Brett Dean - Composer-in-Residence

Australian composer Brett Dean is the LPO’s Composer-in-Residence for three years from September 2020.

Brett Dean

The Orchestra worked closely with Dean on his opera Hamlet, which was premiered in June 2017 at Glyndebourne Festival Opera to great acclaim, winning both the 2018 South Bank Sky Arts Award and International Opera Award for Best New Opera. During his LPO residency he also takes on the role of Composer Mentor to the LPO Young Composers Programme, providing guidance and expertise to the five rising stars and conducting their annual Debut Sounds showcase.

On 16 December 2020 the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski gave the UK premiere of Dean's work The Players for orchestra and accordion, filmed at the Royal Festival Hall and broadcast on Marquee TV. On 8 December 2021 the Orchestra gave the world premiere of of a new version of his Notturno inquieto (Rivisitato). On 9 February 2022 they will give a performance of his Viola Concerto with soloist Lawrence Power, and on 27 April 2022 the UK premiere of his Cello Concerto with soloist Alban Gerhardt.

'Ever since my first encounter as composer with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, at the 2017 Glyndebourne Opera Festival, I’ve felt a special connection and empathy with these wonderful musicians.'

Brett Dean

Brett Dean studied in his hometown of Brisbane before moving to Germany in 1984, where he was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic’s viola section for 14 years. He began composing in 1988, initially concentrating on experimental film and radio projects and as an improvising performer. His reputation as a composer continued to develop, and it was through works such as his clarinet concerto Ariel’s Music (1995), which won an award from the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers, and Carlo (1997) for strings, sampler and tape, inspired by the music of Carlo Gesualdo, that he gained international recognition. In 2009 Dean won the Grawemeyer Award for his violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing, and in 2016 he was awarded the Don Banks Music Award by Australia Council, acknowledging his sustained and significant contribution to Australia’s musical scene.

Dean enjoys a busy performing career as a violist and conductor. His imaginative conducting programmes usually centre around his own works combined with other composers: highlights include his appointment as Creative Chair at the Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich in 2017/18, and projects with the BBC Symphony, BBC Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Melbourne Symphony, Sydney Symphony, Gothenburg Symphony, Concertgebouw, Tonkünstler and Stuttgart orchestras, and as Artist-in-Residence with the Swedish Chamber Orchestra.

Brett Dean’s music has been recorded for BIS, Chandos, Warner Classics, ECM Records and ABC Classics. Highlights include a BIS release in 2016 of works including Shadow Music, Testament, Short Stories and Etudenfest performed by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra conducted by Dean; his Viola Concerto has also been released on BIS with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. The DVD of Hamlet was released by Glyndebourne in June 2018 and won a Gramophone Award in 2019.

Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes/Intermusica.