Ian Bostridge

© Sim Canetty-Clarke


Ian Bostridge’s international recital career takes him to the foremost concert halls of Europe, Japan and North America, with regular appearances at the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, Schwarzenberg and Aldeburgh festivals. He has had residencies at the Wiener Konzerthaus, Carnegie Hall New York, Het Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Philharmonie Luxembourg, London’s Barbican Centre and Wigmore Hall.

In opera, he has performed the roles Lysander (Britten A Midsummer Night’s Dream) for Opera Australia and at the Edinburgh Festival, Tamino (Mozart Die Zauberflöte) and Jupiter (Handel Semele) for English National Opera and Peter Quint (Britten The Turn of the Screw), Don Ottavio (Mozart Don Giovanni) and Caliban (Adès The Tempest) for the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. For the Bayerische Staatsoper he has sung Nerone (Monteverdi L’Incoronazione di Poppea), Tom Rakewell (Stravinsky The Rake’s Progress) and Male Chorus (Britten The Rape of Lucretia), for the Wiener Staatsoper he has sung Don Ottavio and for the Teatro alla Scala Milan he has sung Peter Quint. He has sung Aschenbach (Britten Death in Venice) for English National Opera, La Monnaie, Brussels and in Luxembourg.

Highlights of the 2017/18 season include Berlioz Les nuits d’été with the Seattle Symphony and Ludovic Morlot, recital tours to both the East and West coasts of America, the title role in Handel Jeptha at the Opéra national de Paris, a residency with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Britten’s War Requiem with the Staatskapelle Berlin and Antonio Pappano.

His many recordings have won all the major international record prizes and been nominated for fifteen Grammys. He was awarded a CBE in the 2004 New Year’s Honours.  In 2016 he was awarded the The Pol Roger Duff Cooper Prize for non-fiction writing for his latest book, Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession.


Performance Schedule

  • 20:00 26 Mar 2018 Laeiszhalle Hamburg, HAMBURG More info  


    Conductor: Peter Rundel
    Tenor: Ian Bostridge
    Ensemble: Remix Ensemble

  • 20:00 02 Apr 2018 ICE Krakow, city TBC More info  

    HENRY PURCELL Come Ye Sons of Art
    HENRY PURCELL Incassum Lesbia, incassum rogas “The Queen’s Epicedium”, Z.383
    HENRY PURCELL An evening hymn
    HENRY PURCELL Music for a while
    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Concerto Grosso in A minor Op. 6 No. 4 HWV 322
    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Jephtha: Waft her, angels, through the skies
    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato – Duet: As steals the morn
    GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL Ode for St Cecilia’s Day

    Conductor: John Butt
    Soprano: Fflur Wyn
    Tenor: Ian Bostridge
    Ensemble: Dunedin Consort

  • 20:00 14 Apr 2018 St Petersburg Philharmonia, PETERSBURG More info  

    BEETHOVEN ARR. LISZT An Die Ferne Geliebte
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Rellstab): 1. Liebesbotschaft
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Rellstab): 2. Kriegers Ahnung
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Rellstab): 3. Frühlingssehnsucht
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Rellstab): 4. Ständchen
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Rellstab): 5. Aufenthalt
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Rellstab): 6. In der Ferne
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Rellstab): 7. Abschied
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Moments Musicaux D.780
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Heine): 1. Der Atlas
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Heine): 2. Ihr Bild
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Heine): 3. Das Fischermädchen
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Heine): 4. Die Stadt
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Heine): 5. Am Meer
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Schwanengesang (Heine): 6. Der Doppelgänger

    Piano: Saskia Giorgini

  • 19:00 25 Apr 2018 Dulwich Prep School, LONDON More info  

    GUSTAV MAHLER Des Knaben Wunderhorn, No. 11 Revelge
    GUSTAV MAHLER Des Knaben Wunderhorn, No. 12 Der Tamboursg’sell
    GUSTAV MAHLER Des Knaben Wunderhorn, No. 9 Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen

    Piano: Nicholas Ansdell-Evans

  • 20:00 27 Apr 2018 Holywell Music Room, OXFORD More info  

    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Lass Fuerstin, lass noch einen Strahl BWV 198
    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Ich armer Mensch, ich Sündenknecht BWV 55
    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Ich habe genug BWV 82a
    JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Mein Herze schwimmt im Blut BWV 199

    Tenor: Ian Bostridge
    Baritone: Giles Underwood
    Soprano: Claire Booth
    Cello: Natalie Clein
    Flute: Katy Bircher
    Ensemble: Instruments of Time and Truth

  • 17:00 06 May 2018 Kunstlerhaus Boswil, city TBC More info  

    FRANZ SCHUBERT Die schöne Müllerin (20 songs)

    Tenor: Ian Bostridge
    Piano: Julius Drake

  • 19:30 12 May 2018 Brighton Dome, BRIGHTON More info  


    Conductor: Arie Von Beek
    Soprano: Claire Booth
    Tenor: Ian Bostridge
    Ensemble: Orchestre de Picardie
    Baritone: Sir Gerald Finley

  • 19:00 14 May 2018 National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra, KATOWICE More info  

    ROBERT SCHUMANN Kinderszenen, Op. 15
    ROBERT SCHUMANN Album fur die Jugend
    ARR RASMUSSEN SCHUMANN Five lieder, version for orchestra
    BENJAMIN BRITTEN Who are these children?
    FRANZ SCHUBERT Erlkönig D 328

    Piano: Saskia Giorgini

  • 19:30 05 Jun 2018 Musikverein Vienna, VIENNA More info  

    WOLF (Texts by Heinrich Heine):

    Aus meinen grossen Schmerzen
    Du bist wie eine Blume
    Mädchen mit dem roten Mündchen
    Mein Liebchen wir sassen beisammen
    Wenn ich in deine Augen seh
    Mit schwarzen Segeln
    Wie des Mondes Abbild zittert

    WOLF (Texts by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe):

    Frech und Froh l
    Frech und Froh ll
    Der Rattenfänger
    Gutmann und Gutweib
    Grenzen der Menschheit

    WOLF (Mörike-Lieder):

    Der Genesene an die Hoffnung
    Der Knabe und das Immlein
    Der Tambour
    Nimmersatte Liebe
    Auf ein altes Bild
    In der Frühe
    Peregrina 1 and 2
    Der Feuerreiter

    Tenor: Ian Bostridge
    Piano: Julius Drake

  • 19:30 17 Jun 2018 Wigmore Hall, LONDON More info  

    HUGO WOLF Spätherbstnebel
    HUGO WOLF Frech und Froh I
    HUGO WOLF Frech und Froh II
    HUGO WOLF Mörike-Lieder: 1. Der Genesene an die Hoffnung
    HUGO WOLF Mörike-Lieder: 2. Der Knabe und das Immlein
    HUGO WOLF Jägerlied (Mörike-Lieder)
    HUGO WOLF Mörike-Lieder: 12. Verborgenheit
    HUGO WOLF Gebet
    HUGO WOLF Der Feuerreiter
    HUGO WOLF Abschied

    Piano: Julius Drake

From The Green Room

Online Performances



  • 08 Feb 18 'British Tenor Ian Bostridge Bringing Sounds Of Franz Schubert To Union'
    Saratoga Living Magazine
    More info  

    “Few vocalists hold the recital stage like British tenor Ian Bostridge, who brings his operatic chops to Union College’s Memorial Chapel on Feb. 10.

    It has everything to do with how he conveys the meaning of the words he sings and what he does with his voice.

    “You must grab people’s attention,” Bostridge told saratoga living last December from London. “You must engage them. You need to communicate. The voice is the servant of the interpretation,” he explained. “There’s too much pressure on having a beautiful voice and to sing loudly. Having a beautiful voice is not interesting to me. After two minutes it becomes boring. If a singer is doing a song cycle of 50 minutes, the listener’s ear adjusts to the voice, and they take it for granted. But beauty and ugliness captures their attention.”

    Bostridge loves to sing songs that take his audience on an emotional journey. He works with texts that allow him to sing not just pretty tones, but also grunts, whispers, and other “weird colors,” as he puts it. Bostridge performs in a disarmingly casual way as he leans against the piano or walks about the stage to tell the song’s story.

    Although he sings lieder by Mahler, Brahms, Wolf, Schumann, and Beethoven, his favorite material comes from the pen of Franz Schubert. “[Schubert] has a huge variety, and at his peak, the songs are incredibly powerful,” Bostridge said. Schubert (1797-1828) not only wrote symphonies, string quartets, chamber music, and piano works; but he also turned out more than 600 songs. “It’s quite a lot,” Bostridge told us with a laugh. “And they’re all pretty great. I’ve sung only about 200 of them and explored another 250. Some are not well known and they all vary in intensity.”

    Schubert set his songs to the texts of almost 100 poets, particularly Goethe and Wilhelm Müller. Out of the 22 Schubert songs Bostridge will perform is the famed “Erlkonig” (“The Erl King”), which is set to a Goethe poem; and he’s opening with a trio of songs set to poetry. These include: Matthaus Kazimir von Colin’s “Wehmut” (“Melancholy”); “Der Zwerg” (“The Dwarf”), which in Bostridge’s opinion, is “not a good poem but Schubert turned it into a great song”; and “Nacht und Traume” (“Night and Dreams”).

    Presenting these three songs together, Bostridge said, enables him to create an atmosphere, which sets the stage for what comes afterwards. “That’s part of why I’m drawn to Schubert again and again,” he said. “He was the first great lieder writer and he was writing for the new piano, which had become a more powerful instrument. It makes the partnership between the voice and piano more equal … almost symphonic. And he was inventing new styles and he was the first to create cycles. ‘Winterreise’ (‘Winter Journey’), based on Müller’s poems, is the greatest cycle in classical music.”

    Performing a three-song cycle has become something of an obsession for Bostridge, who tours with the concept regularly—four of the six concerts he’s performing in February on his North American tour feature this cycle. He even wrote a book detailing how he came to interpret each of the cycle’s 24 songs in Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession. Bostridge sang the cycle in 2015 at Union with accompanist Wenwen Du, whom he recently worked with in California. He’s spent almost 30 years performing this work.

    For the Union concert, Bostridge will be joined by his longtime pianist Julius Drake, who was the accompanist for their recent album Songs by Schubert, Vol. 3. “He’s great. He has the instinct as to how we phrase and we trust each other,” Bostridge said of his accompanist. “But I also try to work with younger people. They sometimes provide inspiration with new colors.”

    Geraldine Freedman, Saratoga Living Magazine, 08 February 2018 

  • 02 Nov 17 BERLIOZ: 'Les Nuits d'Ete' Seattle Symphony / Ludovic Morlot
    Benaroya Hall, Seattle
    More info  

    “The program’s opener on Thursday evening, Berlioz’s song cycle “Les nuits d’éte,” featured the great English tenor Ian Bostridge, now 52 and at the top of his form: easy high notes, warm tone quality and beautiful expression.
    A familiar figure to lieder fans everywhere, Bostridge may be a Schubert expert (he has written an acclaimed book on Schubert’s “Winterreise”), but he is stylistically right on target for Berlioz’s lyrical and very French song cycle about love won and lost. Bostridge uses vibrato as an expressive device, not as a constant, and he’s a very active performer with a wide range. He sang the entire half-hour song cycle from memory and in clear, excellent French, an impressive feat in its own right.”
    Melinda Bargreen, The Seattle Times, 3 November 2017

    “English tenor Ian Bostridge made his debut here with the songs. The voice is just right for them, dramatic, with the very wide but even range necessary here. His throat is open, the sound easy and clear and phrases shaped with artistry”
    Philippa Kiraly, The Sun Break, 7 November 2017


  • 12 Aug 17 ZENDER: 'Winterreise'
    Lincoln Center, New York
    More info  

    “Mr. Bostridge’s performance on Sunday afternoon was superb: vocally alluring for the most part, brutal when Mr. Zender’s interpretation demanded it. (“Let stray dogs howl in front of their master’s house!”) His voice has always been remarkable for its clarity, purity and pliancy, and it remains in good estate. His gaunt physique and a slight stiffness of manner worked only to his advantage in creating this haunting portrayal”
    James R. Oestreich, New York Times, 14 Augut 2017

  • 09 Jul 17 SCHUBERT
    Wigmore Hall, London
    More info  

    “Ian Bostridge’s recital ranged across lesser-known areas of Schubert’s solo songs. A first half focusing on the teenage years was remarkable. Who knew the attractive “Der Geistertanz”, written when he was 17, or “Stimme der Liebe”, with its remarkably wayward harmonies? A second half with four Hymns to poems by Novalis at its centre was hardly less eye-opening. … With Graham Johnson on inspiring form at the piano, every song seemed to venture into pastures new.”
    Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 10 July 2017

  • 27 Apr 17 BRITTEN: Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
    City Halls, Glasgow
    More info  

    “a beautifully musical performance of a work that well-suits his singular voice.”
    Keith Bruce, The Herald, 30 April 2017

    “The Britten coupled the meltingly accurate horn playing of Christopher Parkes with the incomparable Britten-friendly tenor voice of Ian Bostridge, whose animated delivery explored fascinating new perspectives, among them a disturbing, super-heated “This ae nighte”.”
    Ken Walton, The Scotsman, 29 April 2017

  • 08 Feb 17 INTERVIEW Ian Bostridge is following the lieder with Schubert
    The Australian
    More info  

    Ian Bostridge talks to Matthew Westwood ahead of performances of Zender’s Winterreise at the Perth Festival.
    Matthew Westwood, The Australian, 8 February 2017

  • 14 Nov 16 Recital: Shakespeare Songs
    Wigmore Hall, London
    More info  

    “The tenor presided over a seamless exchange between music and drama”
    Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 15 November 2016

  • 27 Oct 16 INTERVIEW Boston Globe
    on 'Winterreise'
    More info  

    Ian Bostridge talks to Zoë Madonna of the Boston Globe about ‘Winterreise’ ahead of his recital at Jordan Hall.
    Zoë Madonna, Boston Globe, 27 October 2016

  • 22 Oct 16 SCHUBERT: 'Winterreise' Thomas Adès
    Carnegie Hall, New York
    More info  

    “But the traversal by Mr. Bostridge and Mr. Adès … delivered the emotional sucker punch that Schubert somehow manages to make so cathartic.  … Mr. Bostridge created starkly delineated voices for the conversations that mostly take place in the narrator’s lovesick and unbalanced mind.”
    Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times, 24 October 2016

    “Ideally the audience is so moved that the only appropriate response is silence – which is exactly what happened here. Then, finally, the applause started, gradually building up and eventually giving Ian Bostridge and Thomas Adès a rousing ovation, the artists looking utterly spent. They had not only performed Schubert’s song-cycle, they had lived it.  … Bostridge’s voice is uncannily even throughout the registers, from baritonal low notes (such as in the middle section of ‘Gefrorne Tränen’) to a floated top, and he was using every means of expression conceivable – conveying the drama of ‘Rückblick’ and the repulsiveness of ‘Die Krähe’, but also the nostalgia of ‘Der Lindenbaum’, and ultimately the desolation of ‘Der Leiermann’. … This was a musical experience at its best.”
    Elizabeth Barnette, Classical Source, 26 October 2016

  • 16 Sep 16 BRITTEN: 'The Turn of the Screw'
    Teatro alla Scala, Milan
    More info  

    Bravissimi tutti gli interpreti…Ian Bostridge riesce a diffondere una cupa e angosciante aura di mistero con la sua sola presenza, il personaggio di Peter Quint gli va a pennello.
    Il Giornale della musica /Stefano Jacini

    Postbarocchi dello spettro piu demoniaco, Quint, amaramente ricreato da Ian Bostridge, … sembrano indirizzati a gelare lo stomaco di chi ascolta piu che alle orcchie.
    La Repubblica/ Angelo Foletto

    Ian Bostridge, a regular recitalist here in recent year, makes his operatic debut with music he has made his own.
    The Financial Times/ James Imam

  • 31 Aug 16 CD Shakespeare Songs
    Ian Bostridge, Antonio Pappano, Warner Classics
    More info  

    “This is worth having for the first track alone: an impeccable account of Finzi’s Come Away, Death, with Ian Bostridge blending melancholy and nonchalance, Antonio Pappano accompanying with tender reticence. Bostridge, who names Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ades’s The Tempest as milestones, squeezes every nuance of meaning from these Shakespeare settings. The recital is well constructed: Elizabethan lute songs (with the incomparable Elizabeth Kenny) lead to Schubert’s An Silvia (sung in English) and on to Quilter, Gurney and Warlock. Three Korngold songs precede sharply contrasting settings of Fancie, by Poulenc and Britten. Tippett’s Songs for Ariel and three songs for Stravinsky complete this richly varied homage.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 28 August 2016

    “As anniversary tributes go, this is a good one. With the help of lutenist Elizabeth Kenny and a starry roster of solo instrumentalists, Bostridge roams not only over four centuries of repertoire (from Byrd and Morley to Tippett) but also right across the music map, exploring responses to Shakespeare by Haydn, Schubert, Korngold, Poulenc and Stravinsky as well as home-grown composers.  … Bostridge’s sensitivity to text and ability to spin a line right through even the densest of consonant clusters makes for a compelling collection”
    Alexandra Coghlan, Gramophone, October 2016

    “Ian Bostridge has compiled a nicely varied programme for his Shakespeare tribute.”
    Richard Fariman, Financial Times, 2 September 2016

    “Two decades after Bostridge shot to international prominence with his recording of Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, accompanied by Graham Johnson for the Hyperion Schubert series, his lovely tenor retains its youthful beauty and purity of emission. The lower tones sound rather conventionally masculine, but as soon as he begins to ascend—roughly 85% of all the notes he sings in this recital—the tone is wonderful. It is hard not to fall in love with the sound of Bostridge’s voice, especially when, as in the opening selection, Finzi’s “Come away, come away death,” he sounds so fragile and innocent. … The intelligence, too, is there in spades.”
    Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile, 24 December 2016

  • 21 May 16 SCHUBERT Recital with Wenwen Du
    Herbst Theatre, San Francisco
    More info  

    “Bostridge could harness both dramatic and musical skills to enable his perceptive interpretations of Schubert to introduce the audience to those less-familiar poets and the dramatic qualities of their texts.”
    San Francisco Examiner, 22 May 2016

  • 12 May 16 ZENDER: 'Winterreise' Britten Sinfonia
    Barbican Centre, London
    More info  

    “Bostridge, in excellent voice and acting with rare subtlety, can have done nothing better than this”
    Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraphy 13 May 2016

    “So strong is Schubert’s music, so direct is Müller’s verse and so finely intelligent is Bostridge’s singing that all peril is overcome and art gains.”
    Fiona Maddocks, The Guardian, 15 May 2016

    “At the centre of it, too, is Bostridge’s impeccably coloured performance, his articulation of every morsel of the text utterly lucid, even when, in Zender’s version, it has to be spoken or delivered as Sprechgesang. His concept of what the cycle encompasses is projected as clearly as it always is.
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 13 May 2016

    “And what of that wanderer? This is where tenor Ian Bostridge steps in, reprising a role he has sung for 30 years. Costumed like the master of ceremonies from Cabaret, he appears both on screen and in the flesh. At one point he stares a younger version of himself in the eye; at another he sprawls lifelessly in the snow. It’s elegant, inventive, a haunting take on alienation, and Jones stokes rather than smothers our imagination.
    As does Bostridge himself, who brings more stillness and poise to his performance than usual. It pays off particularly in the quiet resignation of “Letzte Hoffnung” and in the glassy calm of “Der Lindenbaum”, which, in Zender’s interpretation, constantly threatens to shatter. When combined with the accordion-soaked growls of the Britten Sinfonia under Baldur Brönnimann, the effect is rarely less than chilling.”
    Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 15th May 2016

  • 12 May 16 ARTICLE Zender's Winterreise
    Ian Bostridge explains why he agreed to approach a work he knows so intimately through the dark mirror of Hans Zender’s ‘composed interpretation’
    More info  
  • 14 Oct 15 TELEMANN/HANDEL Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment/Steven Devine
    St John's Smith Square
    More info  

    “Tenor Ian Bostridge was the pillar of the whole programme. The cerebral singer has a distinctive technique which he always puts to interpretative use. This was particularly marked in the by turn confiding and excited tone of Telemann’s cantata Dass mein Erlöser lebt, with which he opened, and, supremely, in Handel’s Scherza infida from Ariodante, not to mention the Silete Venti motet after the interval. In the former, Bostridge’s range of desolate remorse, against a caressing violin accompaniment, was very special. But it was the motet, with its prodigious range of vocal demands and expressive opportunities, and Bostridge now thoroughly warmed up vocally, that was the high point.”
    Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 15 October 2015

  • 08 Oct 15 BRITTEN Recital with Seven Isserlis and Julius Drake
    Wigmore Hall, London
    More info  

    “Britten’s realisations of Bach’s Five Spiritual Songs, which mostly speak of approaching death … certainly suited Bostridge’s ascetic approach. His was a beautifully pared-down performance, giving us choirboy tonal purity and pianissimi that, in “Liebster Herr Jesu” especially, raised goosebumps. Most importantly, it was a performance that allowed the words’ sentiments to speak for themselves.”
    Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 9 October 2015

    “This was character singing of a high order, not consoling in the least but uncomfortably persuasive.”
    Nick Kimberley, Evening Standard, 8 October 2015

  • 29 Sep 15 MONTEVERDI: 'Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria' Academy of Ancient Music
    Barbican Centre, London
    More info  

    “Ian Bostridge’s Ulisse may not quite be Homer’s wily wanderer, but there’s a rangy urgency about both his physicality and vocal delivery that brings real menace to the king-in-disguise. Deploying everything from a bladed snarl to mezza voce croon, his hero is war-broken and complicated, but redeemed in Monteverdi’s exquisite final duet – a flowering of melody after unyielding recitative.”
    Alexandra Coughlan, The Arts Desk, 30 September 2015

    “It was usually in the scenes that involved Ian Bostridge’s Ulysses that things sparked into life. Bostridge’s voice seems to acquire more richness and tonal range, especially in the lower registers, with every challenge he takes on, and he used its baritonal qualities to great effect here, bringing expressive variety to the free-flowing recitative that few others in the cast could match”
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 30 September 2015

    “Amidst the large ensemble cast, the best performance of the night came from Ian Bostridge as Ulisse. Besides his powerful voice, which actually felt light because it was so expansive, he provided an intriguing portrayal of a hero who, despite never actually shying away from danger, could not help but to have grown weary from all of the setbacks he had faced.”
    Sam Smith, Music OMH, 29 September 2015

  • 25 Aug 15 CD: BRAHMS Complete Songs, vol. 6
    Graham Johnson, piano
    More info  

    “The British tenor’s vocal personality divides his listeners, but his commitment to German art song can’t be challenged. Brahmsians will want this volume of Graham Johnson’s continuing series, not least for his explanatory notes, which provide detailed information on individual songs. Bostridge chooses to perform rarities: the complete Op 32, which contains gems beyond the familiar Wie rafft ich mich and Wie bist du, meine Königin; and three of the late Four Songs, Op 96. He sings the Minnelied, Op 71, No 5, with rapt intensity.”
    Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, 6 September 2015

    “In his complete lieder surveys for the Hyperion label, one of Graham Johnson’s great talents has been matching songs to singer, building recital recordings that work on their own and also suit the demands of the whole. Ian Bostridge’s reflective, often pained way with words would not suit all of Brahms’s songs, but … this is one of the tenor’s finest releases. Take the Opus 85 landscapes, the Heine settings “Sommerabend” and “Mondenschein,” which shimmer with detail, or the last of the Opus 32 “Lieder und Gesänge,” “Wie bist du, meine Königin” — a master class of descriptive subtlety from singer and pianist alike.”
    David Allen, New York Times, 9 September 2015

  • 30 Jun 15 SCHUMANN Recital with Sebastian Wybrew
    The Mansion House, London
    More info  

    “Bostridge delivered everything from memory, and it was a tribute to his immaculate German diction that even in the rather boomy, unfocused acoustic of the Mansion House he was able to make so many of the words clear.

    The Op 39 Liederkreis was inevitably the highlight; the way in which Bostridge heightened the gothic atmosphere of Auf einer Burg, using a bleached, sprechgesang-like approach and digging a real rasp out of the lowest registers of his voice, was very special lieder singing.”
    Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 1 July 2015 

    “This duo provided thrilling moments of spontaneity and inspiration”

    “A characteristic Bostridge sound is the single-note crescendo, gradually acquiring intensity and penetration. It’s a wonderfully plangent effect and he deployed it frequently in all three collections heard”
    Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 1 July 2015

  • 15 Jun 15 RECITAL
    Melbourne Recital Centre
    More info  

    “Tenor Ian Bostridge’s storytelling captivates at Melbourne Recital Centre”

    “The many diverse colours of Bostridge’s beautiful tenor voice were employed to bring these narratives to life. Bostridge does more than just sing these songs, he delivers an experience. Moving constantly around the stage, he takes the audience into a spellbinding world of restless emotions.”
    Martin Duffy, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 June 2015

  • 11 Jun 15 BRITTEN: 'War Requiem' Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
    Hamer Hall, Melbourne
    More info  

    “Each soloist brought a unique perspective on the work; the booming voice of Pavlovskaya countering the captivating,  vibrant tones of Bostridge,  and Henschel offering a heartfelt, yet straightforward interpretation.”
    Joel Carnegie, Sydney Morning Herald, 12 June 2015

    “Interspersed in the Latin mass Owen’s words, sung supremely in turns by German bass-baritone Dietrich Henschel and English tenor Ian Bostridge, mixed the ideas of glory and sacrifice with slaughter, death and the idiocy of command.”
    Andrea Gillum, ArtsHub, 16 June 2015

  • 21 Apr 15 Songs of World War I
    Recital tour of North America
    More info  

    Park Avenue Armory, New York: 17 April 2015

    “…at the Park Avenue Armory, war’s echoes resounded again, in a devastating concert by Ian Bostridge and his superb pianist, Wenwen Du.”
    David Allen, The New York Times, 19 April 2015

    Hertz Concert Hall, Berkeley: 12 April 2015

    “But Bostridge … leapt into his “Great War” project and held nothing back. From the first measures of three songs from Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn that opened the program — all of them performed at the brink of curdled, nihilistic abandon — a darkly coruscating afternoon unfolded.”
    Steven Winn, San Francisco Classical Voice, 13 April 2015

    Hertz Concert Hall, Berkeley: 12 April 2015

    “In each composer’s music, Bostridge proved an ideal interpreter. The tenro remains an ageless presence, and his austere, pure-toned vocalism lent the songs an almost spectral intensity.”
    Georgia Rowe, Musical America, 14th April 2015

    Park Avenue Armory: 17 April 2015

    “Bostridge has a dramatic manner that is driven by his deep intelligence and learning. He sings with such clarity and assurance about the subject that one need not know the language nor refer to the text to understand his meaning. His voice was superb—the warm penumbra he had when younger is gone, but that is a gain, as out of it has come polished steel.”
    George Grella, New York Classical Review, 18 April 2015

    Vancouver Playhouse: 15 April 2015

    “British tenor Ian Bostridge delivers complex, commanding Winterreise.  Darker, more ironic, and consummately theatrical”
    David Gordon, The Vancouver Sun, 16 April 2015

  • 19 Apr 15 SCHUBERT: 'Winterreise'
    Recital tour of North America
    More info  

    Union College, Schenectady: 19 April 2015

    “Bostridge brings beauty and terror to ‘Winterreise’. Despite tenor Ian Bostridge’s best efforts to keep his recitals from being all about singing, it’s obvious that he is still a very fine singer.”
    Joseph Dalton, Times Union, 20 April 2015

    Vancouver Playhouse: 15 April, 2015

    “British tenor Ian Bostridge delivers complex, commanding Winterreise”
    David Gordon, The Vancouver Sun, 16 April 2015

    Union College, Schenectady: 19 April 2015

    “Bostridge, who has sung this cycle for more than 25 years around the world, inhabited each song in an intense, focused and emotional way. Every note had meaning. His casual manner of leaning against the piano or walking about a bit made the songs like little stories. His voice was rich and resonant with a dark, almost baritone-like timbre. His lower range growled and rumbled, his top notes soared. His phrases were fluid and even, rising or falling depending on the dynamic he chose. Vibrato was used as a color. Schubert seemed to have laid his lines well, so taking a breath was an effortless task. Silence and pacing were used to allow a song’s shape to settle. Bostridge’s German was immaculate.”
    Geraldine Freedman, Schenectady Daily Gazette, 22 April 2015

  • 02 Apr 15 ARTICLE 'The Magic in Schubert's Songs' by Ian Bostridge
    More info  
  • 19 Mar 15 BRITTEN: Les Illuminations Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra/Daniel Harding
    Berwaldhallen, Stockholm
    More info  

    “To call yourself an amateur, as one of the world’s foremost lieder-singers, is modest in an almost parodically British way. But Ian Bostridge does, according to conductor Daniel Harding. The reason is that Bostridge does not have a formal music education. However, he is a trained historian, with a doctorate about witchcraft from Oxford University under his belt.
    These dual roles were manifested vivaciously at Berwaldhallen yesterday evening. His confident, beautiful tenor and detailed articulation of Benjamin Britten’s song cycle Les Illuminations, created exactly the kind of desperate, or angry, invocation that characterizes this early work from 1939. Bostridge has, as he has shown in his subtle interpretations of Schubert, a rare ability to give body to the lyrics he sings, which he exhibited last night as well.
    After the Radio Symphony Orchestra played Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, a work containing several musical illustrations of witchcraft (the music can be heard in the film The Shining among others), Bostridge held a talk about the French society’s view of witches during the eighteenth century, the time when the belief in witches and witchcraft slowly, but slower that one might think in this rational era, petered out. The Berlioz symphony only came to be a couple of decades after the French government had basically issued a statute hindering witchcraft prosecutions and convictions.
    A world-class singer, who after a concert can present a sterling history of ideas, as a backdrop to what has just been performed, may not be unique, but certainly spellbinding.”
    Claes Wahlin, Aftonbladet, 20 March 2015

  • 12 Jan 15 SCHUBERT: Winterreise Recital with Thomas Adès
    Barbican Centre, London
    More info  

    “This was without doubt the most extraordinary, riveting, uncanny performance of Schubert’s great song-cycle Winterreise I have ever witnessed.”
    Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 13 January 2015

    “.. for any artist the live re-creation of this psychologically dark masterpiece is the real challenge, and in this Barbican performance, in which Bostridge shared the platform with pianist Thomas Adès, the two offered something unusually detailed and concentrated. If sharp definition is generally a mark of Bostridge’s interpretations, then this work in particular suits him down to the ground.”
    George Hall, The Guardian, 13 January 2015

    “Vienna’s verdant springs and pitiless winters framed the action, with the protagonist’s encroaching delusions driving him on: what riveted us was not so much Bostridge’s beauty of tone as the emotional truth of every line, underscored as it was by Ades’s refined pianism. Unforgettable.”
    Michael Church, The Independent, 13 January 2015

  • 05 Jan 15 SCHUBERT, LIZST, SCHUMANN Recital with Thomas Adès
    Teatro alla Scala, Milan
    More info  

    “His musicianship is outstanding. He has a myriad of ways of approaching and sustaining each note, and searches out and reveals every colour and nuance in his beautiful voice. He maximises the effect of the words: he caresses them, teases them and occasionally spits them out accompanied by a blue-eyed venomous stare. In doing so he even risks interrupt­ing the vocal line, but nothing gets past him and he makes the most of everything the composer provides him with….
    In his Schubert, Liszt and Schumann programme, culminating in the Dichterliebe, he was accompanied by Thomas Adès who gave an extraordinary symphonic rendering of each piece. Schubert, especially, shone anew with his warm and broad palette of colours. It is rare to hear such an intense collaboration between singer and pianist where a ‘solo’ recital is experienced as a duet for two instruments.”
    Gramilano.com / 6 January 2015

    “Bostridge è un grande cantante e un grande artista. Dimostra due verità spesso negate: la prima, che non esiste solo una tecnica vocale, ma molte; la seconda, che il canto è un mezzo espressivo, non un fine in sé.  Questa voce ingrata si rivela camaleontica, si trasforma, aggredisce le parole e dà, a ognuna, un colore, un peso e un significato diversi. E poi anche per cantare essere musicista aiuta. Per esempio, è eccezionale il senso del ritmo e la capacità di variarlo nei Lieder strofici: ascoltare per credereUnd wüssten’s die Blumen di Schumann, un gioiello. Infine, la sensibilità. Molti di questi brani sono strazianti non per quel che dicono, ma per quel che fanno intuire. Ma qui tutto dipende dall’interprete: e allora perfino Das Fischermädchen diventa sottilmente inquietante, come se Schiele avesse ridipinto un quadretto Biedermeier, mentre tutta la Dichterleibe comunica un senso di lucida desolazione davvero insolito. Merito anche di Thomas Adès, che è forse il maggior operista del nostro tempo ma certamente un accompagnatore eccezionale. Per tutto il concerto, il suo pianoforte non ha quasi mai superato il mezzoforte, ma da lì al pianissimo ha trovato una serie infinita di sfumature. Gran successo e tre bis.
    Corriere della Sera.it, Alberto Mattioli, 7 January 2015

    “Tanti Lieder per il mago Ian”

    La Repubblica, Luigi di Fronzo, 5 January 2015

  • 11 Dec 14 SCHUBERT: Winterreise with Thomas Adès
    Laeiszhalle, Hamburg
    More info  

    “Franz Schuberts Zyklus “Winterreise” kann wehtun und rührt an Grenzen. Diese lotete der britische Tenor Ian Bostridge mit allen Mitteln aus. Mit ihm wurde der Liederabend zu einer Performance, die vermutlich sogar den Komponisten verstört hätte.”
    Spiegel online, 12 December 2014

  • 08 Nov 14 BRITTEN: Curlew River
    UNC Memorial Hall, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
    More info  

    “We are in the presence of greatness. In the all-British cast (except for the boy treble who hails from California), we have legendary tenor Ian Bostridge, who delivered tonight a goose-bumping performance for the ages, which is likely to be the highlight of my 2014-2015 season.

    Mr. Bostridge is a slim man who looked diminutive on stage, until he opened his mouth. His voice is much more powerful than his figure indicates, and he possesses the agility and range required by this difficult vocal score. Acting is another one of his strengths, and he was thoroughly convincing as the Madwoman, with perfect rendition of her pain and despair.”
    Luiz Gazzola, Opera Lively, 8th November 2014

  • 30 Oct 14 BRITTEN: Curlew River
    Synod House, Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York
    More info  

    “the British tenor Ian Bostridge gave a courageously vulnerable performance of the Madwoman” …  “in his haunted eyes and through the aching beauty of his ethereal yet muscular singing, he utterly conveys the character of the unhinged mother.”
    Anthony Tommasini, The New York Times, 31 October 2014

    ” Mr. Bostridge’s … plangent, haunting tenor brought an androgynous, Everyman character to the Madwoman’s extravagant anguish.”
    Wall Street Journal, Heidi Waleson, 3 November 2014

    Bostridge intense and compelling in Britten’s unnerving “Curlew River”
    New York Classical Review, George Grella, 30 October 2014

  • 10 Oct 14 INTERVIEW The Schubert Project: which are his best songs?
    More info  

    Der zürnenden Diana (The wrathful Diana)

    There’s a whole debate about Schubert — what was his sexuality, was he gay? — and this song is a very sexy, thrusting song in a very unusual way, different from any of the Schubert songs I can think of. It’s about Actaeon singing to Diana, who is naked with her nymphs.

    Actaeon is the narrator of the song — he sees Diana, gets very excited then his death is very obviously a metaphor as she conquers him: “the arrow strikes me” and “gently warm waves flow from the wound”. The song was dedicated to Katherina von Laczny, whom Schubert was very keen on — a notoriously free-thinking, free-loving woman.

    The poem was written by Johann Mayrhofer; he and Schubert were very close and Schubert set more poems by him than anyone else. He became a censor in Vienna and felt so repressed by the political system that he committed suicide in 1836 by throwing himself out of his office window.
    Neil Fisher, The Times, 10th October 2014

  • 15 Sep 14 SCHUBERT Recital with Julius Drake
    Wigmore Hall, London
    More info  

    “Here was profound intensity, but contained as eloquence rather than indulged as expressionism. And what a formidable — joyous! — reciprocity these artists have achieved: a telepathy leaving nothing to be said, just as the twin sequences (each unbroken by applause) on the subject of longing, beginning with the exquisite, brief Das Heimweh (Homesickness) and ending with a sunset glow (Im Abendrot), in their introspective way said everything.”
    The Sunday Times, Paul Driver, 21 September 2014

  • 28 Aug 14 SCHUBERT Recital with Julius Drake
    Schubertiade Schwarzenberg
    More info  

    “British lyric tenor Ian Bostridge is widely considered one of the great interpreters of the art song. When he recently took his position on stage at the Schubertiade − joined by the superb pianist, Julius Drake − the audience tingled with anticipation.”
    Bachtrack, Sarah Batschelet, 30 August 2014

  • 09 Jul 14 SCHUMANN Recital with Sophie Daneman and Julius Drake
    Middle Temple Hall, London
    More info  

    “Daneman is an intuitive performer, boasting a bell-like tone and a warm, tranquil stage presence. Bostridge seems more cerebral, with a tightly coiled energy that teeters on the edge of explosion. Both, however, share an emotional agility that was proudly on show”
    Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, July 10 2014

  • 22 Jun 14 SCHUBERT: 'Winterreise' with Thomas Adès
    Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh
    More info  

    “At 49, Ian Bostridge is hardly an old man but he brings maturity, intelligence and a deep level of understanding to the work. This performance, alongside accompanist Thomas Adès (former artistic director at Aldeburgh), looked set to be one of the golden tickets at this year’s festival. And so it proved.”
    Laura Battle, Financial Times, 24 June 2014

  • 21 Nov 13 ARTICLE Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten
    Ian Bostridge writes in The Guardian
    More info  

    “The greatness of Benjamin Britten’s music is only now coming into focus”
    Ian Bostridge, The Guardian, Thursday 21 November 2013



The Tempest Caliban

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Lysander / Flute
Billy Budd Captain Vere
Curlew River Madwoman
Death in Venice Aschenbach
The Rape of Lucretia Male Chorus
The Turn of the Screw Prologue / Quint

Semele Jupiter
Acis and Galatea Acis

L’incoronazione di Poppea Nerone
L’Orfeo title role
Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria Ulisse

Die Entführung aus dem Serail Belmonte
Die Zauberflöte Tamino
Don Giovanni Don Ottavio
Idomeneo title role

The Bartered Bride Vasek

The Rake’s Progress Tom Rakewell
Oedipus Rex title role


Please contact Mary Donald for information of Ian Bostridge’s song and concert repertoire

Ian Bostridge / Faber & Faber


Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession
by Ian Bostridge (Faber & Faber / 1 January 2015)
Winner of The Pol Roger Duff Cooper Prize for non-fiction writing 2016

“Schubert’s Winterreise is one of the most powerful and one of the most enigmatic masterpieces in Western culture. In his new book, Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession, Ian Bostridge – one of the work’s finest interpreters – focusses on the context, resonance and personal significance of the work. Drawing on his vast experience of performing Winterreise, on his musical knowledge and on his training as a scholar, Ian Bostridge unpicks the enigmas and subtle meaning of each of the 24 songs to explore the world Schubert inhabited, bringing the work and its world alive for connoisseurs and new listeners alike.”

Radio Open Source podcast interview: A Winter Journey with Ian Bostridge

“Some Winter Wonders”
Review by Alfred Brendel in the New York Review of Books
4 June 2015 (subscription required)

“A magnificent study of one of the most influential and simultaneously mysterious musical works of the Romantic period. And there’s no one better to crack it open than Bostridge, who knows its wormholes better than anyone.”
Jessica Ferri, The Daily Beast, 11 March 2015

“A new book promises to deepen the understanding of the legions of “Winterreise” devotees, while offering encouragement to interested music lovers who have had difficulty following the lieder. The tenor Ian Bostridge, a leading interpreter of “Winterreise,” has written a cross between an idiosyncratic guide to the song cycle and a freewheeling meditation on it, “Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession,” which he says at the outset aims “to explain, to justify, to contextualize and embroider.” … Mr. Bostridge, something of a polymath, draws on his deep reading and his long experience singing the cycle to explore Schubert’s world, the roots of the songs and how they have been received since they were written.”
Michael Cooper, New York Times, 18 February 2015

“His beautifully produced book offers many new insights that will inform the enjoyment of both old admirers and newcomers to the music. …  Mr Bostridge is a good storyteller and keeps the reader in constant suspense.”
The Economist, 17 January 2015

“Bostridge’s highly enjoyable book provides a rewarding, intelligently written companion to the piece for those who know it well, as well as for those who are approaching it for the first time.”
Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times, 4 January 2015

“Winterreise, Bostridge argues, is “a message in a bottle set afloat in the cultural ocean of 1828” and, with the confidence of a master oarsman, Bostridge sails these waters with awesome virtuosity.”
Neil Fisher, The Times, 3 January 2015

“In the book, he inhabits not only the work, but the man. And — his most important achievement in writing it — it sends you scurrying back to the music.”
Dan Cairns, The Sunday Times, 28 December 2014

“Illuminating and comprehensive . . . rich, highly readable.”
Kirkus Reviews / November 2014 issue

“an impressive success: a long-gestated, intensely enjoyable study of Schubert’s Winterreise”
Literary Review, Rupert Christiansen, December 2014

A Singer’s Notebook
by Ian Bostridge (published Faber & Faber, October 2011)
voted a “Book of the Year” in both the Independent and the Financial Times.

“revelatory … this sparkling collection”  
Adam Lively, Sunday Times, 2 October 2011

“these are the thoughts of a profoundly engaged artist … provocative, astringent, capable of arresting insights”
Michael Church, The Independent, 30 September 2011

“impressively omnivorish”
The Sunday Telegraph

“weaving together … an enormously wide culture with acutely observed physical sensations” The Daily Telegraph

“a consistently lively, learned, urbane and passionate book, once opened not likely to be closed until you have read it all”
Michael Tanner, BBC Music Magazine, October 2011

“enjoyable and illuminating” 
Rupert Christiansen, Sight & Sound, October 2011

“informative and thoughtful”
Robin Holloway, The Guardian, 7 October 2011

My Summer Reading: Tenor Ian Bostridge
Hilary Whitney interviews Ian Bostridge ahead of the publication of A Singer’s Notebook, a collection of reviews and essays by Bostridge (September 2011, Faber and Faber)
The Arts Desk / 23 August 2011