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Brenton Broadstock : Represented Artist

'His music speaks direct from the heart to the heart.' (Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International)

Random Audio Sample: Aureole : for flute and piano by Brenton Broadstock, from the CD flute in orbit

Photo of Brenton Broadstock

Brenton Broadstock was born in Melbourne, Australia. He studied history, politics and music at Monash University, and later composition and theory with Donald Freund at Memphis State University in the USA and with Peter Sculthorpe at the University of Sydney. The University of Melbourne awarded him the Doctor of Music degree in 1987.

From 1982 -2006 he was employed in the Faculty of Music, University of Melbourne as Professor of Music and Head of Composition and during 2007 he was a Vice Chancellor's Fellow at the University of Melbourne.

In 2008 his music was performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games and in 2009 he was Composer in Residence with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, composing a multi-instrumental concerto, Made In Heaven, for trumpeter James Morrison, a chamber concertino, Hall of Mirrors, for trombonist Brett Kelly and a symphony for soloists, choir and orchestra, Tyranny of Distance that was premiered at the 2009 Melbourne International Festival of the Arts by the MSO conducted by Warwick Stengards.

He has won numerous prizes for composition including First Prize in the 1981 Townsville Pacific Festival's National Composition Competition for his orchestral work Festive Overture; the Albert Maggs Award; two APRA Music Awards for his orchestral works The Mountain and Toward The Shining Light; First Prize in the Hambacher Preis International Composers' Competition, West Germany for his Tuba Concerto; and in 1994 he received the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Award, Australia's richest composition prize, for Bright Tracks for mezzo soprano and string trio. His orchestral work Stars In A Dark Night (Symphony #2) received four Sounds Australian National Music Critics' Awards including 'Best Australian Orchestral Work in 1989' and was the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's entry to the prestigious Paris Rostrum of Composers in 1990. In 2001 he received the Australian Music Centre's Victorian Award for Best Composition - Dark Side Symphony #5, and in 2002 his Federation Flourish was nominated for APRA/AMC orchestral Work of the Year.

His music has been performed and broadcast at many international festivals including: The Stroud Festival (England), the 11th Berlin Biennale, the Festtage fur Musik (East Berlin), Darmstadt Summer School (West Germany), the Music Today Festival (Tokyo), the Hong Kong and Oslo World Music Days, Asian Music Festivals (Japan and Korea), Musica Nova Festival (Munich), the BBC Proms, the European Brass Band Championships (Birmingham), and in Australia at the Adelaide Festival, Musica Nova Festival (Brisbane), Summer Music, Moomba and Spoleto Festivals in Melbourne, Port Fairy Spring Festival and the Townsville Pacific Festival. There have also been many performances in England, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Spain and China.

He has had performances by all of the major orchestras in Australia: the Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Queensland, Tasmanian and West Australian symphony orchestras, the Australian Youth Orchestra and by the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra in Japan, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Orchestra in Munich, the Pacific Ocean Orchestra and the Krasnoyarsk Orchestra in Russia, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Moldova, the Ulster Orchestra, and the Tampere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finland.

Brenton has also written several major brass band works; he was commissioned to write Winds of Change, which was premiered at the 2000 European Brass Band Championships in Birmingham by the Yorkshire Building Society Brass Band, conducted by David King, and broadcast, on BBC Radio. This work was the A Grade Test Piece at the 2002 Australian Brass Band Championships held in Geelong. Brenton's 30 minute work Gates of Day was premiered as the final work in the 2001 Melbourne Festival. Scored for 100 brass players (4 brass bands), military band and 400 bellringers playing 2001 bells it was played at the outdoor Sidney Myer Music to an audience of 10,000.

In 1988-89 he was the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra's Inaugural Composer In Residence, in 1997 he received the Jean Bogan Prize for his solo piano work Dying of the Light and in 1998 he received the Michelle Morrow Memorial Award for Composition and an Explorations Opera Project grant. In 1998 he spent three months in Italy on fellowships awarded by the Civitella Ranieri Foundation and a Bellagio Award from the Rockefeller Foundation. In November 2005 he returned to Italy as a fellow at the Ligurian Study Center in Italy.

In 1999 he received the prestigious Don Banks Award from the Australia Council, for his contribution to Australian Music, which enabled him to compose for most of that year, including visits to the USA (Visiting Professor of Composition at Indiana University), England and Russia. His five symphonies were recorded by the Krasnoyarsk Symphony Orchestra (Russia) conducted by Andrew Wheeler and released on the Etcetera label in 2000 and received excellent reviews in England and Australia.

In 2004 his solo piano work Torre di Forza was the test piece at the Sydney International Piano Competition, and in 2005 ABC Classics released a CD of orchestral works performed by the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Ola Rudner. His chamber opera based on Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 was performed in Bonn, Germany in April 2006. His music is available on over 45 commercial CDs worldwide.

Broadstock has been a member of many boards, committees and competition panels, including the Australia Council, the Australian Music Centre, Symphony Australia's Reading Panel, the Paul Lowin Prize, the Maggs Prize, APRA Classical Music Advisory Committee, Arts Victoria, the Victorian College of the Arts Committee, Australian National Academy of Music, Australian Composers' Orchestral Forum, National Music Camp, Chamber Made Opera et al, and adjudicator at several national music competitions and eisteddfods. In 1995 the Australia Music Centre published his book on 95 Australian composers, Sound Ideas.

Broadstock had written 6 symphonies, concertos for tuba, trumpet and piano, several orchestral works, a chamber opera, 4 string quartets and much chamber, choral and solo music. In 2013 his work for string orchestra, Never Truly Lost, commissioned by Rob Pallin, will be premiered by the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

Brenton Broadstock — current to October 2012

Selected Commissions

  Work Commission Details
Fahrenheit 451 : opera Commissioned as part of the One-Act Opera Project administered by the Australia Council and the Sydney Opera Company.
Fortuna : brass band Commissioned as a test piece for the Australian brass band championships in five states for 1999
Federation Square : orchestra Commissioned by Jeffrey Crellin with the support of BMW to mark the opening of the new Federation Square in Melbourne
Sleepy star (solo piano) Composed in response to Julian Yu's call for variations on 'Twinkle, twinkle, little star'
Pandemic : mvt.6 of 'Shadow and Hope - Cantata from Six Continents in the Age of Pandemic' : SATB choir and string quartet (2020) Commissioned with the generous support of the Municipality of Icking, Germany for Philipp Amelung
Never truly lost : a journey for solo violin and string orchestra (2013) Commisisoned by Robert & Nancy Pallin, in memory of Robert's father Paddy Pallin, in association with the Australian Chamber Orchestra

Analysis & Media

- Program note: Brenton Broadstock's "Hall of Mirrors"

- Article: Dawn of a new world symphony

- Video: Brenton Broadstock - Beast from Air (Part 1)

- Video: Brenton Broadstock - Beast from Air (Part 2)