Brett Dean is a giant figure in Australia’s musical landscape, as composer, conductor, instrumentalist and artistic director. His opera Hamlet has conquered the stages of Glyndebourne, the Adelaide Festival, New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Bavarian State Opera; and his orchestral music is in the repertoire of some of the greatest orchestras on the planet, including the Berlin Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony. ANAM’s Artistic Director between 2006-2010, this concert marks his first return to ANAM since 20XX.
Crafted specifically to showcase Brett’s many musical gifts, this program begins with Music of Memory, an in memoriam for four extraordinary people: Yodit Tele, an Eritrean who migrated to the UK as a refugee from her homeland’s harsh internal politics; the self-styled ‘girl photographer’ Betty Freeman, in her photo session with the Hungarian composer György Ligeti, and the British conductor Richard Hickox. This will be the work’s Australian premiere, in which Brett will direct ANAM musicians from the viola.
Then a work created during the depths of lockdown. But despite (or perhaps because of) its desolate origins, his piano quartet Imaginary Ballet is – in Brett’s description – ‘buoyant, bullish and effervescent, full of both driving, reassuring repetitions and abrupt changes of tack, of surging waves of quasi-orchestral energy and slivers of sneaky secrecy.’
Finally, Brett collaborates with the ANAM orchestra and one of Australia’s leading violists, ANAM alum Stefanie Farrands, in Berlioz’ epic re-imagining of Byron’s poem Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. Like so much of the French composer’s music, this extravagantly romantic work is almost unclassifiable: part concerto, part symphony, it chronicles the wanderings of Byron’s melancholy hero in music of lavish pictorial splendour.
Brett DEAN Music of Memory (Australian Premiere)
Brett DEAN Imaginary Ballet
Hector BERLIOZ Harold in Italy
Brett Dean director/viola
Stefanie Farrands* viola
*Stefanie Farrands appears courtesy of the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Brett Dean’s Artistic Residency at ANAM is supported by Peter Jopling AM KC and Richard Parker
Stefanie Farrands’ Artistic Residency at ANAM is supported by Ralph and Barbara Ward-Ambler
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