Ilker Arcayürek


“In a class on his own: Ilker Arcayürek has the kind of airy, easily ringing tenor that puts across words beautifully, with power in reserve yet a hint of vulnerability too”

Erica Jeal, The Guardian

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 and accompanied by Simon Lepper, to great critical acclaim.


  • Bruckner Mass in F minor – Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks  – Mariss Jansons
  • Nadir Les pêcheurs de perles – Santa Fe Opera
  • Covering Jonas Kaufmann and performing at Park Armory NY, Schwanengesang and Mahler songs staged by Claus Guth and accompanied by Helmut Deutsch
  • Mozart Requiem & Haydn Nelson Mass Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich – Wiener Konzerthaus
  • Szenen aus Goethes Faust – Opera Vlandaaren – Philippe Herreweghe
  • Recitals at Wigmore Hall and Edinburgh International Festival; US recital debut at the Park Avenue Armory in New York & San Francisco Performances; deSingel, Antwerp; Oxford Lieder and Heidelberger Frühling


Concert highlights have included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and performances and a recording of the work for Naxos Records with the Danish Chamber Orchestra under Adam Fischer, Bruckner’s Mass in F minor with …

Concert highlights have included Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall and performances and a recording of the work for Naxos Records with the Danish Chamber Orchestra under Adam Fischer, Bruckner’s Mass in F minor with  the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under the baton of Mariss Jansons, Liszt’s Faust Symphony in debuts with Orchestre National de Belgique and Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra and concerts at the Wiener Konzerthaus with Wiener Kammer Orchester, Arnold Schoenberg Chor and with the Tonkünstler-Orchester.

Other conductors that he has worked with include Ivor Bolton, Laurence Equilbey, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, Riccardo Minasi, Mikhail Pletnev and Lars Vogt.

On the opera stage this season he performs the roles of Ariel, Pater Ecstaticus in Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust for Opéra National de Montpellier under Philippe Herreweghe and in future seasons will make debuts with Opera Vlaanderen in Antwerp and for Canadian Opera Company.

Ilker has been a member of the studio of Zürich Opera (2009-2013) as well as 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.

Future highlights include a return recital at Wigmore Hall, at the Hospitalhof Stuttgart as part of the Hugo Wolf Akademie, and in Hohenems as part of the Schubertiade Festival, Das Lied von der Erde with the Barcelona Symphony and St Matthew Passion both at the Palau de la Musica, Barcelona, Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Mozart Requiem under Philippe Herreweghe, Mendelssohn’s Paulus at the Vienna Konzerthaus, concerts as part of the Schleswig Holstein Festival,  as well as his debut with the Frankfurt Radio under Alain Altinoglu.

This season Ilker will be recording Messiah with La Folia Barockorchester and the Windsbacher Knabenchor, Thomas Larcher’s Padmore Cycle with the Finnish Radio Symphony and January 2021 sees the release his latest recital disc of all Schubert Songs titled Path of Life with Simon Lepper.

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

This biography should not be edited without permission from Maxine Robertson Management.



Nicki Wenham Senior Artist Manager
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