20 August 2022

Hebrides Ensemble with Brett Dean (UK/Australia Season) 20 August

This event is part of the UK/Australia Season.

The UK/Australia Season is a major new cultural exchange celebrating the diverse and innovative artist communities and cultural sectors of each nation. A collaboration between the British Council and the Australian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, The Season is a vibrant programme spanning theatre, film, visual arts, dance, design, architecture, music, literature, higher education and a public engagement programme.

Designed to strengthen and build cultural connections, the Season theme is “Who Are We Now?” and will reflect on our history, explore our current relationship, and imagine our future together. The Season launched in both countries in September 2021.


Part of the 75th Edinburgh International Festival

Hebrides Ensemble with Brett Dean Composer, Conductor, Viola

Programme includes Brett Dean Recollections and Brahms String Sextet No 1 in B-flat.

The Edinburgh-based Hebrides Ensemble is one of Scotland’s finest chamber groups, with a history of acclaimed performances and recordings across both contemporary music and classic repertoire. It draws together many of the nation’s most accomplished instrumentalists in inspirational performances, placing new music at the heart of explorations reaching far further back in time.

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Australian musician Brett Dean is respected worldwide as both a violist and a composer. He collaborates with the Hebrides musicians in the surreal reminiscences and swirling colours of his own Recollections, a vivid voyage into musical memory.

Dean joins the Hebrides players, too, in the rich melodiousness of Brahms’s youthful String Sextet No 1, shot through with its own sense of poignant nostalgia.

Part of the UK/Australia Season 2021–22, supported by the Australian Government and the British Council.

Image credit: Bettina Stoess

About the Performers

  • Brett Dean studied in Australia before moving to Germany where he was a member of the Berlin Philharmonic for fourteen years, during which time he began composing. His music is championed by many of the leading conductors and orchestras worldwide, including Sir Simon Rattle, Vladimir Jurowski, Simone Young, Daniel Harding, Andris Nelsons, Marin Alsop and Sakari Oramo. Much of Dean’s work draws from literary, political, environmental or visual stimuli, including a number of compositions inspired by artwork by his wife Heather Betts.Dean began composing in 1988, and it was through works such as his clarinet concerto Ariel’s Music (1995), which won an award from the UNESCO International Rostrum of Composers, and Carlo (1997), inspired by the music of Carlo Gesualdo, that he gained international recognition. In 2009 Dean won the Grawemeyer Award for violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing. In June 2017 his second opera Hamlet was premiered at Glyndebourne Festival Opera to great acclaim, winning the 2018 South Bank Sky Arts Awards and International Opera Awards for Best New Opera. Dean enjoys a busy performing career as violist and conductor and has performed his own Viola Concerto with many of the world’s leading orchestras; he is a natural chamber musician, often collaborating with other soloists and ensembles.

    Recent highlights include the world premiere of Dean’s Piano Concerto Gneixendorfer Musik – eine Winterreise for Jonathan Biss, premiered by Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in February 2020; Dean conducted the French premiere with the Orchestre National de Lyon in October 2020. In November 2019 his opera Hamlet received its German premiere at Cologne Opera and receives its highly-anticipated US premiere at The Met in May 2022. Dean is currently Composer in Residence with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

    Brett Dean is represented by Intermusica. The works of Brett Dean are published by Boosey & Hawkes.

  • Hebrides Ensemble: With programmes that are diverse, imaginative and inspiring, Hebrides Ensemble has established itself as one of the foremost chamber music collectives in the UK.Co-founded and led by its Artistic Director, the cellist and conductor William Conway, the Ensemble is renowned for its fresh and intelligent approach to programming, which places contemporary music at the heart of a diverse range of repertoire.

    The Ensemble’s strength is its flexibility; it draws its performers from a pool of the most outstanding musicians in the UK and beyond, ensuring the exceptional performance standards for which it has become renowned. This is an international ensemble with its roots in Scottish culture, a collective which performs regularly
    at venues and festivals throughout the UK and Europe and is regularly featured in broadcasts for BBC Radio 3.

    In recent years, the Ensemble has given premieres at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam, at Kings Place and Wigmore Hall in London, at the Aldeburgh Festival and Edinburgh International Festival. In 2018, Hebrides Ensemble made its debut appearance at the BBC Proms.

    Hebrides Horizons supports the next generation of performers, composers, artistic directors and cultural leaders through its mentoring programme, and Hebrides Digital allows audiences around the world to be part of every performance the Ensemble gives, using livestreaming and cutting-edge digital technology.

    Hebrides Ensemble recently released ‘Ursa Minor’, the fifth in a series of composer portrait albums in partnership with Delphian Records, focused on the chamber music of Stuart MacRae. Previous volumes featured music by Judith Weir, Nigel Osborne, Peter Maxwell Davies (EVM Award for New Music Recording of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Awards for New Music) and James MacMillan (the premiere recording of ‘Since it was the day of Preparation…’ which went straight to No.1 in the Specialist Classical Chart upon release in July 2016).

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