Ian Bostridge

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the tenor Ian Bostridge. He is regarded as one of the great Lieder singers of our time and has delighted audiences in opera houses and concert halls the world over. But for him, music wasn't a straightforward career choice. He started out as a historian, and for years led two parallel lives, spending term times at Oxford, writing about witchcraft and magic, while in the holidays he'd throw himself into an operatic production.

Eventually, his book on witchcraft was finished just before his debut with the English National Opera. Magic appeals to people in a way that is both mysterious and irrational and so it is, he says, not so different to music.

[Taken from the original programme material for this archive edition of Desert Island Discs]

Favourite track: Last movement of the Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat by Ludwig van Beethoven
Book: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Luxury: A solar computer loaded with pictures of my family and friends.

Release date:

Available now

45 minutes

Last on

Fri 31 Oct 2008 09:00


Role Contributor
PresenterKirsty Young
Interviewed GuestIan Bostridge

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