Anne Schwanewilms

Recent engagements include Die Kaiserin Die Frau ohne Schatten with the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Isabella Karl V at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Grand Duchess Grand Duchess of Gerolstein at the Dresden Semperoper, Mahler Symphony No.4 in Lisbon and recitals in Germany with Malcolm Martineau.

© Studioline


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

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

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.



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    Label: Naxos

    Release Date: 13 Jan 17

    Conductor: Hans Graf

    Wozzeck: Roman Trekel

    Marie: Anne Schwanewilms

    Orchetsra: Houston Symphony

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    Mahler: Symphony No. 2 'Resurrection'

    Label: Presto

    Release Date: 30 Sep 16

    Conductor: Valery Gergiev

    Soprano: Anne Schwanewilms

    Mezzo-Soprano: Olga Borodina

    Orchestra: Münchner Philharmoniker

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    Schöne Welt

    Label: Capriccio

    Release Date: 13 May 16

    Soprano: Anne Schwanewilms
    Piano: Charles Spencer

    C5233 PC: 21 UPC: 845221052335

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    Mahler & Schoenberg

    Label: Onyx

    Release Date: 12 May 15

    Soprano: Anne Schwanewilms
    Piano: Malcom Martineau

    Catalogue No: ONYX4146

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    Label: Capriccio

    Release Date: 29 Apr 14

    Conductor: Cornelius Meister
    Soprano: Anne Schwanewilms
    Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra

    C5174 PC: 21 845221051741

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    Schumann and Wolf

    Label: Capriccio

    Release Date: 01 Jul 13

    Schumann: Liederkreis op.39
    Wolf: Mörike-Lieder

    Soprano: Anne Schwanewilms
    Piano: Manuel Lange

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    Das himmlische Leben

    Label: Onyx

    Release Date: 01 Mar 13

    Soprano: Anne Schwanewilms
    Piano: Charles Spencer

    Catalogue No: ONYX4103

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    POULENC Dialogues des Carmélites

    Label: Arthaus Musik

    Release Date: 01 May 10

    Conductor: Simone Young
    Director: Nikolaus Lehnhoff

    Alexia Voulgaridou
    Kathryn Harries
    Anne Schwanewilms
    Orchestra and Chorus Philharmoniker der Staatsoper Hamburg

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    STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier

    Label: Medici Arts

    Release Date: 01 Nov 08

    Conductor: Fabio Luisi
    Director: Eric Laufenberg

    Anne Schwanewilms
    Kurt Rydl
    Hans-Joachim Ketelsen
    Anke Vondung

    Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden

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    SCHREKER Die Gezeichneten

    Label: EuroArts

    Release Date: 01 Jul 06

    Conductor: Kent Nagano
    Director: Nikolaus Lehnhoff

    Anne Schwanewilms
    Robert Brubaker
    Robert Hale
    Michael Volle
    Wolfgang Schöne

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    24 Oct 19 Recital with Malcolm Martineau Elbphilharmonie

    “What Anne Schwanewilms conjured into one’s ears in the „twilight“ of Robert Schumann’s Lieder cycle sounded like a guideline for the highest art of song singing. Because the soprano, supported with soft fiingers by Malcolm Martineau on the grand piano, was able to detect even the finest nuances of the Eichendorff settings and could always rely on an astonishing voice control.

    Already at the beginning of Schumann’s cycle about longing, loneliness and the dark sides of romanticism, in the song „In der Fremde“, Schwanewilms had dimmed down the line „but father and mother are long dead“ into a breathtaking pianissimo. As if she wanted to make it clear to the audience in the Small Hall of the Elbphilharmonie that her vocal instrument has not lost any of its flexibility even after more than two decades on the opera stage with large Wagner and Strauss parts. She succeeded more than impressively. With a broad palette of sound shades she and the famous pianist Malcolm Martineau conjured up the flight of the soul in a starry moonlit night; they told of secret tears of melancholy or complained about a loved one who had long since died.”

    Marcus Stäbler, Hamburger Abendblatt, 24 October 2019

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    02 Sep 19 STRAUSS Die Frau ohne Schatten

    “Merbeth gegenüber steht die Kaiserin der Anne Schwanewilms, die das Ätherische dieses Fabelwesens gleichermaßen zum Ausdruck bringen kann wie deren unbedingten Willen, Mensch zu werden. Schwanewilms lyrischer Sopran hat in seiner Reifezeit eine Griffigkeit erlangt, die keinen Ton, keine feine Regung dieser Partie untergehen lässt”

    Matthias Nöther, Berliner Morgenpost, 2 September 2019

    “Anne Schwanewilms als Kaiserin – sternstundig! Ihren größten sängerischen und auch sprecherischen also schauspielernden Abschnitt hatte sie im dritten Aufzug, wo man ihr dann die vermenschlichende Erdung außerhalb ihres bis dahin kaiserlich-absonderlichen Abgehobenseins von “Unten” glaubhaft abnahm.”

    Andre Sokolowski, Der Freitag, 2 September 2019

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    02 Oct 17 Recital, Charles Spencer
    Wigmore Hall

    “…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

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

    “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

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    08 Apr 17 MAHLER Symphony No. 8
    Royal Festival Hall

    “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

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    13 Mar 17 Schöne Welt CD

    “…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

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    02 Jul 16 WAGNER Lohengrin
    Bayerische Staatsoper

    “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

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    09 Jun 15 Mahler/Schoenberg CD
    Onyx Classics

    “…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

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    09 Nov 13 STRAUSS Die Frau Ohne Schatten
    Metropolitan Opera

    “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)