Ian Bostridge

Introduction

Ian Bostridge's  international recital career takes him to the foremost concert halls of Europe, Japan and North America, with regular appearances at the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg and the Edinburgh, Munich and Aldeburgh festivals.  Opera engagements have included ‘Don Giovanni’ and Adès’s ‘The Tempest’ for the Royal Opera, Covent Garden; ‘The Rake's Progress’ in Munich; ‘Semele’ for English National Opera; 'Don Giovanni' for the Vienna State Opera; and Aschenbach ('Death in Venice') for both English National Opera and at the Monnaie, Brussels. The recent Barbican production of 'Curlew River' will tour the USA in autumn 2014.

He has appeared in concert with the Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Boston Symphony, London Symphony, New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestras and the Orchestra of the Metropolitan Opera, under Sir Simon Rattle, Bernard Haitink, Sir Colin Davis, Seiji Ozawa, Riccardo Muti, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Daniel Barenboim, James Levine, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons and Sir Antonio Pappano. His many recordings have won all the major international record prizes and been nominated for 13 Grammys.  He was awarded a CBE in the 2004 New Year's Honours. He will be Humanitas Professor of Classical Music at the University of Oxford 2014/2015. His book 'Schubert's Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession' will be published by Faber and Faber in the UK  in October 2014 and Knopf in the US at the beginning of 2015. 

www.facebook.com/IanBostridge

This is for information only and should not be reproduced. Please contact Mary Donald
 for a full biography and for performance details.

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News & Features

Repertoire

OPERA REPERTOIRE

ADES
The Tempest: Caliban

BRITTEN
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Lysander

BRITTEN
Death in Venice: Aschenbach

BRITTEN
The Rape of Lucretia: Male Chorus

BRITTEN
The Turn of the Screw: Prologue / Quint

HANDEL
Semele: Jupiter

MONTEVERDI
L'incoronazione di Poppea: Nerone

MOZART
Die Entführung aus dem Serail: Belmonte

MOZART
Die Zauberflöte: Tamino

MOZART
Don Giovanni: Don Ottavio

MOZART
Idomeneo: Idomeneo

SMETANA
The Bartered Bride: Vasek

STRAVINSKY
The Rake's Progress: Tom Rakewell

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

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  • BRITTEN
    The Canticles by Benjamin Britten

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Residencies

Over the last decade, Ian Bostridge, has been invited to give residencies both in Europe and in North America. 


In 2003/04, Ian Bostridge held artistic residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus and the Schubertiade Schwarzenberg, in 2004/2005 he shared a Carte-Blanche series with Thomas Quasthoff at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, in 2005/2006 he had his own Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall, in 2008 at the Barbican, London, in 2010/11 in Luxembourg and during the 2011 / 2012 season at London's Wigmore Hall, entitled The Bostridge Project: Ancient & Modern.

During the 2012 / 2013 season, Ian had a Britten based residency at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg with the following outlined programme:

26 April 2013  - BOSTRIDGE, BRITTEN & FRIENDS
Iestyn Davies -Countertenor
Ian Bostridge - Tenor
Simon Keenlyside - Baritone
Stefan Dohr _-Horn
Maria Tsaytler - Harp
Julius Drake - Piano

Songs and Proverbs of William Blake op. 74
Canticle I op. 40 "My beloved is mine"
Canticle II op. 51 "Abraham and Isaac"
Canticle III op. 55 "Still Falls the Rain"
Canticle IV op. 86 "Journey of the Magi"
Canticle V op. 89 "The Death of Saint Narcissus"


28 April 2013 -  BOSTRIDGE, BRITTEN & DIE RENAISSANCE

Ian Bostridge - Tenor
Elizabeth Kenny - Lute
Julius Drake - Piano

The Holy Sonnets of John Donne and works by John Dowland.


30 April 2013 - BOSTRIDGE, BRITTEN & BACH

Ensemble Resonanz
Ian Bostridge - Tenor
Stefan Dohr - Horn

Britten: Prelude and Fugue op. 29
Bach: Cantata:  "Ich habe genug"
Britten: Serenade op. 31 for Tenor, Horn and Strings


At the start of the 2013/14 season, Ian had a mini-residency at Carnegie Hall, New York as part of the Britten centenary celebrations


Please click here to read reviews from Ian's previous residencies. Ian Bostridge Reviews - Residencies  

  

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A Singer's Notebook

A Singer's Notebook by Ian Bostridge (published by Faber, October 2011) was voted as a "Book of the Year" in both the Independent and the Financial Times

"revelatory ... this sparkling collection" 
The Sunday Times

"these are the thoughts of a profoundly engaged artist ... provocative, astringent, capable of arresting insights"  
The Independent

"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" 
BBC Music Magazine 

"enjoyable and illuminating"
Sight & Sound

"informative and thoughtful"
The Guardian

Click here to read Sight & Sound review
Rupert Christiansen / Sight & Sound / October 2011

Click here to read BBC Music Magazine review
Michael Tanner / BBC Music Magazine / October 2011

Click here to read The Guardian review
Robin Holloway / The Guardian / 7 October 2011

Click here to read The Sunday Times review  
Adam Lively / Sunday Times / 2 October 2011

Click here to read The Independent review  
Michael Church / The Independent / 30 September 2011

Click here to read The Times review  
Neil Fisher / The Times / 17 September 2011

Click here to read Ian Bostridge - A Life in Music  
Nicholas Wroe / The Guardian / 9 September 2011

Click here to read Entartete review of A Singer's Notebook  
Gavin Plumley / Entartete Musik / 10 September 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)  
Click here to read the article, The Arts Desk / 23 August 2011

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Press

Schumann

Recital: 9 July 2014

Ian Bostridge/Sophie Daneman/Julius Drake, Middle Temple Hall

"Soprano and tenor showed a rare emotional agility in this Schumann recital"
Hannah Nepil, Financial Times, 10 July 2014

Schubert

Winterreise: 22 June 2014

Thomas Ades, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Aldeburgh

"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

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten

Ian Bostridge writes in The Guardian

The greatness of Benjamin Britten's music is only now coming into focus
The composer, born 100 years ago, wrote music of ravishing beauty and scorching relevance, says one exponent of his work...

Follow the link below to read the full article:
Ian Bostridge, The Guardian, Thursday 21 November 2013

BRITTEN

Curlew River

St Giles Church, Cripplegate, London

"Only the Madwoman appears in black, unmasked and unfeminised: in Ian Bostridge’s superb performance, sung with plangent poignancy and haunted intensity, he-she emerges as cousin to Peter Grimes, another lost soul demented by the death of a boy child."
Rupert Christiansen, The Telegraph, 15 November 2013
"Ian Bostridge's Madwoman, viscerally sung, was sympathetic – obsessed yet sane underneath it, and soberly dressed."
Erica Jeal, The Guardian, 15 November 2013
"It's a tragedy that this production had so few performances, as Ian Bostridge's interpretation needs to be seen and heard by so many more than can be crammed into the confines of a medieval church. His performance will rank among the finest ever in this role and certainly one of the highlights of this year's Britten centenary. He sings with such beauty and such yearning intensity he breaks your heart."
Stephen Pritchard, The Observer, 17 November 2013
"The role of the Madwoman might have been written for Ian Bostridge’s sinuous tenor and he is outstanding in every way."
Richard Fairman, Financial Times, 24 November
"The cast was choice, led by Ian Bostridge in a role for whose specific vocal requirements he found just the right etiolated colour and surface tautness. Helped by Jones's perceptive, sympathetic direction, his Madwoman maintained a maternal dignity that the pain of grief served to underline rather than to undercut." Opera / George Hall / January 2014

Lunch with the FT: Soup, soul and socialism

Ian Bostridge talks to Andrew Clark about wealth distribution, witchcraft and the sanctity of the concert hall

At Wiltons restaurant in London, the scholar-turned-tenor talks to the FT's music critic Andrew Clark about wealth distribution, witchcraft, and the sanctity of the concert hall

Follow the link below to read the full article:
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 9 November 2013

BRITTEN

Our Hunting Fathers: 8 November 2013

Britten Sinfonia/Paul Daniel, Barbican Centre, London

"The centrepiece of the evening, though, was the chance to hear Ian Bostridge wrestle with the formidable challenges of Our Hunting Fathers, the virtuosic early song cycle Britten conceived with WH Auden in 1936, and which he called his "real opus 1". Heard in the flesh, the cycle is more astonishing than it sounds in recordings, with Auden's angry, implacable words slicing and ripping their way through as daringly boundary-busting a score as Britten wrote. Even Bostridge was taxed to the vocal limit, but the effect was sensational."
Martin Kettle, The Guardian, 11 November 2013

BRITTEN

Serenade for tenor, horn and strings: 23 October 2013

Orchestra of St Luke's/Pablo Heras-Casado/Stewart Rose (French Horn), Carnegie Hall, New York

"In “Pastoral,” the first song, Mr. Bostridge brought tenderness mixed with uncertainly to the opening lines of the Charles Cotton poem: “The day’s grown old; the fainting sun/Has but a little way to run.” ...  But in “Elegy,” by Blake, the serenade takes a turn to the dark side. In Britten’s setting, and as sung with stinging intensity by Mr. Bostridge, the first line, “O Rose, thou art sick!,” seemed an indictment. So it continued in this riveting performance through the other movements, especially the final “Sonnet,” by Keats"
Anthony Tommasini, New York Times, 24 October 2013

BRITTEN

CD: War Requiem

Orchestra, Coro e Voci Bianche dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia/Anna Netrebko, Ian Bostridge, Thomas Hampson/Antonio Pappano

"As Bostridge sings it [the Agnus Dei] with a rapt, almost ethereal tone, this movement becomes the emotional heart of the work"

Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, 20 October 2013

Britten

War Requiem: 12 October 2013

London Philharmonic Orchestra/Vladimir Jurowski, Royal Festival Hall

"Bostridge has really grown into the tenor role and now uses words and portamento with lethal cynicism offsetting the unforgettable tenderness of great moments like the juxtapositioning of the “Lacrimosa” and “Move him into the Sun” where Bostridge was heartbreaking. And who since Pears has crowned the “Agnus Dei” with so radiant a halo of head voice around the words “Dona nobis pacem”?"
Edward Seckerson, Classical Music, 13 October 2013
"Ian Bostridge deployed his keening tenor tellingly to probe the elegiac quality of Wilfred Owen’s poetry; the white sound of non-vibrato was particularly effective invoking anger and bitterness."

Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 15 October 2013
"Bostridge gave the settings’ anger and resignation and operatic heft ... he was magnificent in ‘Move him into the sun’ and overwhelming in the ‘Agnus Dei’ – the depth, stillness and clarity at the centre of his voice, his special leaning on dissonances and his bending of pitch worked expressive wonders."
Peter Reed, Classicalsource.com, 14 October 2012
"Bostridge was particularly telling in ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth', practically spitting out the words with venom, and although I have often found him mannered in the past, here he was on blinding form, finding the appropriate sense of despair in ‘Futility'."
Keith McDonnell, Whats On Stage, 13 October 2013

Dowland

Chamber Prom: 2 September 2013

Elizabeth Kenny/Fretwork, Cadogan Hall, London

"Dowland’s lyrics may be condensed, but they have an emotional directness which Bostridge made his own. Sitting in the middle of the group, and singing as if chatting to friends, he followed all the cues in Dowland’s word-setting. Beginning with the agonised “Can she excuse my wrongs”, he went on to darken his tone for “Flow, my tears”, and to flatten the notes, as though broken by grief, in “Sorrow, stay”. 
But when the music evoked the excitement of sex – “To see, to hear, to touch, to kiss, to die” – he found the right register for that too. Kenny’s lute solos had an intimacy, and Fretwork’s sound a plangency, which ideally set off Bostridge’s art. After the first encore - Kenny’s transcription of a song from Britten’s underrated opera “Gloriana” - they did a second, clearly as keen to carry on, as we were for them to do so."
Michael Church / The Independent / 3 September 2013
"It was tough emotion for a Monday lunchtime but worth every dying fall: the musicianship was peerless."
Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 8 September 2013

BBC Music Magazine, October 2013

The James Naughtie Interview

Click here to read Ian Bostridge's interview with James Naughtie James Naughtie, BBC Music Magazine, October 2013

Britten

Les Illuminations, BBC Proms: 20 August 2013

Royal Albert Hall

"Ian Bostridge warned in an interview that his reading of Britten’s Les Illuminations would be expressionistic. And, indeed, he emphasised the savagery of the parade, the mordancy of the mockery. The unforgettable line “Your breast is like a zither” in Antique was biting in Bostridge’s delivery, while the characterisation in Royaute was positively operatic."
Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 21 August 2013

Britten

War Requiem

Grosses Festspielhaus, Salzburg Festival

"Ian Bostridge, der Tenor mit dem Traum-Timbre und der atemberaubenden Klarheit, gestaltete die englischen Gedichte"
Kurier, 19 August 2013
"Ian Bostridge brachte Text und Gesang exzellent in Deckung, lotete Owens Lyrik ergreifend aus. Wie er schließlich die nach oben steigende Gesangslinie zu „Dona nobis pacem“ am Ende des „Agnus dei“ zu gestalten wusste, gab einen tiefen Eindruck von der Wirkkraft des „War Requiem“, die sich sonst an diesem Abend ein wenig rar machte." Die Presse, 20 August 2013
"Ian Bostridge hüllte seinen Part in den für ihn so charakteristischen Tenorvortrag einer gespenstisch bleichen, gleichsam wesenlos schwebenden Stimme"
Salzburger Nachrichten, 20 August 2013
"the performance made a striking impact, with Bostridge penetrating to the work’s emotional core."
Hugh Canning, Sunday Times, 25 August 2013

Britten, Nocturne: 4 May 2013

Barbican Centre, London

"Bostridge showed impeccable understanding of its subtle fluctuations between erotic reverie and nightmare." Tim Ashley / The Guardian / 6 March 2013

The Seckerson Tapes: Ian Bostridge

The tenor on Britten 100 and the long legacy of Peter Pears

Bostridge talks from first hand of Britten’s extraordinary gifts as a word-setter 
Edward Seckerson, theartsdesk.com, 21 April 2013

Britten

CD: Britten Songs

Ian Bostridge, tenor, Antonio Pappano, piano

"Ian Bostridge recording is an intoxicating contribution to the composer’s centenary."
Andrew Clark, Financial Times, 19 April 2013
"Britten's vocal writing has consistently brought out the best in Bostridge, and all of these are very fine performances, which at least match and in some cases better Pears's own recordings with Britten."
Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 30 May 2013
"he has surely done nothing finer than than this immaculately recorded new release.  He is superbly partnered by Antonio Pappano, whose balancing of textures and beauty of touch sometimes surpass - dare it be said? - Britten's own recordings.  Together, they find fresh significance in some of the less familiar settings"

Click here to read full review
Bayan Northcott, BBC Music Magazine, July 2013
"Es braucht für diese Lieder einen kultivierten, feinsinnigen Interpreten, der um diese musikalischen, psychologischen und biographischen Besonderheiten weiß. Optimaler Weise auch einen, dem das Englische - gar nicht leicht zu singen! - wirklich vertraut ist. Der britische Tenor Ian Bostridge hat sich schon oft als idealer Britten-Interpret erwiesen, er tut es mit diesem Song-Book, diesem Lieder-Album und mit Antonio Pappano an seiner pianistischen Seite erneut. Perfect Britten …"
Annika Täuschel Stand, BR Klassik, 20 April 2013

Mahler Recital: 7 April 2013

Dorothea Röschmann/Julius Drake, Wigmore Hall

"there is no mistaking the intelligence and bite he brings to this music"
Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 9 April 2013

IAN BOSTRIDGE

Celebrity Britten

Ian Bostridge on Benjamin Britten in the Times Literary Supplement

Please click on the following link to read 'Celebrity Britten' Ian Bostridge, TLS, March 2013

Bach

CD: St John Passion

Neal Davies, Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Nicholas Mulroy, Roderick Williams, OAE, Polphony/Layton

"Ian Bostridge (Evangelist) lives every word of the narration but never over dramatises." Fiona Maddocks, The Observer, 23 March 2013
"Ian Bostridge is the tenor Evangelist, eloquent, pure of tone, fluent and strong in communicating the import of the German narrative." Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, 22 March 2013

Stravinsky: Oedipus Rex, 13 March 2013

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Gruber, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester

"Bostridge, especially, was superb — capturing the increasing turmoil of the doomed king without contravening the work’s austere, ritualistic style. With his sudden snarls and deranged glissandos he truly made Oedipus complex."  Richard Morrison, The Times, 14 March 2013
"In the title role, Ian Bostridge sang with clarity, brightness and dramatic effect." Philip Radcliffe, The Arts Desk, 14 March 2013
"And no problem with Ian Bostridge in the title role, displaying all the agility, intelligence and focus it demands"
David Fanning, Telegraph, 14 March 2013

Hugo Wolf: Spanisches Liederbuch - February 2013

Alice Tully Hall

"The British tenor [...] commands a big dynamic range, also a good ear for artful effects and impeccable German diction. [...] And, yes, [...] he sings beautifully." ft.com, Martin Bernheimer, 4 February 2013
Ian Bostridge and Angelika Kirchschlager sang beautifully on Sunday afternoon at Alice Tully Hall. [...] Both singers are big names who rarely appear on opera stages this side of the Atlantic, and the reputations of their voices - Mr. Bostridge's cleareyed tenor, Ms. Kirchschlager's richly hued mezzo - would have been sufficient to draw a capacity crowd to their recital of Hugo Wolf songs, presented as part of Lincoln Center's Great Performers series.
But more important, they are just that: artists who in concert deliver performances so vivid that they create an impression of spontaneous communication with the audience. [...]
Even the religious songs, with which the recital opened, shimmered with ambiguity. In "Nun Wandre, Maria" ("Onward, Now, Mary") Mr. Bostridge brought out the tender urgency of Joseph as he hurries Mary toward Bethlehem, where she is to give birth, while also revealing the sense of foreboding in the crow of the rooster. In "Die du Gott Gebarst, du Reine," a prayer to the Virgin, he leaned into the piano's chromatic chords in a way that suggested doubt in the promise of deliverance.
[...] The texts of the secular songs that followed revisited the familiar topic of love's power to cause ecstasy, agony and embarrassment. Here Ms. Kirchschlager and Mr. Bostridge, who alternated throughout the program, slipped into character even as they passed each other on their way to and from the piano. They exchanged sulking, I-dare-you glances; Ms. Kirchschlager flicked the skirt of her long, flowing dress as if she were a flamenco dancer.
The musicians seemed to be engaged in a three-way game of tease, where the piano most often had the last laugh. In "Trau Nicht der Liebe" ("Trust Not Love"), which Ms. Kirchschlager delivered with a wait-for-it elasticity of tempo, her final threat to make her beloved weep sounded dead serious, except for the mocking retort in the piano.
The encore finally brought Ms. Kirchschlager and Mr. Bostridge together in a duet, Schumann's "Liebhabers Ständchen" ("Lover's Serenade"), which fully exploited their scorching chemistry.


New York Times / 6 February 2013 / Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim

CD BRITTEN: The Rape of Lucretia

Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble, Oliver Knussen (conductor)

"The most problematic of Britten’s operas seems all the more repellent the better it is performed. I have rarely been as conscious of the salivating voyeurism […] as in Ian Bostridge’s brilliantly creepy singing of the Male Chorus’s graphic description of Tarquinius’s rampant machismo."

Hugh Canning / Sunday Times Culture / 3 February 2013
"This is a remarkable recording. A powerful performance on record may make you feel as though you are in the theatre or even witnessing events, but very seldom do have the sensation of being physically situated amongst the cast […]. The performers are outstanding. Ian Bostridge and Susan Gritton paint vivid scenes as the Male and Female Chorus […]." Opera Now / Francis Muzzu / February 2013
"There are no weaknesses there, either. The Male and Female Chors, Ian Bostridge and Susan Gritton, set the standard in their introduction, each word ringingly clear, every shade of meaning registered. Their commentary is wonderfully objective and humane, […] this performance is surely the best of recent times, redemptive in a way that the work itself can never be."   The Guardian, January 2013
"A deeply affecting experience that ought to win the opera many new admirers.[...] The singers, too, are first rate. Ian Bostridge and Susan Gritton play the storytelling Chorus with impassioned incisiveness, conveying the potentially dry prose with vivid theatricality and, at times, welcome wryness." BBC reviews, Graham Rogers, 6 February 2013
"Ian Bostridge and Susan Gritton display both superb diction and gorgeousness of sound as the narrators."  Sinfinimusic, Warwick Thompson, February 2013

BRITTEN

The road to perfection:

Ian Bostridge's best of Benjamin Britten

Please click here to read the full article The Guardian, Interview by Laura Barnett, January 2013

Recordings

BRITTEN War Requiem

Recorded to mark Britten's centenary year by Anna Netrebko, Ian Bostridge, Thomas Hampson and Antonio Pappano with the Orchestra, Coro e Voci Bianche dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
Warner Classics

SCHUBERT

Schwanengesang and other Lieder
piano: Antonio Pappano
EMI
EMI

BRITTEN

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Flute) 
London Symphony Orchestra / Colin Davis

Philips

BRITTEN

Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle
Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings
Nocturne
Les Illuminations

EMI

BRITTEN

The Red Cockatoo
Holy Sonnets of John Donne and other songs
piano: Graham Johnson

Hyperion