sinfonieorchester Basel, A fourteen date European tour of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the Orchestre des Champs Elysees and Collegium Vocale Gent, a return to Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Haydn’s Die Schöpfung with WDR Sinfonieorchester at Kölner Philharmonie, Verdi Requiem with Antwerp Symphony and with Opera National de Montpellier, tenor arias in St Matthew Passion with Residentie Orkest in the Hague, Mozart’s Requiem with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Mass in C with Rundfunk Sinfoniorchester Berlin.

On the opera stage, recent successes include his Canadian Opera Company debut as Tamino Die Zauberflöte, Ferrando Cosi Fan Tutte with Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, for Opera Vlaanderen performing the roles of Ariel, Pater Ecstaticus in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust and the role of Alfred in Die Fledermaus at Musikverein Graz. He returned to the Edinburgh International Festival in summer 2023 for a semi-staged version of Die Zauberflöte conducted by Maxim Emelyanychev.

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.

Often described as having the gift of storytelling, Ilker is a passionate exponent of Lied and this continues to form an important output of his work. He performs with pianists such as Simon Lepper, Hartmut Höll, Ammiel Bushakevitz, Daniel Heide and Wolfram Rieger and has presented programmes at Edinburgh International Festival, Wigmore Hall, Wiener Konzerthaus, Schubertiade Schwarzenberg and Hohenems, Oper Frankfurt, Schubertiada Vilabertran, de Singel Antwerp, Life Victoria Barcelona, at the Innsbruck Festwochen and Hugo Wolf Academy Stuttgart. 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 returns to both venues this season.

Other highlights of this current season include recitals at Wigmore Hall, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam (both with Ammiel Bushakevitz), Brahms Liebesliederwalzer for Schubertiade and in the UK for BBC Radio 3 with Malcolm Martineu. He will travel to Tokyo to sing Tamino Die Zauberflöte at the Bunkamura Centre with Bach Collegium Japan under Masato Suzuki. He returns for another large European tour with the Orchestre des Champs Elysees performing Mozart Requiem as well as Missa Solemnis with the Munchener Philharmoniker, Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang with Symphonischer Chor Hamburg and Dove’s In Damascus with the Quiroga Quartet as part of the String Quartet Biennale Amsterdam.

This biography is for information only and should not be reproduced.

Recital with Malcolm Martineau

Edinburgh International Festival (August 2023)

Arcayürek was brought up in Vienna and has all the signs of a well-trained Lieder singer, the open stance, the discreet use of hand gestures to tell a story – and a wonderful voice. He sings quietly through the Beethoven, only opening up fully at the end, but it’s obvious that he is comfortable throughout the range, with some delightful baritonal touches at the lower end of his voice.

Kate Calder, Edinburgh Music Review

By the final passage of Schubert’s Nachtstuck his warm resonance has found its perfect, trembling clarity with each note resting quietly on his tongue. Soft. Restful. Done.

Malcolm McGonigle, Art Mag

Recital with Simon Lepper

Oper Frankfurt (July 2023)

Wie nur sehr wenige Sänger schafft er es, in die feinen, zarten, kaum noch hörbaren Tönen dennoch viel Ausdruck hineinzulegen. Sehr schön gestaltete er Robert Schumanns sehnsuchtsvolles „Du bist wie eine Blume“ nach Heinrich Heine

Like very few singers, he manages to put a lot of expression into the fine, delicate, barely audible tones. He beautifully designed Robert Schumann's longing "You are like a flower" after Heinrich Heine.

– Kulturfreak.DE

Missa Solemnis

Collegium Vocale Gent, Orchestre des Champs Elysees, European Tour, December 2022

"Ein Highlight war Ilker Arcayürek, der in Wien aufgewachsen, hier aber bisher selten zu hören war. Mit seinem so geschmeidigen und energischen Tenor lieferte er beste Argumente für zukünftige Rollen in seiner Heimatstadt."

A highlight was Ilker Arcayürek, who grew up in Vienna but has rarely been heard here. With his tenor so supple and energetic, he provides the best arguments for future roles in his hometown.

Die Presse

"Ilker Arcayürek überzeugte mit seinem gut geführten Tenor."

Ilker Arcayürek convinced with his well carried tenor.

Susanne Zobl, Kurier

“Makellos, von manchmal objektiver Schönheit auch der Sound der Solisten Eleanor Lyons und Ilker Arcayürek.”

Flawless, from sometimes objective beauty, the sound from soloists Eleanor Lyons and Ilker Arcayürek.

Michael-Georg Müller, WR Kultur

Dans une optique « musique ancienne », le ténor Ilker Arcayürek tient ses promesses : aigus impeccablement placés et lignes galbées

In the context of 'early music', tenor Ilker Arcayürek keeps his promises : his high notes are impeccably placed and his line smoothly ondulating

Dominique Joucken, Forum Opera

"Pour beaucoup, le ténor turc Ilker Arcayürek sera une révélation, autant pour la délicatesse de son chant que par le soleil de son timbre. Un ténor aux moyens mozartiens qui devrait faire parler de lui dans les années à venir."

For many, the turkish tenor Ilker Arcayürek will be a revelation, as much for his delicate singing as for the ray of sunshine in his timbre. A tenor with Mozartian means who should have us talking about him for years to come.

Pierre Degot, Resmusica

Ariel, Pater Ecstaticus, Vollendeterer Engel, Jüngerer Engel (Szenen aus Goethes Faust)

Opera Ballet Vlaandern, June 2022

"Tenor Ilker Arcayürek sorgt als Ariel inmitten der überwältigenden Sonnenaufgangsmusik für selige Momente des Schwebens."

The tenor Ilker Arcayürek provides blissful moments of floating as Ariel in the midst of the overwhelming sunrise music.

Jan Brachmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine

The Magic Flute (Tamino)

Canadian Opera Company (May 2022)

Of the “straight” characters, perhaps the most effective was Ilker Arcayürek's Tamino. He is a very stylish singer. His “Dies Bildnis” was lovely and throughout he maintained a pleasing blend of beautiful tone and expressiveness coupled with convincing acting.

John Gilks, Bachtrack ***

As the storybook prince-esque lead, Arcayürek is a solid Tamino. His voice is steady, strong, and blends wonderfully with any and all of the other performers.

Isabella Perrone, Broadway World

Turkish-born, Austria-based tenor, Ilker Arcayürek, stars as Tamino and bass-baritone Gordon Bintner as Papageno. These two gentlemen commanded a decadent stage presence. Arcayürek provided the heartbeat to the operatic piece.

Thirty Four Flavours blog

Anchored by a masterful performance by Ilker Arcayürek, who is pitch perfect as Tamino [....] Arcayürek’s voice is very pleasant and strong. He has a very commanding stage presence, and with the beautiful costumes designed by Myung Hee Cho, he exudes a stately aura.

Curtis Sindrey, Aesthetic Magazine

Arcayürek commands a warm honey-coloured voice perfect for embodying Mozart’s earnest, vulnerable hero ... One can tell [...] from the careful way he shapes his arias and pays such close attention to the lyrics that he is known as an expert in the Lieder of Schubert and Schumann.

Christopher Hoile, Stage Door ****

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

Ilker Arcayürek - Full Repertoire

Ilker Arcayürek Repertoire

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