Born: Dec 25, 1964
Genre: Vocal Music, Choral Music
Ian Bostridge is perhaps the best-known English tenor to emerge since the death of Peter Pears. He has become closely associated with the art song repertory, as well as with the music of Benjamin Britten.
Before becoming a singer, Bostridge obtained his Ph.D. in history and philosophy from St. John's College of Oxford. However, reaching the finals of both the Kathleen Ferrier and Richard Tauber competitions and winning the 1991 National Federation of Music Societies/Esso Award proved decisive in moving him towards a career in singing. The Young Concert Artists Trust gave him a financial grant to develop his career, and he debuted at Wigmore Hall in London in 1993. One of his most important early recitals was in 1994 at the Purcell Room, where he gave a highly acclaimed performance of Schubert's Winterreise. In the same year, he made his first appearance at the Aldeburgh Festival. Since then he has become strongly associated with the music of the Festival's founder, Benjamin Britten. He made his first New York appearances in 1998 at the Frick Collection and in 1999 at Alice Tully Hall. In 1998 he debuted at the Munich Festival as Nerone in L'Incoronazione di Poppea. His debut with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra was in 1999.
His operatic debut was in 1994 at the Covent Garden Festival's production of Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream as Lysander. In 1995, he sang his first solo recital at Wigmore Hall and increased his European recital presence with appearances in Lyon and Cologne. His debut with the English National Opera was as Tamino in Mozart's The Magic Flute in 1996, and he was acclaimed for his seductive portrayal of the ghost Quint in Britten's The Turn of the Screw at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
His operatic recordings include A Midsummer Night's Dream (as Francis Flute), as Belmonte in Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, and Tom Rakewell in Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress.
He is in much demand as a recital singer and in that capacity has sung on several volumes of Hyperion's epochal complete Schubert song collection (including the recording of Die schone Mullerin). He has also issued recordings of Robert Schumann's Dichterliebe, songs of Reynaldo Hahn, a program of little-known Britten songs, and one volume of Jecklin-Disc's set of the complete songs of Othmar Schoeck.
His concert repertory recordings include Bach's Magnificat and St. Matthew Passion, Handel's Israel in Egypt, Stravinsky's Cantata, most of the Britten orchestral song cycles for tenor voice, the Mozart Requiem, Finzi's Die natalis, Rossini's Petite Messe Solennelle, and Michael Nyman's Noises, Sounds, & Sweet Airs.
- Joseph Stevenson (All Music Guide)