23rd Karlsruhe Dialogues - Speakers

Empathy. Unity. The Importance of Freedom of Movement for the Arts.


Simon Wallfisch


Simon Wallfisch, born into a family of musicians, began playing the cello aged five and studied cello and singing at the Royal College of Music, London. Aged 20 he began playing with the English Chamber Orchestra whilst pursuing his singing studies. In 2006, he moved to Germany to continue his vocal studies in Berlin and Leipzig. He was engaged at the International Opera Studio at the Zurich Opera House and went on to sing leading roles on the stages of Staatsoper Nürnberg, Leipzig, Dessau, Magdeburg and Gera. Since 2012, he has been freelancing internationally as both a singer and a cellist. Wallfisch’s unique performances, where he sings and plays at the same time, have taken him to stages including the Royal Festival Hall London, Konzerthaus Berlin, Laeiszhalle Hamburg, and many festivals worldwide. With his duo partner, Edward Rushton, Wallfisch has recorded several discs of ‚Lieder‘ for labels including Nimbus, Lyrita, Delphian and Resonus Classics. He currently lives in London with his wife and children. He is the grandson of Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, survivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen, and alongside his musical activity is very politically engaged, giving school workshops fighting prejudice and anti-Semitism, leading a musicians’ movement against Brexit and is trustee of the International Centre for Suppressed Music, working to promote music and musicians suppressed by authoritarian regimes.