Acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk interviews British tenor Ian Bostridge, whose performances of Winterreise “haunt the imagination long after the notes have died away” (New York Magazine) and whose new book, Schubert’s Winterreise: Anatomy of an Obsession, offers a personal examination of the song cycle’s literary, historical and psychological themes. "He is not only a lyric tenor of uncanny focus and intensity but also an accredited scholar and deft commentator on musical matters,” wrote Alex Ross.
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Ian Bostridge is universally recognized as one of the greatest lieder interpreters of our era. His international recital career has taken him to the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna and Aldeburgh festivals and to the main stages of such renowned venues as Carnegie Hall and La Scala, Milan.
With a particular passion for Schubert, Mr. Bostridge was artist in residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus and Schwarzenberg Schubertiade for the 2003/04 season. His recording of Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with Graham Johnson and a disc of Schubert and Schumann lieder each won a Gramophone Award. This past autumn he toured Europe singing Schubert’s Winterreise with composer/pianist Thomas Ades. Last week his new book, Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession, an exploration through the 24 songs that make up the monumental Winterreise, was published by Knopf.
Also an accomplished Britten interpreter, during the 2013 Britten anniversary celebration Mr. Bostridge performed the War Requiem with the London Philharmonic and Les Illuminations with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, and he sang the lead role of the Madwoman in Curlew River, which was presented in New York City last November. Mr. Bostridge has also appeared as artist in residence for the Carte-Blanche series with Thomas Quasthoff at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw and for a Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall; and at the Barbican Centre, Wigmore Hall, the Luxembourg Philharmonie and the Hamburg Laeiszhalle.
Mr. Bostridge has sung leading roles in such operas as L’Incoronazione di Poppea, Semele, Die Zauberflöte, Don Giovanni, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Turn of the Screw with companies across Europe. His recordings of The Rake’s Progress and Billy Budd both won Grammy Awards, and The Tempest won a Gramophone Award. He has appeared with the world’s leading orchestras, including the New York, Los Angeles, London and Vienna philharmonics; the BBC, Boston and Chicago symphonies and the Accademia Santa Cecilia in Rome.
Ian Bostridge was a fellow in history at Corpus Christi College, Oxford and was later elected an honorary fellow of that college. He has also been made an Honorary Doctor of Music by the University of St. Andrew’s and an honorary fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, and he was a CBE in the 2004 New Year’s Honours. He is currently Humanitas Professor of Classical Music at the University of Oxford.
Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke
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Jeremy Denk is one of America’s most thought-provoking, multifaceted and compelling artists. He is the recipient of a 2013 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and a 2014 Avery Fisher Prize, and he was named Musical America’s 2014 Instrumentalist of the Year. This past summer Mr. Denk served as music director of the Ojai Music Festival; in addition to performing and curating, he wrote the libretto for a new comic opera, The Classical Style, with music by Steven Stucky. The work had its New York premiere this past December at Carnegie Hall to rave reviews.
This is Mr. Denk’s second 92Y appearance this season; last November he gave a critically-acclaimed solo recital. He has been a regular guest at 92Y since his debut in April 2004. This past fall Mr. Denk also launched a four-season tenure as an Artistic Partner of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and made his debut with the New York Philharmonic. Still to come are performances of Bach next month with the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and on a US tour, followed by his debut with The Cleveland Orchestra in April. This season Mr. Denk also makes his recital debut at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, appears at the BBC Proms and London’s Wigmore Hall, and performs with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony.
Jeremy Denk is hailed for his original and insightful writing on music: he has been published on the front page of The New York Times Book Review and in The New Yorker, New Republic and The Guardian. One of his New Yorker contributions, “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” forms the basis of a memoir planned for future publication by Random House. His blog, Think Denk, was recently selected for inclusion in the Library of Congress Web archives.
Mr. Denk’s discography includes four solo CDs, all of which made multiple “best of the year” lists. His two most recent discs were released by Nonesuch: last year’s Bach Goldberg Variations, which reached No. 1 on the 2014 Billboard Classical Chart; and a Beethoven-Ligeti disc from 2012. His solo CD debut featured Ives’s two piano sonatas on his own Think Denk label; it was followed by a disc of Bach partitas for Azica. His many recording collaborations include two discs with violinist and frequent touring partner Joshua Bell; their French Impressions for Sony Classical won the 2012 Echo Klassik Award. For more information, visit jeremydenk.net.
Photo courtesy of the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
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