The German bass, Wilhelm Schwinghammer, began his musical training at the cathedral choir school of the Regensburger Domspatzen, where he was a member of the world famous boys' choir. He then went on to study singing with Harald Stamm at the University of the Arts in Berlin. Master classes with teachers like Kurt Moll and Marjana Lipovšek rounded off his training. He was a finalist in the 33rd German Federal Competition of 2004 in Berlin and won second prize and the Audience Prize in the singer category at the 2009 ARD Music Competition in Munich.
Under the aegis of the International Opera Studio of the Hamburg Staatsoper (2003) Wilhelm Schwinghammer sang in such productions as Giulio Cesare, Die Zauberflöte, La Traviata, Zar und Zimmermann, Die Meistersinger von Nünrberg and Evgeny Onegin. He also featured as a bass in the revival of Robert Wilson's staging of Parsifal and in John Neumeier's 30th anniversary ballet of 2004. Further roles followed in the 2005-2006 season, including Helmsman in Tristan und Isolde,Angelotti in Tosca, Melisso in Alcina, Corporal in La Fille du Régiment and Kulygin in Tre Sestri.
The opening premiere for the anniversary season of the Theater der Landeshauptstadt Kiel, broadcast live over the radio, presented Wilhelm Schwinghammer as Rocco in Fidelio, and at the Flensburg Landestheater he was Sarastro in the premiere of Die Zauberflöte, while he took the bass role in the John Neumeier ballet Christmas Oratorio at the Hamburg Staatsoper. He made his Salzburg Festival debut in 2005 alongside Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón in the role of the young Doctor Grenvil in La Traviata.
With effect from the start of the 2006-2007 season, Wilhelm Schwinghammer joined the ensemble of the Hamburg Staatsoper, where his repertoire included Leporello in Don Giovanni, Colline in La Bohème, The King in Aida, Sarastro in Die Zauberflöte, Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro, Hermit in Der Freischütz, Lodovico in Otello, Don Basilio in Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Sparafucile in Rigoletto, Theseus in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Pietro in Simon Boccanegra.
2011 saw Wilhelm Schwinghammer return to Salzburg for the Easter Festival in Salome under Sir Simon Rattle (staging: Stefan Herheim) - with concert performances beforehand in the Berlin Philharmonie. In 2012, he sang in a concertante Wagner cycle of the Berlin RSB under Marek Janowski as Biterolf in Tannhäuser (with a CD recording). Back in Hamburg, he can be seen and heard as Figaro, Frank in Die Fledermaus, Sarastro, Daland and Titurel in 2012-2013 season.
Wilhelm Schwinghammer is active in the operatic and concert fields with such eminent conductors as, Simone Young, Sir Simon Rattle, Nicola Luisotti, Peter Schneider, Stefan Soltesz, Manfred Honeck, Gerd Albrecht, Sir Neville Marriner, Helmuth Rilling, Marc Minkowski, Hans-Christoph Rademann and more.
Wilhelm Schwinghammer makes his debut as King Henry in Lohengrin in the summer of 2012 at the Bayreuth Festival as well as being part of a guest appearance by the festival ensemble at the Gran Teatro in Barcelona. In 2013 he makes his debut as King Marke in the new production of Tristan and Isolde at the National Opera of Washington.