The Royal Conservatory The Glenn Gould School
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Brian Current

Director of New Music Ensemble

Brian Current

A 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2003 Barlow Prize, Brian Current has established himself as one of North America's leading young composers. His music, lauded and performed internationally as well as broadcast in over 35 countries, is renowned for its energy, wit, and daring bravado.

Other recent prizes include the Selected Work (under 30) at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris and the Grand Prize in the CBC National Competition for Young Composers, Canada's highest distinction for composers under 30 years old.

The Ottawa native studied music at McGill University in Montreal with Bengt Hambreaus and John Rea. He later completed his PhD in composition on full fellowship from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he was also active as a conductor. In 2000, he was chosen as a participant in the National Arts Centre's conductor training workshop with Jorma Panula and Pinchas Zukerman. Brian has since been featured conducting his own music and other works with New Music Concerts, Soundstreams, CBC's In Performance, and the Esprit Orchestra's New Waves Festival.

Brian's music has been performed across North America and abroad by the American Composers Orchestra (Carnegie Hall), Esprit Orchestra, Oakland Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Winnipeg Symphony, Warsaw National Philharmonic, Deagu Ensemble (Korea), CBC Radio Orchestra, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Gryphon Trio, Sirius Ensemble, and others.

In 2002, his work For the Time Being opened the inaugural concert of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, conducted by Antoni Wit. The piece has now been released commercially on the Atma label.

"Brian Current toyed with speeds and textures, using the orchestra in much the same way that a precomputer electronic musician might use a tape deck. Different sections played at different tempos… Occasionally, almost from nowhere, a brief passage of straightforward symphonic chords would emerge and then dissolve into the changeable fabric." - Allan Kozinn, about Symphonies in Slanted Time (The New York Times), May 2006

Reach Professor Current through e-mail at: brian.current@rcmusic.ca