Anne Schwanewilms is recognised as one of the leading interpreters of the works of Richard Strauss. Her extensive repertoire covers roles such as Arabella, Ariadne („Ariadne auf Naxos“), Chrysothemis („Elektra“), Feldmarschallin („Der Rosenkavalier“), Empress („Die Frau ohne Schatten, Danae („Die Liebe der Danae“), Elsa („Lohengrin“), Elisabeth („Tannhäuser“), Desdemona („Otello“), Marie („Wozzeck“) and Madame Lidoine („Dialogues des Carmélites“). She has appeared at many of the major opera houses of the world including Munich, Dresden, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Vienna, Madrid, Barcelona, Milan, New York and Tokyo. At the Semperoper Dresden, Anne Schwanewilms enjoyed a great success as Arabella and Chrysothemis under the musical direction of Christian Thielemann, roles which she reprised at the Vienna National Opera under the baton of Ulf Schirmer and Franz Welser-Möst. Anne Schwanewilms is a regular at the Bayreuth and the Salzburg Festivals, where her performances as Carlotta in „Die Gezeichneten“ by Franz Schreker and as the Empress in Richard Strauss’ „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ were particularly significant. Engagements in 2017 included Marschallin („Der Rosenkavalier“) in Munich, Elisabeth („Tannhäuser“) at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin and Eva in the new production of „Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg“ at the Bayreuth Festival in 2017.
Anne Schwanewilms appears regularly with conductors such as Christian Thielemann, Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Franz Welser-Möst, Kent Nagano, Stefan Soltesz, Vladimir Jurowski, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Simone Young, Christoph Eschenbach and Riccardo Chailly. Her prolific concert career takes her to the foremost halls of Europe and she appears regularly with the Berliner Philharmoniker, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre National de France.
One of the leading exponents of Lied, Anne Schwanewilms has appeared in recital at the Wigmore Hall London, at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, at the Lincoln Center New York and at the Edinburgh Festival. She is a member of the jury of the international Louis Spohr-Competition and leads masterclasses. A British music critic described her as a ‘veritable sound painter’. Accompanied by Malcolm Martineau, Charles Spencer and Roger Vignoles, Anne Schwanewilms has set artistic standards with her interpretations of songs by Schumann, Wolff, Wagner, Liszt, Mahler, Strauss and Schönberg. Music critics praise her unfailing sense of the subtlest details of phrasing, lustre and suppleness of voice and great technical expertise. „Recitals are my staging“, Anne Schwanewilms said once in an interview. „Here I can create something from the beginning with very simple means – the voice and the piano.“
Anne Schwanewilms has a comprehensive discography. Her opera recordings include DVDs of „Die Gezeichneten“ (Salzburg Festival, Kent Nagano, DSO, 2005), „Die Frau ohne Schatten“ (Salzburg Festival, Christian Thielemenn, Vienna Philharmonic), „Der Rosenkavalier“ (Fabio Luisi, Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, 2007) and „Dialogues des Carmélites“ (Simone Young, Hamburg State Opera, 2008). In addition, she has presented a Richard Strauss CD („Vier letzte Lieder“ and excerpts from „Der Rosenkavalier“, „Capriccio“ and „Arabella“, Markus Stenz, Cologne Gürzenich Orchestra), a Richard Wagner CD with „Tristan and Isolde“, „Tannhäuser“ and the „Wesendonck-Lieder“ (Cornelius Meister, RSO Vienna) as well as several recital discs including works by Liszt, Mahler, Schumann, Wolff, and Schönberg. In May 2016 her CD „Schöne Welt…“ with Lieder by Schubert, Schreker and Korngold has been released.
A recipient of many awards, she was „Singer of the year“ in 2002. In 2014 she received a GRAMMY Award nomination for her CD recording of Richard Strauss’ „Elektra“ with Christian Thielemann. Her recording of „Wozzeck“ with Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony Orchestra received the ECHO Klassik Award 2017 and the GRAMMY Award 2018 in the category „best opera recording“