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Brett Dean


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Brett Dean (b.1961) is a Grawemeyer Award-winning composer and viola player. Dean studied in Brisbane until 1984, when he moved to Germany to join the Berliner Philharmoniker’s viola section, a position he held for 15 years. He began composing in 1988, becoming established in his own right through works such as the clarinet concerto Ariel’s Music, which won a UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers award, the piano quintet Voices of Angels and Twelve Angry Men, written for the 12 cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker. Leaving the orchestra to devote himself to full-time composition, he returned to Australia in 2000. He continues to perform as a violist and conductor and is artistic director of the Australian National Academy of Music.

Dean’s most widely-known work, Carlo for strings, sampler and tape, was inspired by the music of Renaissance composer Carlo Gesualdo. Other major scores include Beggars and Angels (1999), commissioned by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Pastoral Symphony (2001), written for Ensemble Modern, and Testament (2003), composed for the Berliner Philharmoniker’s 12 violas. Dean has performed his Viola Concerto (2004) 17 times on four continents since its premiere and the work was recently released on an all-Dean disc on the BIS label. He is currently composing his first opera, Bliss, with a libretto by Amanda Holden based on the novel by Peter Carey.

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  • rm508

    The "Water Music" album is absolutely fantastic.

    5 Jan 2010 Reply

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