What Words Cannot Express: Ian Bostridge on the Power of Music

Ian Bostridge by Sim Canetty-Clarke

What can music express that words cannot? This question intrigues esteemed tenor Ian Bostridge, whose “idiosyncratic vocalism, intense theatricality, and extreme musicianship” place him at the top of his field.

These queries make up the subject of a series of virtual lectures — and a virtual performance — that Bostridge will give at the University of Chicago this month. In a free, probing three-part lecture entitled “Musical Identities,” Bostridge examines the deeply communicative means of music to capture the otherwise indescribable phenomena of life: identity, existence, and death.

One Humanities Scholar Awarded 2021 Guggenheim Fellowship

Mitchell S. Jackson by John Ricard

Guggenheim Fellowships have been awarded this year to four University of Chicago scholars, chosen on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise. 

Prof. Ufuk Akcigit, Prof. Guanglei Hong, Asst. Prof. Mitchell S. Jackson and Prof. Tara Zahra are among the 184 fellows selected in this year’s class from nearly 3,000 applicants. Their fellowships will support research into the impacts of the Great Recession, a study of globalism and 20th-century Europe, and a work of historical fiction.

Vocalist Ian Bostridge to Deliver Lecture Series on Music and Identity

Acclaimed tenor Ian Bostridge

For acclaimed vocalist Ian Bostridge, classical music compositions count among the world’s most indispensable works of art—ones that should be as much a part of shared human experience as the poetry of Shakespeare, the paintings of Matisse and the novels of Charles Dickens.

The three-time Grammy Award winner seeks to help audiences connect to the resonance of classical music, and how the form expresses ideas of existence, love and loss and the inevitability of death.

This month, Bostridge will amplify that conversation as part of the Randy L. and Melvin R. Berlin Family Lectures, hosted annually by the Division of the Humanities at the University of Chicago. His lecture series, “Musical Identities,” will begin April 11 and continue April 17 and 24. Each presentation will be held virtually from 1 to 2:30 p.m. CDT. Registration for the series is free and open to the public.

Take a Closer Look at Artist Pope.L's Newest Exhibition

The COVID-19 pandemic casts a shadow over the exhibition, which contains allusions to the crisis with a degree of directness that is unusual in Pope.L’s work. Visitors enter the gallery under a literal cloud of masks, and seeing the works requires opening mirror-clad medicine cabinets with blue latex gloves. Photo by Robert Heishman

After nearly a full year of closure, the University of Chicago’s Neubauer Collegium will reopen its gallery to the public—doing so with a new exhibition from acclaimed artist Pope.L.

On display through May 16, My Kingdom for a Title features recent work by Pope.L, a scholar in UChicago’s Department of Visual Arts. The show contains allusions to the COVID-19 crisis with a degree of directness that is unusual in Pope.L’s work, which is often elusive and ambiguous.

Appointments to visit the gallery will begin March 9, with special hours and new visitor policies developed by the University of Chicago to protect the health of guests and staff.

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