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Brett Dean

Composer, Viola, Conductor
Creative Chair 2017-18, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich
Artist in Residence, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
Artist in Residence, Swedish Chamber Orchestra

Brett Dean performs his Viola Concerto in first performance as Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich's Creative Chair 

13 September 2017

External Links:
Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich

Brett Dean opens his season as the Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich's Creative Chair with three concerts on 27, 28 and 29 September 2017. Dean gives the Swiss premiere of his Viola Concerto, conducted by the orchestra's chief conductor Lionel Bringuier.


Dean's tenure as Creative Chair runs for the 2017/18 season and features a comprehensive overview of his orchestral and chamber music, with Dean also joining the orchestra as conductor later in the season, as well as various masterclasses and further education work.


Further highlights of the season include:


3 December 2017
Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich String Quartet
Brett Dean Eclipse
Brett Dean String Quartet No.1


12 November 2017
Australian Chamber Orchestra
Brett Dean Between the spaces in the sky
Brett Dean Carlo


13 & 14 November 2017
Workshops and masterclasses, Zürich Hochschule der Künste


3 December 2017
Baiba Skride, Geri Gergana, Brett Dean, Amihai Grosz, Alban Gerhardt
Mozart String Quintet No.3
Brett Dean Epitaphs
Brahms String Quintet No.2


14, 15, 16, 17 December 2017
conducted by Lionel Bringuier
Brett Dean Amphitheatre
Bruch Scottish Fantasy
Beethoven Symphony No.4


28 February, 1 & 2 March 2018
Swiss premiere of From Melodious Lay, co-commissioned by Tonhalle-Zürich
With Mojca Erdmann (soprano), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor), conducted by Brett Dean
Brett Dean Testament
Brett Dean From Melodious Lay
Beethoven Symphony No.3


19 & 20 March 2018
Workshops and masterclasses, Zürich Hochschule der Künste


10 June 2018
Zürich Festspiele
With Claudia Barainsky (soprano), conducted by Brett Dean
Wolf Italian Serenade
Brett Dean Wolf-Lieder

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Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger give Brett Dean world premiere Malmö Chamber Music Festival

05 September 2017

Related profiles:
Colin Currie

External Links:
Malmo Chamber Music Festival

Colin Currie and Håkan Hardenberger join forces once more to give the world premiere of Brett Dean's The Scene of the Crime on 19 September 2017 at the Malmö Chamber Music Festival. The Scene of the Crime is a duo work for percussion and trumpet, and marks the closing chapter of Dean's Hamlet journey, which has spanned four years and multiple compositions, including his critically acclaimed operatic adaptation.


Currie and Dean also feature across the rest of the festival. Currie performs in various chamber and solo concerts, performing works by Gubaidulina, Pontinen, Staern and Wallin. He also gives a masterclass at the Palladium on 23 September.


Dean performs Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Tomo Keller and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on 21 September, and joins the Doric String Quartet for a performance of his Epitaphs on 20 September, before giving the European premiere of Rooms of Elsinore with Francisca Skoogh that night.

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Brett Dean performs Rooms of Elsinore at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

12 July 2017

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Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival

Brett Dean returns to Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival this July to perform Rooms of Elsinore, his new work for viola and piano, which was co-commissioned by the Library of Congress and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. Dean gave the world premiere of the work in Washington in April 2017 with pianist Juho Pohjonen, who rejoins Dean for the Santa Fe performances on 30 and 31 July.


Dean also participates in other concerts across the festival, including performances of Schumann Märchenbilder and Mozart Trio for Clarinet, Viola and Piano in E-flat major.


Dean then travels to Marlboro, Vermont, where he is Composer-in-Residence at the 2017 Marlboro Music Festival.

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"The operatic event of the year": Triumphant world premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne

15 June 2017

Sunday 11 June 2017 marked the world premiere of Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne, with the Festival Opera company joined by the London Philharmonic Orchestra & Vladimir Jurowski.


Hamlet has been received with widespread critical acclaim with the production heralded as "heart-wrenchingly beautiful", "reverent but mischievous" and "an ingenious deconstruction of Shakespeare".


“Dean’s skill at creating a supercharged orchestral subtext to each scene is matched by his immense theatricality. Quite apart from his unerring pacing of the story, he also creates at least a dozen moments where sheer sonority alone sends shivers up the spine… The overall impression is of a richly imaginative composer at the top of his game.”
Times, five stars


“Unmissable – this is the operatic event of the year... the unusually youthful audience's concentration during three hours of knotty, complex, yet often beguilingly beautiful music, erupted at the final curtain into the kind of applause one expects for an established classic... Dean's opera feels, oddly, as if it has always existed but was just waiting for someone to write it down."
Sunday Times


“Dean’s music offers great brilliance. Sparely but imaginatively scored, it cleverly exploits the trick of spooky clicking and clattering noises emanating from stray points around the auditorium as well as the wheezing of accordion and ondes martenot.”
Daily Telegraph


“As he starts plumbing Shakespeare’s dark recesses there are no limits to where Dean finds his music – amplified chattering noises, singing groups from the balconies, and a virtuoso array of orchestral effects like the gravedigger’s otherworldly whistling.”
Financial Times


Intermusica artists David Butt Philip, Jacques Imbrailo and Rupert Enticknap shone in their respective roles. Butt Philip will take the title role in the Glyndebourne autumn tour, while Enticknap reprises his role as Rosencrantz.


Click here to watch the trailer.


Hamlet runs at Glyndebourne until 6 July, and the final performance will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK and worldwide online via the Glyndebourne and Daily Telegraph websites.

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Brett Dean's Hamlet receives world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera

28 May 2017

Related profiles:
David Butt Philip
Rupert Enticknap
Jacques Imbrailo

External Links:
Glyndebourne Festival Opera

Brett Dean’s operatic setting of Hamlet receives its world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera on 11 June 2017. Hamlet is an opera in two acts with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn after William Shakespeare, and the production is directed by Neil Armfield and conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.


The cast for Hamlet includes three Intermusica artists, with David Butt Philip as Laertes, Jacques Imbrailo as Horatio and Rupert Enticknap as Rosencrantz. Also performing are Allan Clayton as Hamlet, Barbara Hannigan as Ophelia, Sarah Connolly as Gertrude and John Tomlinson as the Ghost of Old Hamlet.


Hamlet is commissioned by Glyndebourne Festival Opera and is the latest in a series of Dean's works to be inspired by the play, including String Quartet No.2 'And Once I Played Ophelia', From Melodious Lay (A Hamlet Diffraction) and Rooms of Elsinore. Speaking about taking on one of Shakespeare’s most enduring plays, Dean commented:


“I was attracted by the sheer wonder and beauty of the text and the endless theatrical – and to my mind, musical – possibilities of its characters and themes. Now emerging at the other end of the compositional process, I do think that the almost sacred nature and familiarity of the text may well have put composers off over the centuries, especially when contemplating Hamlet's über-famous soliloquy.”


Hamlet runs at Glyndebourne until 6 July before transferring to the Glyndebourne Autumn tour. The final performance on 6 July will be broadcast live to cinemas across the UK.

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Brett Dean's Dramatis personae released on BIS

18 May 2017

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BIS Records

Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto, Dramatis personae, is released on 1 June 2017 by Scandinavian label BIS. The concerto is performed by Håkan Hardenberger and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, conducted by John Storgårds.


Dramatis personae was commissioned by Grafenegg festival and written for Hardenberger, and casts the soloist in the role of the Hero. In the first movement, "Fall of a Superhero," we encounter the trumpet as the embodiment of the good, while the orchestra plays the part of the eternal opponent. In the final movement "The Accidental Revolutionary", Dean takes inspiration from Charlie Chaplin’s character in Modern Times and focuses on the accidental, perhaps even unintentionally comical aspect of heroism.


Click here to preorder Dramatis personae now.

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Brett Dean appointed as Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich’s Creative Chair 2017/18

12 April 2017

External Links:
Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich

Brett Dean has been appointed as Creative Chair of the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich for the 2017/18 season, the orchestra announced on 12 April 2017. Dean is only the fourth appointment to the Chair since the residency was established in 2014 and follows Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jörg Widmann and Peter Eötvös in the esteemed position.


The orchestra's 2017/18 season sees a comprehensive overview of Dean's orchestral and chamber music, with Dean joining the orchestra for concerts as conductor and soloist as well as various masterclasses and further outreach work. Highlights of the season include:


27, 28, 29 September 2017
With Brett Dean (viola), conducted by Lionel Bringuier

Brett Dean Viola Concerto
Beethoven Symphony No.9


3 December 2017
Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich String Quartet

Brett Dean Eclipse, String Quartet No. 1


12 November 2017
Australian Chamber Orchestra

Brett Dean Between the spaces in the sky
Brett Dean Carlo


13 & 14 November 2017
Workshops and masterclasses, Zürich Hochschule der Künste


3 December 2017
Baiba Skride, Geri Gergana, Brett Dean, Amihai Grosz, Alban Gerhardt

Mozart String Quintet No.3
Brett Dean Epitaphs
Brahms String Quintet No.2


14, 15, 16, 17 December 2017
conducted by Lionel Bringuier

Brett Dean Amphitheatre
Bruch Scottish Fantasy
Beethoven Symphony No.4 


28 February, 1 & 2 March 2018
Swiss premiere of From Melodious Lay, co-commissioned by Tonhalle-Zürich
With Mojca Erdmann (soprano), Topi Lehtipuu (tenor), conducted by Brett Dean

Brett Dean Testament
Brett Dean From Melodious Lay
Beethoven Symphony No.3


19 & 20 March 2018
Workshops and masterclasses, Zürich Hochschule der Künste


10 June 2018
Zürich Festspiele
With Claudia Barainsky (soprano), conducted by Brett Dean

Wolf Italian Serenade
Brett Dean Wolf-Lieder

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Brett Dean's Rooms of Elsinore receives world premiere at the Library of Congress

25 March 2017

External Links:
Library of Congress

Brett Dean travels to Washington D.C. this month to give the world premiere performance of his new work for viola and piano, Rooms of Elsinore, at the Library of Congress on 8 April 2017. Dean joins pianist Juho Pohjonen for the premiere, for which he has been loaned a Stradivari Tuscan-Medici viola by the Library of Congress.


The programme is completed by Dean’s String Quartet No.2 “And Once I Played Ophelia”, performed by the Orion Quartet and Tony Arnold, and Schoenberg String Quartet No.2 in F-sharp minor, for soprano and string quartet.


Rooms of Elsinore is co-commissioned by the Library of Congress and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, where Dean and Puhjonen give the second performance in July.

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Brett Dean performs at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

03 March 2017

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Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Brett Dean returns to Germany this month to appear at the Festspiele Mecklenburg Vorpommern from 17 March 2017. Dean performs across Rügen with Nils Mönkemeyer and other festival musicians in concerts featuring Dean's works as well as those of Bartók and J.S. Bach.


On 20 March Dean is the focus of a Portrait Concert, which features performances of his Hommage à Brahms and Skizzen fur Siegbert.

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Intermusica artists star in the Southbank Centre's 2017/18 Classical Season

Intermusica artists star in the Southbank Centre's 2017/18 classical season, which was announced on 26 January 2017.


Highlights of the new season include Marin Alsop conducting Bernstein Mass with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Kian Soltani performing in memory of Jacqueline du Pré with Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra. The Intermusica co-promoted International Chamber Music Series features James Ehnes leading Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time, Danielle de Niese performing with the Navarra String Quartet and Colin Currie marking the re-opening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall with a world premiere of a new work by Harrison Birtwistle. Boris Giltburg and George Li give solo recitals as part of the long-running International Piano Series, Nicholas Collon conducts Aurora Orchestra in the finale of Pierre-Laurent Aimard's Ligeti in Wonderland festival, and Kian Soltani makes a second appearance alongside Brett Dean for a performance of Schubert Trout Quintet.


More details:


28 October 2017
Kian Soltani & West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, cond. Daniel Barenboim / Strauss Don Quixote


14 November 2017
James Ehnes, Steven Osborne, Alban Gerhardt & Jean Johnson / Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time 


28 February 2018
Boris Giltburg / Brahms, Shostakovich & Rachmaninov


20 March 2018
George Li / Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Chopin & Liszt


6 & 7 April 2018
Marin Alsop & the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain / Bernstein Mass 


19 April 2018
Colin Currie & Nicholas Hodges / Morton Feldman, Stockhausen & Harrison Birtwistle


27 April 2018
Danielle de Niese & Navarra String Quartet / Albert Roussel, Schubert & Ernest Chausson


13 May 2018
Nicholas Collon
& Aurora Orchestra / Ligeti


29 May 2018
Brett Dean & Kian Soltani with Benjamin Grosvenor, Hyeyoon Park and Leon Bosch / Schubert Trout Quintet


For more information and to book tickets, visit the Southbank Centre website.

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Brett Dean performs his Viola Concerto in debut with Seoul Philharmonic

27 January 2017

External Links:
Seoul Philharmonic

Brett Dean makes his debut with Seoul Philharmonic on 10 and 11 February 2017 with two performances of his Viola Concerto at Lotte Concert Hall and Seoul Arts Center under the baton of Jukka-Pekka Saraste. Dean’s performances of his Viola Concerto have earned critical appraisal over the decade since its premiere in 2005:


“…Dean has lost none of his virtuosity as a performer, while confirming his reputation as an up-and-coming craftsman-composer… Curiously beautiful, somewhat enigmatic? No question.”
Financial Times


"Brett Dean is now so famous as a composer that we tend to forget he was and is a fine viola player.. Here was the Australian in both roles: soloist in his own Viola Concerto, which is as riveting a piece today as when he wrote it 12 years ago... A gripping psychological music-drama."
Times


In addition to the two performances of his Viola Concerto, Dean also performs in a chamber concert with members of Seoul Philharmonic on 12 Feb. The programme includes the Asian premiere of his string quintet Epitaphs.

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Brett Dean begins residencies with Taiwan Philharmonic & Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival

Brett Dean embarks on a month’s tour of Asia from 13 January 2017 as Artist in Residence of Taiwan Philharmonic and Composer in Residence of Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival.


13 January sees the Taiwanese premiere of From Melodious Lay, conducted by Shao-Chia Lu, in Taipei, and a repeat performance on 14 January in Taichung. Taiwan Philharmonic are co-commissioners of the piece, which received a critically acclaimed world premiere at the Barbican in November 2016:


"Something extraordinary happens in the first two bars of Brett Dean’s From Melodious Lay...there is an immediate shift from the frosted gleam of bowed percussion to a transparent suspension of muted divisi violas and cellos...Clarinets stutter and fall silent. Strings swarm. Chimes chink pitilessly. Sheets of foil flutter softly. Shakespeare’s verse bites and soothes.."
Times


Dean also performs in a chamber concert with members of Taiwan Philharmonic on 8 January in a programme of his Testament, Skizzen für Siegbert and Epitaphs.


Dean then travels to Hong Kong where he is the first ever Composer in Residence at the Hong Kong International Chamber Music Festival. Dean’s music has been programmed across the festival, and he also takes part in open rehearsals and performs Skizzen für Siegbert and Epitaphs.

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Brett Dean conducts Sydney Symphony Orchestra as Artist in Residence

02 November 2016

External Links:
Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Brett Dean returns to Australia to conduct three concerts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on 16, 17 and 18 November 2016. Dean was announced as the orchestra's first ever Artist in Residence last year, a tenure which runs from 2016 to 2018. Dean conducts a programme of Lutosławski Symphony No.3 and Dvorák Cello Concerto in B minor with soloist Alisa Weilerstein.


During his time in Sydney Dean also curates, performs and conducts an all-contemporary programme with members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Carriageworks on 20 November. The programme includes the world premieres of Natatsha Anderson Nowhere and Forever and Alexander Garsden We Never Come Here.

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Brett Dean's From Melodious Lay receives world premiere at the Barbican Centre conducted by Joshua Weilerstein

18 October 2016

Related profiles:
Joshua Weilerstein

External Links:
Barbican Centre

Brett Dean’s From Melodious Lay receives its world premiere on 1 November 2016 at the Barbican Centre, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Joshua Weilerstein. From Melodious Lay (A Hamlet Diffraction for Soprano, Tenor and Orchestra) is an exploration of the relationship between Hamlet and Ophelia, diffracted through a liberal redistribution of texts both spoken by these characters, or spoken about them by other characters. The BBC Symphony Orchestra are joined by Allison Bell and Allan Clayton, who sings the title role in Dean’s Hamlet in its world premiere at Glyndebourne Festival Opera in June 2017.


From Melodious Lay is a co-commissioned by BBC Symphony Orchestra, of whom Dean is Artist in Residence, Taiwan Philharmonic, Tonhalle Zürich and Danish National Symphony Orchestra.

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Brett Dean directs world premiere of his Music of Memory with the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra

11 October 2016

External Links:
Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra

Brett Dean joins the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra on 25 October 2016 at Liederhalle Stuttgart for the world premiere of his new work, Music of Memory. Dean conducts the orchestra in a programme that also includes his Short Stories, Bartók Divertimento and Thomas Larcher Still, featuring Dean as soloist.


The concert is part of the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra's season-long focus on Dean's music. Elsewhere across the season the orchestra performs his Carlo in December 2016, Electric Preludes in February 2017 and Etüdenfest in March 2017.

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Brett Dean: Knocking at the Hellgate receives UK premiere by BBCSO & Russell Braun at Barbican Centre

14 September 2016

Related profiles:
Russell Braun

External Links:
Barbican Centre

BBC Symphony Orchestra launch their 2016/17 season with the UK premiere of Brett Dean’s Knocking at the Hellgate with Russell Braun at the Barbican Centre on 28 September 2016. The performance is conducted by Sakari Oramo. Knocking at the Hellgate is a four movement suite for baritone and orchestra drawn from Dean’s 2010 opera Bliss.


Dean continues his residency as Artist in Association with BBC Symphony with the world premiere of From Melodious Lay (A Hamlet Diffraction for Soprano, Tenor and Orchestra) in November, conducted by Joshua Weilerstein.

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Intermusica at the Grafenegg Festival 2016

26 August 2016

Related profiles:
George Li
Renaud Capuçon
HK Gruber
Martyn Brabbins

External Links:
Grafenegg Festival

George Li, Valentina Naforniţa and Renaud Capuçon all perform at Grafenegg Festival this summer, while composers Brett Dean and HK Gruber join the jury of the festival’s composer workshop concert, and Martyn Brabbins supports the workshop participants.


On 4 September, George Li joins the Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev as soloist in Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1. Later that day, Renaud Capuçon appears with Orchestre National de France and Christoph Eschenbach to perform Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No.3.


Valentina Naforniţa sings Mozart concert arias with the Cologne Radio Orchestra and Jukka-Pekka Saraste on 8 September.


Brett Dean and HK Gruber return to the Festival to sit on the jury of its Ink Still Wet Composer-Conductor Workshop. With the support of the Tonkunstler Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins, contemporary composers will have their work showcased in the workshop’s closing concert on 5 September. Both Dean and Gruber have held the post of Composer-in-Residence at the festival in previous years.

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Glyndebourne 2017: Brett Dean’s Hamlet world premiere & Lise Davidsen’s UK debut

04 May 2016

Related profiles:
Lise Davidsen

External Links:
Glyndebourne Festival

Glyndebourne Festival’s 2017 programme was announced on Tuesday 3 May, and features the world premiere of Brett Dean’s new opera Hamlet and Lise Davidsen’s UK debut in the title role of Ariadne auf Naxos.


Brett Dean’s Hamlet, with a libretto by Matthew Jocelyn based on Shakespeare’s play, receives its world premiere on 11 June. Allan Clayton sings the title role with Sarah Connolly as Gertrude, Barbara Hannigan as Ophelia, Rod Gilfry as Claudius, Kim Begley as Polonius, and Sir John Tomlinson as Ghost of Old Hamlet. Neil Armfield directs and Vladimir Jurowksi conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra. The opera is a commission by Glyndebourne Festival.


Lise Davidsen makes her UK operatic debut as Ariadne in Ariadne auf Naxos in Katharina Thoma’s production, opening on 25 June. After her wins at the Operalia, Queen Sonja and Belvedere competitions, Davidsen has also been announced as an HSBC Aix en Provence Laureate, and the winner of the Gladsaxe Music Prize 2016 and the Statsoil Bursary Award. Other engagements next season include Agathe in a new production of Der Freischütz in Zurich, Four Last Songs at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam with Edo de Wart, Verdi’a Requiem in London with the Philharmonia and Edward Gardner, and Isabella Das Liebesverbot at Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires.


Full cast details of Glyndebourne Festival 2017 will be announced at a later date. Priority booking for the 2017 festival begins on 1 December, while public booking opens on 5 March. 

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Brett Dean: BBC Symphony Orchestra Artist in Association

18 March 2016

External Links:
BBC Symphony Orchestra

Brett Dean continues his residency as Artist in Association with the BBC Symphony Orchestra this April, returning to London for two concerts on 1 and 13 April 2016 when he performs both as soloist and conductor.


On 1 April Dean conducts a programme of contemporary music from Australia, including the UK premiere of Thomas Meadowcroft Peacemaker Tattoo alongside works by Dean, Pateras, Meale and Lentz at Maida Vale Studios. Dean is joined by violinist Thomas Gould with live electronics provided by Anthony Pateras and Thomas Meadowcroft.


Dean then performs his own Viola Concerto with the orchestra’s chief conductor, Sakari Oramo, at the Barbican on 13 April. The BBC Symphony Orchestra performed the world premiere of Dean’s Viola Concerto in 2005 and Dean returns from a recent performance of the concerto with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra in March. Dean’s residency with the BBC runs until the end of the 2016/17 season.

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Brett Dean receives 2016 Don Banks Music Award

01 March 2016

External Links:
Australia Council

Brett Dean has been awarded the prestigious Don Banks Music Award for 2016 by Australia Council. The annual award is Australia’s top musical honour, recognising a senior individual’s outstanding contribution to music in Australia. Previous recipients include artists such as Peter Sculthorpe and Carl Vine.


The awards ceremony takes place on 10 March in Sydney. Commenting on receiving the award, Dean said:


“It’s an honour to see my name beside these iconic names of Australian Music, many of whom have been teachers and mentors to me. I am thrilled and honoured to receive this award.”

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Intermusica artists nominated for Olivier & International Opera Awards

Intermusica artists have been nominated for awards at the Olivier Awards and the International Opera Awards, recognising exceptional achievement in opera over the last year. Dame Felicity Palmer has been nominated for an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, while Mark Wigglesworth and his work at English National Opera have been nominated at both the Oliviers and the International Opera Awards. Danielle de Niese, Gregory Kunde, Brett Dean and Simon Halsey have all been recognized at the International Opera Awards.


Mark Wigglesworth has been shortlisted for an International Opera Award in the Conductor category. This nomination comes during Mark Wigglesworth’s first season as Music Director at English National Opera, during which time his conducting has been hailed by the critics as “masterly" (Daily Telegraph) and “sublime” (Times). English National Opera has also been nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Opera at the Olivier Awards for its productions of The Force of Destiny and Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which were conducted by Wigglesworth.


Palmer has been nominated for her performance as the Countess in Tchaikovsky The Queen of Spades at English National Opera, which was greeted with universal critical acclaim:


“The outstanding performance of the evening… comes from Felicity Palmer, whose portrayal of the older Countess is an extraordinary tour de force of compelling stage presence”
Guardian


“Felicity Palmer is peerless as a Countess whose battleaxe demeanour crumbles to reveal the heartbreakingly lonely girl still inside.”
Times


"[Palmer's] spellbinding Gréty aria in the bedroom scene is the best-sung I've heard, little short of miraculous..."
Sunday Times


“The American director starred (only that word will do) Felicity Palmer as the countess… in remarkable vocal shape and proved spellbinding in her delivery of the Grétry aria – another time-stopping moment.”
Opera


Danielle de Niese, who premiered Bel Canto at Lyric Opera of Chicago which is on the shortlist for Best New Work, is nominated for the Readers’ Award at the International Opera Awards, the only vote open to the public – cast your vote here. 


Gregory Kunde is nominated for Best Male Singer – after title roles this season in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia, he will make his Royal Opera House debut in July this year as Manrico Il trovatore.


ABC’s recording of Brett Dean’s opera Bliss has been nominated for Complete Opera CD. Dean’s work was premiered at Sydney Opera House in 2010, and was well-received by the critics:


“The work holds the attention to the end, sustained by Dean's wonderful score. To his well-known skills as an orchestral composer, Dean has added an under-utilised empathy for the voice. The sung lines drive the musical and dramatic pace, underscored by beautifully detailed instrumental textures, wrought with an innate feeling for the expressive power of instrumental timbre, watched over by counterpoint and fine motivic workmanship.”
Sydney Morning Herald


The Barbican’s production of Jonathan Dove The Monster in the Maze, which featured a chorus directed by Simon Halsey, has also been nominated in the category of Accessibility.

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Brett Dean curates Toronto Symphony Orchestra's New Creations Festival

20 February 2016

External Links:
New Creations Festival

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has appointed Brett Dean to curate its New Creations Festival which begins on 5 March 2016. Brett Dean conducts and performs his works across three concerts on 5, 9 and 12 March at Roy Thomson Hall. Each concert includes a work by Dean for soloist and orchestra.


Dean performs his own Viola Concerto under the baton of Peter Oundjian on 5 March, alongside works by Anthony Pateras and Gyorgy Kurtág. On 9 March Dean conducts soloist Håkan Hardenberger in the Canadian premiere of Dramatis personae, Dean’s work for trumpet and orchestra which premiered at the 2015 Proms. The final concert of the Festival sees the North American premiere of Dean’s Knocking at the Hellgate, a newly created suite of music for baritone and orchestra taken from Dean’s opera Bliss, featuring soloist and fellow Intermusica artist Russell Braun.

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Brett Dean announced as Sydney Symphony Orchestra's first Artist in Residence

07 January 2016

Brett Dean has been announced as the first ever Artist in Residence at the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The residency will commence in 2016 and run for three years; as part of the residency, Brett Dean will conduct one Sydney SO programme per season, will perform in the Carriageworks series and curate programmes in collaboration with David Robertson. The Sydney Symphony will also commission new work from Dean and perform his works throughout their season. Dean conducts his inaugural concert as Artist in Residence with the orchestra on 16 November 2016 at the Sydney Opera House.


Dean has said of the appointment:


“I have grown up with many of these musicians, in many cases having accompanied them on their paths from student days to their current positions as highly qualified leaders in their field, so there is a strong sense of extended musical family for me in working with the SSO. Sydney audiences will have realised by now that David Robertson is not only one of the finest conductors of our time but also one of the great musical communicators with an uncanny knack for finding unexpected points of interconnection; for this reason, working closely with him in curating concerts and creating programmes is immensely stimulating, enlightening and a lot of fun!”

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Brett Dean: Australian premiere of 2nd String Quartet and performances with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

23 October 2015

External Links:
Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Brett Dean returns to Australia to conduct concerts with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on 6 and 7 November 2015. The programme for these concerts includes his orchestral work Testament, which explores Beethoven’s life, music and increasing deafness. Dean also conducts Mozart Piano Concerto No.20 with soloist Benjamin Grosvenor and Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ symphony.


Earlier, the Australian String Quartet give the Australian premiere of Dean’s String Quartet No.2 'And Once I Played Ophelia'  the City Recital Hall in Sydney on 29 October. The ensemble then take the piece on tour around Australia with performances in Canberra, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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Brett Dean performs his Viola Concerto with Royal Scottish National Orchestra

25 September 2015

External Links:
Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Brett Dean travels to Scotland on 9 October 2015, where he perform his own Viola Concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conductor Peter Oundjian. Dean and the orchestra at Usher Hall, Edinburgh on 9 October and at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall the following day. The programme for the concerts is completed by Borodin Prince Igor Overture and Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5.


In addition to the two viola concerto performances, Dean performs as second viola in a chamber concert with members of the RSNO. The programme includes Brett Dean’s piece Epitaphs, which he recorded with the Doric String Quartet for a Chandos disc which was released at the beginning of September to critical acclaim:


“Dean’s exploratory soundworld is at the frontierland of chamber music”
Financial Times


“It is impossible to talk about the chamber music of the Australian composer Brett Dean without mentioning that he was principal viola of the Berlin Philharmonic. Inevitably he understands string textures from the inside, with compelling results. The excellent Doric Quartet rise to the challenges of these elegiac works…. Tense, tender and original, it’s a tough but rewarding listen.”
Guardian

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Brett Dean's Dramatis Personae performed by Boston Symphony Orchestra at BBC Proms

08 August 2015

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BBC Proms

On 22 August, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons perform Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto, Dramatis Personae, with Håkan Hardenberger as soloist. The concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.


The Proms performance is part of the orchestra’s European tour, with further performances of the concerto at the Lucerne Festival and Cologne Philharmonie later this month.


It is the second performance of Dean's work at the BBC Proms 2015, after the Aurora Orchestra performed his Pastoral Symphony on 2 August. Listen to the whole concert online, available until the end of August, here.

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Brett Dean: Pastoral Symphony performed by Aurora Orchestra at BBC Proms

19 July 2015

External Links:
BBC Proms

On 2 August, the Aurora Orchestra and principal conductor Nicholas Collon perform Brett Dean’s Pastoral Symphony. The orchestra recorded the piece earlier this year for Warner Classics, and the recording is released on CD on 31 July.


It is the first of two performances of Dean's music at this year's BBC Proms; on 22 August, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons perform his trumpet concerto, Dramatis Personae, with Håkan Hardenberger as soloist. 


Also this August, Dean performs in his native Australia, in recital with his brother Paul Dean (clarinet) and Lisa Moore (piano). The trio perform works by Mozart, Schumann, Berg and Kurtag and Dean also performs his solo viola piece, Skizzen für Siegbert. The trio first perform in Elder Hall, Adelaide (7 August) before travelling to Melbourne to perform at the Melbourne Recital Centre (8 August).

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Brett Dean: Australian World Orchestra world premiere at Sydney Opera House

15 July 2015

External Links:
Sydney Opera House

On 29 July 2015, the Australian World Orchestra performs the world premiere of Dean’s orchestration of Claude Debussy’s Ariettes Oubliées for soprano and orchestra at the Sydney Opera House. Sir Simon Rattle conducts, with Magdalena Kožená as soloist. The orchestra performs it again at the Sydney Opera House on 31 July, before a performance at Arts Centre Melbourne on 1 August. Dean also performs in trio with Stanley Dodds and Matthew McDonald at the Utzon Room Chamber Series, Sydney Opera House, on 25 July. The trio perform a programme that includes works by Bach, Monteverdi, Martinů and Kurtag.


Earlier in the month, Brett Dean joins the Doric Quartet at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival for a performance on 17 July, when they perform a programme of Haydn String Quartet No.60 in G major, Brett Dean Epitaphs and Brahms String Quintet No.2 in G major.


Dean and the quartet enjoy a close artistic relationship; the quartet regularly performs Dean’s music, and recently recorded his String Quartet No.2 ‘And Once I Played Ophelia’, to be released on Chandos in September 2015.

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Brett Dean tours Germany, Belgium and UK with string quintet

01 June 2015

Brett Dean joins forces with Baiba Skride, Gergana Gergova, Nils Mönkemeyer and Alban Gerhardt to form a string quintet that tours Germany, Belgium and the UK during June 2015. The tour begins on 14 June and they perform a programme of Mozart String Quintet No.6 in E flat major, Brahms String Quintet No.2 in G major and Dean’s own Epitaphs.


The group begin their tour at the Philharmonie Essen (14 June) before travelling to Brussels BOZAR (15 June), Kempen Kulturforum (16 June), Konzert Theater Coesfeld (17 June), Wigmore Hall, London (19 June), Meckenburg-Vorpommren Festival (21 June), Kissinger Sommer Festival (23 June) and Reitstadel Neumarkt (24 June).


Dean then travels to Ireland to perform at the West Cork Chamber Music Festival, where he last performed in 2011. He performs in five concerts, the first again showcasing his Epitaphs for string quintet, which he performs this time with the Vanbrugh Quartet (28 June). On 30 June, he performs Dobrinka Tabakova’s Such Different Paths with Alina Ibragimova, Liana Gourdjia, Maxim Rysanov, David Cohen, Natalie Clein and Niek de Groot.


On 2 July, Dean performs Gubaidulina’s Hommage à T.S. Eliot for soprano and octet, with Katharine Dain, Claire Booth, Liana Gourdjia, David Cohen, Romain Guyot, Hervé Joulain, Peter Whelan and Niek de Groot. The following day he performs Brahms Piano Quartet No.1 in G minor with Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Marc Coppey and Barry Douglas, before ending his time at the festival by performing Brahms String Sextet No.1 in B-flat major in the Finale concert on 4 July.

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Brett Dean conducts the Scharoun Ensemble & Swedish Chamber Orchestra

01 March 2015

On 13 March, Brett Dean will perform with and conduct the Scharoun Ensemble in Berlin. As well as his own work Recollections, the concert programme includes music by Brahms, Schumann, Kurtag and Martinu – Dean himself will perform the latter on viola.


Later in March, Dean will travel to Sweden to conduct the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in Orebro, in a programme of works by Beethoven, Zivkovic and works by Dean including Etüdenfest, Shadow Music and Testament. The performance takes place at Örebro University's School of Music on 26 March.

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Brett Dean’s The Last Days of Socrates receives its UK premiere

30 January 2015

The BBC Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Chorus perform the UK premiere of Brett Dean’s The Last Days of Socrates on 13 February at London's Barbican Centre. The piece is for bass-baritone, chorus and orchestra, and John Storgårds conducts with Sir John Tomlinson as soloist.


The Last Days of Socrates was co-commissioned by the Berliner Philharmoniker, Los Angeles Philharmonic and Melbourne Symphony orchestras. Its world premiere performance was in April 2013 with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Rundfunkchor Berlin and Sir Simon Rattle, to great critical acclaim.


“Brett Dean’s latest triumph is a colossal oratorio about the trial and death of the Greek philosopher, and yet it is also a call for freedom of expression. It was atmospheric, onomatopoeic, pregnant with references, and unmistakably comparable to the great central European composers such as Ligeti, Kurtag, Lutoslawski and Henze."
Berliner Morgenpost, April 2013 


The concert is the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s third performance of Brett Dean’s music this season, as part of his Artist in Residency focus.

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Brett Dean: Dramatis Personae

12 November 2014

“Dean's concerto offers fresh perspectives on the soloist's role…”
Guardian, May 2014 


After its world premiere at the Grafenegg Festival in August 2013, Brett Dean’s trumpet concerto, Dramatis Personae, has been performed around the world to critical acclaim over the last year. With a recording by the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, John Storgårds and Håkan Hardenberger due to be released on BIS and its US and London premieres taking place in November and December, the concerto has had great success as a major new piece of repertoire for the trumpet.


Written for Hardenberger, Dramatis Personae has now been performed by all its co-commissioners – the Tonkünstler-Orchester, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In October, Dean conducted the Australian premiere with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, and in the same month New Zealand Symphony Orchestra performed it on tour with Hardenberger and Dmitri Slobodeniuk. Hardenberger then joins the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons for the US premiere, before performing the Swedish premiere with the the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Storgårds, and London premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Jukka Pekka Saraste at the Barbican Hall on 5 December. The London concert is the second of three championing Dean’s music this season in his new role as BBCSO Artist in Association.


Hardenberger, Storgårds and Nelsons have been ambassadors for the piece since its premiere: Hardenberger described as a “consummate” soloist (Birmingham Post), and Nelsons having conducted a “glowing UK premiere” (Guardian) before also bringing the concerto to the Boston Symphony Orchestra for its US premiere.


Read some of the reviews for Dramatis Personae below:


"Dean sees the relationship between the soloist Håkan Hardenberger and the orchestra as comparable to that between the hero and the world: the whole piece, written in a classical three movements, was marked by conflict and cooperation between the leading figure and the masses. After the rhythmic emphasis of the first movement, and the quasi monologue of the second, Dean pulled out all the stops in the third movement, ‘The Accidental Revolutionary’, and superimposed stylistic quotes and original material into a clashing collage of sounds and periods, reminiscent of Mahler.”
Der Standard, September 2013


"What an enthusiastic reception it was given by the thrilled audience.
Hakan Hardenberger was the soloist, totally immersed in the music even when not playing, his colourings via an array of mutes vivid and atmospheric, his agility in all Dean's demands consummate, and his relationship with the orchestra as collaborative as chamber-music - indeed so, when he is the centre of a stereophonically-staged trio with two of the orchestral trumpeters, and later when he goes back onto the risers to join them."
Birmingham Post, five stars, May 2014


"a glowing UK premiere…
...Cast ostensibly in conventional form, Dean's concerto offers fresh perspectives on the soloist's role, with three tableaux each exploring a trumpet persona. [Dean] subverts traditional notions of concerto form in which the soloist is pitted against, and overcomes, the might of the orchestra: the soloist's failure to triumph was glorious."
Guardian, May 2014 


Dramatis Personae is published by Boosey & Hawkes.

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Brett Dean is the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s new Artist in Association

29 October 2014

Composer, conductor and violist Brett Dean has been announced as the new Artist in Association at the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The relationship, which runs until the end of the 2016/17 season, will see a significant number of Dean’s works being performed by the BBC Symphony, including three in the first year. He will also perform alongside the orchestra as soloist and conductor. In the 2015/16 season Dean will perform his own viola concerto, which was premiered in the UK by the BBC Symphony in 2005, alongside the orchestra’s Chief Conductor Sakari Oramo.


The inaugural piece of Dean’s appointment will be the UK premiere of The Annunciation on 19 November, in a performance by the BBC Symphony and BBC Singers conducted by Josep Pons. The piece was commissioned for the 800th birthday of the Thomanerchor of Leipzig, where it was premiered, and depicts the journey of the Three Kings from darkness into light in a four-part work for chamber orchestra and choir.


On 5 December the BBC Symphony and conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste will give the London premiere of Dean’s trumpet concerto, Dramatis personae, at the Barbican alongside Håkan Hardenberger, the trumpeter for whom the piece was composed. The trumpet concerto's title refers to the different characters the composer associates with the instrument. Cast in three movements, the concerto draws equally upon comic strip scenarios and classical tales of heroism. The London performance is preceded by premieres in the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Sweden and performances at the Grafenegg Festival, Copenhagen and in Birmingham and Leipzig.


Dean’s final work to be performed in the 2014/15 season will be his dramatic oratorio The Last Days of Socrates, which dramatises the events of Socrates’s trial for impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens. Bass Sir John Tomlinson, for whom the oratorio was written, will perform the title role, and John Storgårds will conduct the BBC Symphony and BBC Symphony Chorus in the performance on 13 February.


Brett Dean said: “The long association that I've enjoyed already with the BBC Symphony Orchestra is, quite simply, the most significant relationship with a performing organisation in my compositional life and career to date. It's the kind of relationship that all composers wish and long for; no other orchestra anywhere has played more of my music than the BBC SO. Coming from an orchestra with such a venerable and well-documented history of working with living composers, the invitation to formalise our relationship over the coming three seasons in the role of Artist in Association is both a great honour and extremely exciting.”


Dean’s relationship with the BBC Symphony dates back to 2001, when the orchestra gave the UK premiere of his orchestral work Beggars and Angels. The following year, Dean’s Dispersal was performed on the BBC Symphony tour of Australia. Subsequent collaborations have included the 2005 world premiere of Dean’s Viola Concerto, a performance of Vexations and Devotions at the 2007 Proms and the UK premiere of Dean’s opera Bliss in a staging by Australian Opera at Edinburgh Festival in 2010. More recently, the BBC Symphony presented a Brett Dean Total Immersion day at the Barbican in 2012 and also appeared on a recording of Vexations and Devotions and Testament with conductors David Robertson and Martyn Brabbins.


This summer the BBC SO gave the UK premiere of Dean’s Electric Preludes at the BBC Proms.

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Brett Dean conducts Australian premiere of his trumpet concerto at Sydney Opera House

06 October 2014

On 22 October, Brett Dean is joined by Håkan Hardenberger and the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for the Australian premiere of his trumpet concerto, Dramatis Personae, at the Sydney Opera House. The concerto was written for Hardenberger, who will perform it with Dean conducting the SSO in two further concerts at the Sydney Opera House on 23 and 24 October. The programme is bookended by two Sibelius works, opening with Sibelius Historic Scenes No.1: Overture & Scene and closing with Symphony No.3.


Dramatis Personae was co-commissioned by Grafenegg Festival, Leipzsig Gewandhausorchesterm, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Later this season Hardenberger will give the US premiere alongside the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor Andris Nelsons, while the London premiere will be given by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jukka Pekka Saraste, as part of Dean's new appointment as BBCSO Artist in Association.


Click here to read more about Dramatis Personae on the Boosey & Hawkes website.

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Brett Dean: Visiting Composer residency with Vancouver Symphony Orchestra

03 January 2014

In January, Brett Dean travels to Vancouver as Distinguished International Visiting Composer for the Vancouver Symphony’s inaugural New Music Festival. Dean attends three performances of his music and, on 19 January, performs his own Viola Concerto.


The first performance is Dean’s Sextet: Old Kings in Exile, performed by Standing Wave on 17 January. Water Music is then performed by the Raschèr Saxophone Quartet and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra on 18 January, and performances of Dean's Songs of Joy and Moments of Bliss take place on 20 January. Dean performs as soloist in his Viola Concerto at the Orpheum Theatre under the baton of Bramwell Tovey on 19 January.


He then travels to St Louis where he performs again as soloist in his Viola Concerto in two performances on 24 and 25 January at Powell Hall with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson. In the same programme he performs his Testament with St Louis Symphony’s violists. Earlier that week he also performs his Skizzen fuer Siegbert for solo viola at the Pulitzer Foundation.

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Brett Dean conducts Brahms and Dean with Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra

25 October 2013

On 9 November, Brett Dean conducts the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, joined for the occasion by his brother Paul Dean and members from the Australian National Academy of Music.


The concert takes place at Federation Concert Hall in Tasmania. Dean conducts Brahms’s Academic Festival Overture and Tragic Overture and his own Ariel’s Music with Paul Dean as clarinet soloist. The Dean brothers also perform as soloists in Max Bruch’s Double Concerto for viola and clarinet.

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Brett Dean is Composer in Residence at Grafenegg Festival

01 August 2013

Brett Dean is Composer in Residence at the Grafenegg Festival, 14 August – 6 September 2013.


Dean follows in the prestigious footsteps of previous Composers in Residence including Krzysztof Penderecki, HK Gruber, James MacMillan, Heinz Holliger and Tan Dun.


Dean’s music will be featured throughout the festival, and Dean himself will be showcased in his roles as Composer, Conductor and Violist, as well as leading the “Ink Still Wet” workshop series for young composer-conductors.


The residency includes the world premiere of Dean’s trumpet concerto Dramatis Personae, written for Hakan Hardenberger and co-commissioned by the Grafenegg Festival, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.


Click here to read an interview with Sinfini Music, where Brett Dean discusses the five piece that have been most inspirational in his compositional career.


 


Events:
16 August 2013: opening concert with Tonkünstler Orchestra
Dean Amphitheatre, scene for orchestra
Mahler Symphony no. 3 in D Minor
Andres Orozco-Estrada, conductor


17 August 2013: Prélude concert, Dean performs with Doric Quartet
Dean Epitaphs (for two violins, two violas and cello)
Brahms String Quintet in G. Major


17 August 2013: Cellists of Berlin Philharmonic
Programme includes Purcell arr. Dean Suite (for twelve cellos)
Dean Twelve Angry Men (for twelve cellos)


14-18 August 2013: ‘Ink Still Wet’ Composer-Conductor workshops


23 August 2013: concert with Tonkunstler Orchestra
Berlioz Roméo et Juliette: Orchestral Pieces
Dean Viola Concerto (Brett Dean, viola soloist)
Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: Excerpts
Kazushi Ono, conductor


30 August 2013: concert with Pittsburgh Symphony
Dean Komarov’s Fall
Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1 1st mov.
Shostakovich Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47
Manfred Honeck, conductor


31 August 2013: Dean conducts Prélude concert with Tonkunstler Orchestra
Wolf Italian Serenade in D Minor
Wolf Aus dem spanischen Liederbuch
i Nun bin ich Dein
ii Die ihr schwebet
iii Wunden trägst du, mein Geliebter
iv Ach, des Knaben Augen sind mir so schön
v Die du Gott gebarst, du Reine
Dean Wolf-Lieder
Brett Dean, conductor
Claudia Barainsky, soprano
Alexander Schmalcz, piano


31 August 2013: world premiere of trumpet concerto with the Tonkunstler Orchestra
Beethoven Leonore: Overture
Dean Dramatis Personae (World Premiere)
Brahms Symphony No.1 in C minor, Op.68
John Storgards, conductor
Dramatis Personae was co-commissioned by Grafenegg Festival, Danish National Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester.


6 September 2013: Philharmonia Orchestra concert
Dean Testament
Prokofiev Violin Concerto No.2 in G minor
Beethoven Symphony No.3 in E-flat major 'Eroica'
Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor


Click here to find out more on the Grafenegg Festival website.

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Intermusica represents Brett Dean worldwide

Catherine Gibbs
Associate Director
+44 20 7608 9946
cgibbs@intermusica.co.uk

Maebh Lehane
Assistant Artist Manager
+44 20 7608 9924
mlehane@intermusica.co.uk

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