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Brad Mehldau & Ian Bostridge: The Folly of Desire

  • SFJAZZ Miner Auditorium 201 Franklin Street San Francisco, CA, 94102 United States (map)

Brad Mehldau
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.

Mehldau achieves an almost spiritual resonance, chords echoing like amens.
— Time Magazine
One of the most consistently fascinating voices in current jazz.
— Jazz Times Magazine on Brad Mehldau
Strikingly compelling.
— The Washington Post on Ian Bostridge
Earlier Event: October 15
Dave Meder Trio
Later Event: October 15
The Cosmo Alleycats