Brad Mehldau piano
Ian Bostridge vocals
This unique program unites two of the most creative and widely admired performers in contemporary music, as jazz piano giant Brad Mehldau performs a newly composed song cycle in duet with opera tenor Ian Bostridge.
Described as “the most influential jazz pianist” to emerge since the early ‘90s (The New York Times), Mehldau is famously omnivorous in his tastes, interpreting compositions by Johannes Brahms, Nirvana, Miles Davis, the Beach Boys and Cole Porter. Lauded for the “quavering passion” and “scholarly elegance” of his performances (The New Yorker), Bostridge holds similarly broad-ranging impulses; over the course of a near 30-year career, he has interpreted works ranging from Monteverdi to Wagner and Noël Coward.
In 2015, he and Mehldau — each on tour in Germany — saw one another perform and struck up a friendship, discussing their shared love of Bach, art song, and jazz. After composing a few pieces with Bostridge in mind, Mehldau went on to create an entire song cycle for his friend. Titled The Folly of Desire, it explores the nature of love and human desire through texts by Blake, Yeats, Shakespeare, Brecht, Goethe, Auden and E.E. Cummings. In the second half of the program, they will interpret composer Robert Schumann’s iconic song cycle Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love), which sets texts by Heinrich Heine.