Margaret Brandman : Represented Artist
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Photo: Linda Jocelyn
Artist website: http://www.margaretbrandman.com
Born in 1951 into a musical family, she studied accordion and piano from the age of four, taking up guitar and clarinet in her teens. Her education, supported by formal studies in piano, clarinet, harmony and composition at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, covered many styles of music.
Brandman was awarded a scholarship to the University of Sydney, where she studied composition with Peter Sculthorpe. In 1975 she was awarded a Bachelor of Music (Composition), having already acquired her Associate Performer degree and Teacher of Pianoforte Diploma. She has since also been awarded the F.Comp.ASMC, F.Mus.Ed.ASMC and L.Perf.ASMC degrees by the Australian Society for Musicology and Composition, Hon.FNMSM (UK), the Dip.E in Piano Pedagogy of the World Piano Teacher's Assocation (Serbia).
2016 saw the release of two internationally recorded CDs produced by Parma Recordings (USA) and a self-published DVD of her celebratory concert in Sydney.
Sensations - Wind, Waves, Birds and Fire (NV6041) containing one hour and nineteen minutes of her celebrated orchestral and chamber works recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech Republic, was released in May. The central work on the CD is her dramatic Firestorm Symphony. 'The music ... is a continuous celebration of life, of nature, and hope for a better future. Brandman is not afraid to express herself in a tonal language, which is frankly, today for some Orthodox avant-gardists, a true heresy. The ingredients of this musical palette are persuasive and clear melodic lines, clear and sunny harmonies, a steady rhythmic energy that sometimes draws on syncopated accents of jazz and South American music, an orchestration clear and bright.' (Kathodik Webzine, Italy, July 2016)
Abrazo (AR0001), a compilation album recorded in Cuba, which includes her suite Warm Winds in Havana for saxophone quartet and percussion was released in June. Margaret was the only Australian composer whose works were selected for the album. 'While the Cuban's fabulous chops make the jazz set-ups... into delicious, occasionally exhilarating treats, ...Margaret Brandman's evocative Warm Winds in Havana for four saxophones and percussion, stand(s) out.' (Gramophone, September 2016)
In September 2016 she premiered 14 newly composed art songs, including The Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac song cycle together with guest artist Martin Cooke of the Bavarian State Opera company, at a seminal concert at the Conservatorium of Music in Sydney. 'This was delightful! Twelve charming songs with lyrics by Benita Rainer beautifully performed by Martin Cooke and Margaret Brandman.' (Pamela Herring, September 2016)
Over the years, Margaret Brandman has combined her compositional interests with her interest in accelerated learning techniques for music. She has authored and published a large range of music education materials. Selected awards include WPTA's 'Dip.E in Piano Pedagogy' for her DVD presentation The Geometry of the Piano and the Symmetry of the Hands and World Forum's Distinguished Intellectual Contribution Award for the continent of Australia for her performances and lectures at an international conference in the UK in 2012.
In September 2017, the Prague Choir will be recording her own choral arrangements of the The Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac song cycle for her next Parma production. Margaret will attend to supervise the recording and be present for the planned concert performances of the works.
Books, scores and recordings of Brandman's work are available from the Australian Music Centre. Published works are also available from all music retailers.
Margaret Brandman — current to December 2016
||Sonorities (unaccompanied piano)||Commissioned by Selma Epstein|
||Binna burra dreaming : for violin and piano (2013)||Commissioned by Duo Deconet.|
||Jucaro rhumba d'amor : for violin and piano (2012)||Commissioned by Duo Deconet.|
||The Eastern Spinebill and the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos herald a Blue Mountains bush fire : for violin and piano (2012)||Commissioned by Duo Deconet.|
||Lyric fantasy (piano with string orchestra) (1996)||Commissioned by Selma Epstein.|
||Saxophone quartet : saxophone quartet (1976)||Commissioned by the Sydney Saxophone Quartet|