Peter Mattei sings Schubert’s “Winterreise”

Peter Mattei (photo: Dario Acosta)

Facets of loneliness: Probably no other composer has put the feeling of being a stranger, of not feeling at home, or of not being accepted into music as poignantly and movingly as Franz Schubert in his song cycle Die Winterreise. The painful state of the protagonist’s soul, reflected in the image of winter with its relentless cold, its unyielding ice and its chilling winds, is expressed in every note. The Swedish baritone Peter Mattei and his accompanist David Fray turn the songs of the cycle into little operatic scenes full of intensity and emotion.

Peter Mattei baritone

David Fray piano

Franz Schubert

Winterreise, D 911

Dates and Tickets


Peter Mattei

Musical America chose Peter Mattei as Vocalist of the Year in 2020. The reason? On account of the “lyric beauty of his voice” and because he “never allows us to forget what his characters are feeling”. For many years, the Swedish baritone has been a regular guest at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, where he has appeared in roles such as Amfortas (Parsifal), Figaro (The Barber of Seville), Marcello (La Bohème), Prince Yeletsky (The Queen of Spades) and Rodrigo (Don Carlo) as well as the title roles of Eugene Onegin and Wozzeck. In keeping with his motto “technique serves emotions”, the singer is known for completely immersing himself in the psychology of his stage characters, which, according to the American classical music journal Opera News, makes him “a specialist who likes to master a role – and it shows”. Mattei, who studied at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm, also appears on the major stages of Europe, such as the Paris Opera and the Royal Swedish Opera, as well as the festivals in Aix-en-Provence and Glyndebourne. He is also in great demand as a concert and lied singer – for example, in one of his favourite works, Schubert’s Winterreise, which in Mattei’s interpretation becomes “an opera production for one person” (Frankfurter Rundschau).

David Fray

The saying “still waters run deep” fits David Fray: his piano playing is poetic, sensitive, discreet and lucid. The French pianist has no longer been an insider tip for many years. Fray became a shooting star in June 2006, when he stepped in for Hélène Grimaud in Paris and Brussels at concerts with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen. His repertoire is focussed on the great German-Austrian tradition, with works by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Schumann and Schoenberg, although Fray also plays pieces by Chopin, Ravel and Boulez. Fray, who completed his studies with Jacques Rouvier at the Paris Conservatory with distinction and was supported by artists such as Dmitri Bashkirov, Paul Badura-Skoda, Christoph Eschenbach and Pierre Boulez, has often been compared to Glenn Gould because of his idiosyncratic style. He himself sees his greatest role model in Wilhelm Kempff, however, whose “perfect combination of structural thinking and pure poetry” has influenced him profoundly. Fray displays his lyrical, tentative and yet narratively gripping piano style in concerts at nearly every major concert hall in Europe, Asia and the US – from London’s Wigmore Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées and the Vienna Musikverein to New York’s Carnegie Hall.

David Fray (photo: Marco Borggreve)