Gramophone Classical Music Award Young Artist of the Year
Benjamin Appl
Baritone
12th December 2016
Gramophone Classical Music Award Young Artist of the Year

What a night! I shall never forget the wonderful ceremony of the Gramophone awards last September at St John’s Smith Square. To receive the Young Artist of the Year 2016 award, supported by Help Musicians UK, has been one of the most special moments in my professional life so far. It marked a new milestone I was allowed to reach with the support from people, who believe in me. It’s nothing new when I say how hard it is to create a career in this profession, one has to work hard but also, as the saying goes, has to be in the right place at the right time with the right people.

Moving to London in 2010 to study at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama was one of those moments that I now look back on. The cultural and musical life of this city is so special and unique; it gives someone a feeling of a cosmopolitan and international ‘together’. I met so many wonderful colleagues from different countries with very various backgrounds, which I found very inspiring. My time of studies in the UK were essential in leading up to the next important steps, which followed. The BBC selected me as one of their New Generation Artists, a wonderful and worldwide unique programme, which supports young musicians for 2.5 years and gives them many opportunities for recordings and concerts. The culture of this country is something so wonderful and versatile and I am very grateful to be able to participate in it, as a listener but also as a performer. I have always felt very welcome and at home in UK.

Benjamin Appl

Of course, so many musicians are based in London who all want to live a life as professionals and therefore the competition is hard and maybe more challenging than in other places. In circumstances like this I think one has to find out what they are good at, what is unique about them and what in particular they can offer as an artist. Comparing yourself to other colleagues is surely important for development, but to survive in this large pool of kindred spirits, someone has to find confidence in himself and know his strengths. As far as I am aware, musicians are normally full of doubts and insecurities and have many questions. They have to be on the search all the time. If someone doesn’t have trust in himself or doesn’t believe in his strength and individuality, he could easily get lost. By offering performances, but also awards and support, people and organisations such as HMUK help enormously in finding answers to doubts and questions and in generating the essential belief in yourself to continue being creative and reaching the next level.

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