Composer in Residence – Brett Dean

Foto Brett Dean
Brett Dean © Bettina Stöß

An Australian with close ties to Berlin, composer, viola player and conductor Brett Dean – who was born in Brisbane in 1961 – played viola in the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 1985 to 1999.Even in the late 1980s he had begun to compose arrangements for smaller ensembles as well as his first works for radio and film. His successful breakthrough as a composer came in 1995 with “Ariel’s Music” for clarinet and orchestra, which received an award from the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers.

After leaving the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra Brett Dean intensified his work in composition.
Among other pieces, he wrote the ”Winter Songs” for tenor and  woodwind quintet (2001) and the string quarter with soprano “And once I played Ophelia” (2016), which each received the acclaimed Paul Lowin Song Cycle Prize in Australia; also operatic works such as “Bliss” (world premiere in 2010) and “Hamlet” (world premiere in Glyndebourne in 2017, under the direction of Vladimir Jurowski). Brett Dean often addresses current social or political topics in his work, like environmental pollution, for example, in his “Water Music” (2004) or the “Pastoral Symphony” (2000), which the RSB will be playing in January 2019.

The works of the Composer in Residence to be heard throughout the season come from various genres and reflect a wide range of emotional worlds:
So listen out for music by and with Brett Dean!