20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS WITH: Tenor Ian Bostridge

Classic Arts Features   20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS WITH: Tenor Ian Bostridge
One of today's most eminent Schubert lieder interpreters, the English tenor's newest album features the composer's Schwanengesang song cycle. Bostridge generously took time to share some thoughts, favorites and opinions in this Q&A feature.

Ian Bostridge is widely acclaimed for his deeply expressive and intense performances on the opera stage, in the concert hall with the world's leading orchestras, and in solo recitals.

The London native was a post-doctoral fellow in history at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, before embarking on a full-time career as a singer. His Oxford historical monograph, "Witchcraft and its Transformations 1650 to 1750," was published in 1997.

Bostridge's extensive discography, mostly for EMI Classics _ with whom he records exclusively _ includes many award-winners and Grammy nominations. His latest project, Schubert: Schwanengesang, was released on the label last month. Frequent collaborator Antonio Pappano serves as conductor/pianist.


1. A few works of classical music that you adore:

Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring; Beethoven op. 110; Ades's Asyla.

2. Classical music recordings that you treasure:

Glenn Gould playing Bach's Goldberg Variations; Janet Baker singing Frauenliebe und Leben with Martin Isepp; Fischer-Dieskau singing Wozzeck.

3. Favorite non-classical musicians and/or recordings:

Bob Dylan

4. Music that makes you cry _ any genre:

The end of Mozart's Figaro; "Zerfliesse" from Bach's Johannes Passion; the second fugue in the last movement Beethoven's Op 110.

5. Definitely underrated work(s) or composer (s):

Gasparini; Conti; William Boyce's Solomon; Mendelssohn.

6. Possibly overrated work(s) or composer (s):

Mendelssohn's Elijah

7. Live music performance (s) you attended _ any genre _ that you'll never forget:

Fischer-Dieskau in recital in London; Rostropovich playing Bach in Matsumoto.

8. A few relatively recent films you love:

Bolt; Fargo

9. A few films you consider classics:

Les Enfants du Paradis; Fanny and Alexander; North by Northwest

10. A book (or two) that is important to you (and why):

War and Peace _ so human, so big and engrossing; Villette _ extraordinary, phantasmagoric; my wife is an expert on the Brontes.

11. Thing(s) about yourself that you're most proud of:

My children

12. Thing(s) about yourself that you're embarrassed by:

My athletic incapacity

13. Three things you can't live without:

My wife, my daughter and my son

14. "When I want to get away from it all I..."

Go for a walk on Hampstead Heath.

15. "People are surprised to find out that I..."

Had a great grandfather who was a goalkeeper for Spurs.

16. "My favorite cities are..."

London, New York and Paris.

17. "I have a secret crush on..."

It wouldn't be a secret if I said...

18. "My most obvious guilty pleasure is..."

Biting my nails.

19. "I'd really love to meet _ or to have met..."

John Updike, who died only a month or so ago.

20. "I never understood why..."

People think science has anything to do with religion.


21. Question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer to that question):

Q: How did you get together with your wife?

A: She asked me to Paris.


For full details on Schubert: Schwanengesang and Ian Bostridge's other releases, visit EMI CLASSICS.

Past installments of 20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS:

Soprano Danielle de Niese

New-Music Sextet eighth blackbird

Composer and Violinist Mark O'Connor

Composer Jake Heggie

Composer Ricky Ian Gordon

Pianist David Greilsammer


Albert Imperato, a music promoter who co-founded 21C Media Group in January 2000, writes frequently about the arts for various publications and blogs.

His new series, 20 (PLUS) QUESTIONS, is his take on (and nod to) Vanity Fair's "Proust Questionnaire."

Today’s Most Popular News: