Jazz Pianist Brad Mehldau and Classical Tenor Ian Bostridge in Duet with Newly Composed Song Cycle

September 19, 2019

ATLANTA – The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University welcomes a musical exploration of the nature of love on Friday, October 18, 2019 at 8:00 p.m. with a unique program featuring Brad Mehldau's new song cycle The Folly of Desire, created with tenor Ian Bostridge. 

After seeing each other perform in Germany, in 2015, the American pianist and composer Brad Mehldau and British tenor Ian Bostridge had a chance run-in leading to a correspondence where the two musicians discussed everything from their shared love of lieder to Bach and jazz. This correspondence materialized into a creative spark resulting in a few pieces that Mehldau wrote specifically with Bostridge in mind. After sharing these pieces, the two musicians began to discuss building out this original repertoire into a song cycle revolving around text and themes they both wanted to explore. At the onset of their discussions Mehldau brought up his interest in investigating the themes of the modern sinuous nature of human desire as it exists in love and adoration. With this agreed central theme in mind, Mehldau began composing a set of music with lyrics drawn from the poetry of Blake, Yeats, Shakespeare, Goethe, and others. In 2019, Bostridge and Mehldau premiere this new song cycle, The Folly of Desire, fittingly paired in a program with Robert Schumann’s Dichterliebe (“The Poet’s Love”)

About the Artists: 

One of the most lyrical and intimate voices of contemporary jazz piano, Brad Mehldau has forged a unique path, which embodies the essence of jazz exploration, classical romanticism and pop allure. From critical acclaim as a bandleader to major international exposure in collaborations with Pat Metheny, Renee Fleming, and Joshua Redman, Mehldau continues to garner numerous awards and admiration from both jazz purists and music enthusiasts alike. His forays into melding musical idioms, in both trio (with Larry Grenadier on bass and Jeff Ballard on drums) and solo settings, has seen brilliant re-workings of songs by contemporary songwriters like The Beatles, Cole Porter, Radiohead, Paul Simon, Gershwin and Nick Drake; alongside the ever-evolving breath of his own significant catalogue of original compositions. With his self-proclaimed affection for popular music and classical training, “Mehldau is the most influential jazz pianist of the last 20 years” ––New York Times.

Ian Bostridge boasts an international recital career that has taken him to the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, St Petersburg, Aldeburgh, and Schwarzenberg Schubertiade Festivals, as well as to the main stages of Carnegie Hall and La Scala, Milan. Bostridge has held numerous artistic residencies, including an auspicious Artistic Residency with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018, the first of its kind for the ensemble. Bostridge’s recordings have won all the major international record prizes and been nominated for 15 Grammy Awards. Recent recordings include Britten songs with Antonio Pappano for Warner Classics, Schubert songs with Julius Drake for Wigmore Hall Live, and Shakespeare Songs with Antonio Pappano for Warner Classics (Grammy Award, 2017).

About the Candler Concert Series:

Made possible by a generous gift from the late Flora Glenn Candler, the Candler Concert Series brings internationally-renowned artists to the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts at Emory University. Candler artists range from large ensembles to solo artists and come from a wide variety of musical genres.

All concerts are presented in the Emerson Concert Hall of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts (1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322). Tickets are available through the Schwartz Center Box Office online at arts.emory.edu/boxoffice, in person, or by calling 404.727.5050 Monday – Friday, noon – 6 p.m.

The Schwartz Center for Performing Arts is committed to providing performances and facilities accessible to all. Accommodation requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance of the event to the box office at 404.727.5050, or by email at boxoffice@emory.edu.

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