Brendan Colbert : Represented Artist
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Artist website: http://brendancolbert.com.au
Brendan Colbert was born in Ballarat, Victoria, in 1956. His output comprises a substantial number of works (currently 90+) and includes commissions from many significant local and international artists, ensembles, and orchestras, with concert and festival performances throughout Australia, Europe and the USA.
Having moved to Melbourne in the 1970s, he worked with various progressive rock bands as keyboard player and songwriter, and during the 1980s took private composition lessons with Brenton Broadstock and Riccardo Formosa. After a series of early commissions (most notably from ELISION) he was selected twice for the National Orchestral Composers' School (1991 & 1995 - tutors Gerard Brophy, Richard Mills, and Carl Vine) which led to the premieres of Machinations and Jericho's Strange by the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.
The following years saw the resolution and assimilation of disparate influences, the revision or withdrawal of several early works, and the emergence of an uncompromising individual voice.
Numerous internationally acclaimed soloists and ensembles have commissioned, performed, or recorded Colbert's works. Major commissions include those from Symphony Australia - for the West Australian Symphony Orchestra - and from the US flautist Linda Wetherill (both with assistance from the Australia Council), with premieres of Eirenicon in Perth (2000), and Shades of Futures Past - a concerto for flute/alto flute/piccolo and small orchestra - in New York in a version for soloist and CD(2004). Shades of Futures Past was subsequently given its first full performance in Melbourne in August 2011, with the Arcko Symphonic Project conducted by Timothy Phillips, and featuring Sarah Beggs as soloist.
A commission from Arcko's artistic director resulted in the premiere of ...like a Maelstrom - a double concerto for piano, trumpet, and small orchestra - in Melbourne in February 2015, with the Arcko Symphonic Ensemble conducted by Timothy Phillips, and featuring Peter Dumsday (piano) and Bruno Siketa (trumpet) as soloists. This took place as part of a composer portrait concert, that also included the premieres of Proxima (by Silo String Quartet - Aaron Barnden, Attila Kuti, Phoebe Green & Caerwen Martin), The palest light (by Timothy Phillips - glockenspiel) and Torque (by Phoebe Green, viola). A CD is available through Crackbell Records.
A recent commission from Michael Kieran Harvey saw the completion of Dancing to the Tremors of Time, a 25 minute single-movement work for solo piano. Somewhat challenging for performer and audience alike, it was successfully premiered in November 2018 at the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart.
Other recent premieres include Repose [for Absent Friends] (by Michael Kieran Harvey, in Melbourne, April 2018), movements I, V, and IX from Figuration in Search of Identity (James Townsend, Madi Chwasta and Mathew Levy, ANAM at NGV, in Melbourne, May 2017), Contre-Temps (by Peter Dumsday in Melbourne, December 2016), and re-fract (by Michael Kieran Harvey in Sydney, September 2016).
A number of works are available on CD, with several others pending release. Various scores are published by BMG Ariola and Red House Editions, and all other scores are available from the Australian Music Centre, or from the composer.
Brendan Colbert — current to November 2019
||Dancing to the Tremors of Time : for solo piano (2017)||Commissioned by Michael Kieran Harvey.|
||Like a maelstrom : for piano, trumpet in C and chamber orchestra (2013)||dedicated to Joseph Bono (1926-2013)|
|Shades of futures past (flute with chamber orchestra) (2003)||Commissioned by Linda Wetherill.|
||DisTanz : for percussion quartet (2002)||Commissioned by Speak Percussion.|
||Sphinx : large chamber ensemble (2001)||Commissioned by Elision Ensemble.|
||Eirenicon : for symphony orchestra (2000)||Commissioned by Symphony Australia for performance by West Australian Symphony Orchestra.|