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Biography

Narrator

Elvis Costello has followed his musical curiosity in a career spanning more than thirty-five years. He is perhaps best known for his performances with The Attractions, The Imposters, and for concert appearances with pianist Steve Nieve. He has also entered into acclaimed collaborations with Burt Bacharach, the Brodsky Quartet, Paul McCartney, Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, guitarist Bill Frisell, composer Roy Nathanson, the Charles Mingus Orchestra, producer and songwriter T Bone Burnett, Allen Toussaint, and The Roots.

Mr. Costello’s songs have been recorded by a great number of artists. The list of performers reflects his interest in a wide range of musical styles: George Jones, Chet Baker, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Dusty Springfield, Robert Wyatt, Charles Brown, No Doubt, Solomon Burke, June Tabor, Howard Tate, the gospel vocal group the Fairfield Four, and the viol consort Fretwork with the countertenor Michael Chance. In 2003, he began a songwriting partnership with his wife, the jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall.

Mr. Costello has received two Ivor Novello Awards for songwriting, a Dutch Edison Award with the Brodsky Quartet for The Juliet Letters, the Nordoff-Robbins Silver Clef Award, a BAFTA for music for the television series G.B.H., and a Grammy for “I Still Have That Other Girl” from his 1998 collaboration with Burt Bacharach, Painted From Memory. Elvis Costello and The Attractions were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003. During that same year he was awarded ASCAP’s Founder’s Award. He also received Grammy nominations for his albums When I Was Cruel and The Delivery Man.

The last decade has seen a number of acclaimed projects. In 2004 Elvis Costello was nominated for an Oscar for Best Song for “The Scarlet Tide,” from Cold Mountain. His first full-length orchestral work Il Sogno was recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas for Deutsche Grammophon in 2004. A commission by the Royal Danish Opera resulted in the song cycle The Secret Songs, presented by Mr. Costello in Copenhagen in 2005. His work Nightspot was commissioned and premiered by the Miami City Ballet in 2008. That same year he launched his music talk show Spectacle: Elvis Costello with . . . . His twenty-ninth studio album Secret, Profane & Sugarcane was released by Hear Music in 2009 and debuted at No.13 on the Billboard 200. This was followed by National Ransom (Hear Music/Concord Music Group) and the CD/DVD/box set Elvis Costello and the Imposters: The Return of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook!!! (Universal Music Enterprises). Mr. Costello’s latest album is Wise Up Ghost, a collaborative recording with The Roots released in September 2013 on Blue Note Records. In 2014 he made his Carnegie Hall debut. 

(January 2015)