Ian Bostridge

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Ian Bostridge CBE is an English tenor, well known for his performances as an opera singer and as a song recitalist.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Bostridge was born in London on 25 December 1964, the son of Leslie Bostridge and Lillian (née Clark).[2] His father was a chartered surveyor.[3] Bostridge studied at Dulwich College Preparatory School and Westminster School,[3] where he was a Queen's Scholar.

He then attended the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, where he achieved a First in modern history and received an M.Phil in the history and philosophy of science respectively. He received his D.Phil from Oxford[3] in 1990, on the significance of witchcraft in English public life from 1650 to 1750, and was a British Academy post-doctoral fellow at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, before embarking on a career as a singer.

His book Witchcraft and Its Transformations, c. 1650-1750 was published as an Oxford Historical Monograph in 1997. This - "the most sophisticated and original of all recent histories of early modern demonology" according to Professor Stuart Clark ("Witchcraft and Magic in Europe" volume 4, p139, 2002) - has been an influential work in the study of the pre-Enlightenment. It "achiev[es] that rarest of feats in the scholarly world: taking a well-worn subject and ensuring that it will never be looked at in quite the same way again" (Noel Malcolm, TLS).[4] In 1991 he won the National Federation of Music Societies Award and from 1992 received support from the Young Concert Artists Trust.

Career[edit]

Debuts[edit]

Bostridge only began singing professionally at age 27[3] and made his Wigmore Hall debut in 1993; his Purcell Room debut (an acclaimed Winterreise) and his Aldeburgh Festival debut in 1994; in 1995 he gave his first solo recital in the Wigmore Hall (winning the Royal Philharmonic Society's Debut Award); in 1996 he gave recitals in Lyon, Cologne, London and at the Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Edinburgh Festivals, and in 1997 at the Alte Oper, Frankfurt.

On the concert platform he has appeared with the London Symphony Orchestra under Sir Colin Davis and Mstislav Rostropovich, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra under Sir Charles Mackerras, and the City of Birmingham Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle.

His first solo-featured recording was for Hyperion Records, a Britten song recital, The Red Cockatoo with Graham Johnson. His subsequent recording of Die schöne Müllerin in Hyperion's Franz Schubert Edition won the Gramophone's Solo Vocal Award for 1996; he won the prize again in 1998 for a recording of Robert Schumann Lieder with his regular collaborator, the pianist Julius Drake. An EMI Classics exclusive artist since 1996, he is a thirteen-time Grammy Award nominee. His CDs have won most of the major record prizes including Grammy, Edison, Japanese Recording Academy, Brit, South Bank Show Award, Diapason d'Or de l'Année, Choc de l'Année, Echo Klassik and Deutsche Schallplattenpreis. His recording of Schubert's "Die Forelle" with Julius Drake forms part of the soundtrack of the 2011 film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Bostridge made his operatic debut in 1994, aged 29, as Lysander in A Midsummer Night's Dream with Opera Australia at the Edinburgh Festival, directed by Baz Luhrmann. In 1996 made his debut with the English National Opera, singing his first Tamino (The Magic Flute). In 1997 he sang Quint in Deborah Warner's new production of The Turn of the Screw under Sir Colin Davis for the Royal Opera. He has recorded Flute (Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream) with Sir Colin Davis for Philips Classics; Belmonte (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) with William Christie for Erato; Tom Rakewell (The Rake's Progress) under John Eliot Gardiner for Deutsche Grammophon (Grammy Award); and Captain Vere (Billy Budd) (Grammy Award) with Daniel Harding. In 2007 he appeared at the ENO in the role of Aschenbach in Britten's Death in Venice, in a production by Deborah Warner.

1997–1999[edit]

In 1997 he made a film of Schubert's Winterreise for Channel 4 directed by David Alden;[5] he has been the subject of a South Bank Show profile documentary on ITV[6] and presented the BBC 4 film The Diary of One Who Disappeared about Czech composer Leoš Janáček.[7] He has written on music for The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, Opernwelt, BBC Music Magazine, Opera Now and The Independent.

Later engagements included recitals in Paris, Stockholm, Lisbon, Brussels, Amsterdam and the Vienna Konzerthaus. In North America he appeared in recitals in New York City at the Frick Collection in 1998 and Alice Tully Hall in 1999 and made his Carnegie Hall debut under Sir Neville Marriner. Also in 1998 he sang Vasek in a new production of The Bartered Bride under Bernard Haitink for the Royal Opera and made his debut at the Munich Festival as Nerone (L'incoronazione di Poppea) and in recital (Winterreise at the Cuvilliés Theatre). In 1999 he made his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Roger Norrington. He works regularly with the pianists Julius Drake, Mitsuko Uchida, composer Thomas Ades [3] and Covent Garden music director Antonio Pappano.

Since 2000[edit]

In the summer of 2000 Bostridge gave the fifth annual Edinburgh University Festival Lecture entitled "Music and Magic".

In 2004 Bostridge was made CBE for his services to music. He is an honorary fellow of Corpus Christi College and St John's College, Oxford, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of St Andrews in 2003.[8]

On 11 November 2009 Bostridge sang Agnus Dei from Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, at the Armistice Day service in Westminster Abbey. This uses the words of war poet Wilfred Owen's "At a Calvary near the Ancre". The service marked the loss of the WWI generation, whose last members died earlier the same year.

In 2013 he performed as part of the Barbican Britten centenary festival in London, and released a new recording of the composer's War Requiem.[3]

Bostridge was for a time the music columnist for Standpoint magazine, the monthly publication launched in 2008 "to celebrate Western civilisation"; he continues to serve on the magazine's advisory board. He is a Youth Music Ambassador, a patron of the Music Libraries Trust and of the Macmillan Cancer Support Guards Chapel Carol Concert.

A collection of his writings on music, A Singer's Notebook, was published by Faber and Faber in September 2011, to widespread acclaim. It was described by philosopher Michael Tanner, in BBC Music Magazine: "A consistently lively, learned, urbane and passionate book, once opened not likely to be closed until you have read it all."[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In 1992 Bostridge married the writer and publisher Lucasta Miller,[2] and they have a son and a daughter.[3] His hobbies include reading, cooking, and looking at pictures.[2] His brother is the Whitbread-shortlisted biographer and critic Mark Bostridge, whose book Florence Nightingale: the woman and her legend was published in 2008. They are great-grandchildren of John Joyce, "Tiny Joyce", a goalkeeper who played for Tottenham Hotspur before the First World War.[9]

Bibliography[edit]

Discography[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]