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Past Events > 2020

11. The West-Eastern Divan: Ian Bostridge & Julius Drake

11 October 2020, 19:30 - 21:30

We are thrilled that Ian Bostridge, one of the world’s foremost tenors, will be our artist in residence this year, giving two concerts, an interview and a masterclass. Tonight, he appears with long-standing duo partner and accompanist-par-excellence Julius Drake in a programme that builds on today’s exploration of Hafez and his influence on later song composers. They include the Eastern-inspired poetry of Friedrich Rückert in songs by Schubert and Mahler, and selections of Goethe’s West-Eastern Divan set by Hugo Wolf. They also perform selections of Hans Werner Henze’s Songs from the Arabian, a masterpiece of the modern song repertoire, written for Ian Bostridge in 1996.

Every evening recital this year will begin with Schubert songs performed by singers who have arguably been hardest hit by the current crisis: artists who are already forging careers but not yet at a stage where they can view current circumstances as a temporary setback. Tonight, we hear the exceptional mezzo-soprano Fleur Barron, described by the Boston Globe as a ‘charismatic star’ and by the Times as a ‘knockout performer’.

This concert will be streamed completely live from the Holywell Music Room. Shortly afterwards, it will also be available to watch again (using the same ticket and link) until 1 November 2020. Click here for further information on how tickets will work this year.

This event will be presented by Ian Skelly.


After a short break at the end of the concert, there will be a Q&A with the artists. Please email any questions you have during the interval or at the end of the concert ([email protected]) or post them on social media (#OLF2020), and the artists will answer as many as time allows.


Artist Portrait

Ian Bostridge

Ian Bostridge


Ian Bostridge’s international recital career has taken him to the Salzburg, Edinburgh, Munich, Vienna, Aldeburgh and Schwarzenberg Schubertiade Festivals and to the main stages of Carnegie Hall and the Teatro alla Scala, Milan. He has held artistic residencies at the Vienna Konzerthaus and Schwarzenberg Schubertiade (2003/04), a Carte-Blanche series with Thomas Quasthoff at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (2004/05), a Perspectives series at Carnegie Hall (2005/06), the Barbican, London (2008), the Luxembourg Philharmonie (2010/11), the Wig... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Julius Drake

Julius Drake


Julius Drake, described by The New Yorker magazine as the ‘collaborative pianist nonpareil’ lives in London and enjoys an international reputation as one of the finest instrumentalists in his field, collaborating with many of the world’s leading artists, both in recital and on disc. He appears regularly at all the major music centres and festivals: the Aldeburgh, Edinburgh, Munich, Schubertiade, and Salzburg Music Festivals; Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Centre New York; The Kennedy Center, Washington; The Royal Conc... Read Full Biography
Artist Portrait

Fleur Barron

Fleur Barron


Hailed as a “charismatic star” by the Boston Globe, British-Singaporean mezzo Fleur Barron is a 2018 HSBC Laureate of the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, the recipient of the 2016 Jackson Prize for Excellence from the Tanglewood Music Festival, awarded to one outstanding young singer each year, and is mentored by Barbara Hannigan. In the 2018-2019 season, Fleur sings Olga in Eugene Onegin with Opéra de Toulon; Baba the Turk The Rake’s Progress at La Monnaie; Maddalena Rigoletto with Northern Ireland Opera; Balk... Read Full Biography

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This event is part of a series:

Connections Across Time - A Brief History of Song

Over a packed eight days, world-class artists including Benjamin Appl, Ian Bostridge, Sarah Connolly and Roderick Williams will present some 40 concerts and events, from venues across Oxford and completely live. From the comfort of your own home, you will be able to enjoy these concerts live-streamed in the highest quality. We’ll be exploring every possible advantage of this temporary ...

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