Seoul Phil selects Ian Bostridge as first artist-in-residence

By Yun Suh-young

Tenor Ian Bostridge / Courtesy of SPO

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra selected British tenor Ian Bostridge as its first “artist-in-residence” for the 2018 season.

The artist-in-residence program has been adopted by many renowned orchestras around the world where they select an artist annually to perform several times a year with the orchestra and organize a variety of programs.

The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra decided to adopt the program starting next year and selected Ian Bostridge to perform with them two or three times a year.

Bostridge is an English opera singer who is well versed, particularly in Lied. He is a fourteen-time Grammy Award nominee and has been an exclusive artist for EMI Classics since 1996. Last year, he made his second trip to Korea, his first being in 2004.

Bostridge is also known as an intellectual singer. He has PhDs from Oxford and Cambridge in history and philosophy, and is known as the “doctor tenor.” He authored “Schubert’s Winter Journey: Anatomy of an Obsession” in 2014 for which he won The Pol Roger Duff Cooper Prize for nonfiction writing in 2016. The book was translated into 12 languages.

Bostridge began his singing career when he was 27. After he began teaching history at Oxford in 1990, he decided to become a singer, following a dream since he had when he was young. It is said legendary German baritone and Lied singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau strongly advised him to pursue singing.

In 1993, Bostridge debuted at the Wigmore Hall in London and received the Gramophone Solo Vocal Award in 1996 with his first label carrying Schubert’s “Die Schone Mullerin” and in 1998 with Schumann’s “Dichterliebe.” Bostridge is a Schubert specialist, and was reviewed by Gramophone as having “reached the core of Schubert’s music.”

In 2003, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Andrews and in 2004, received the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), the British order of chivalry awarded by the queen.

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