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Brand, Max(imilian)

Brand, Max(imilian)

Brand, Max(imilian) Austrian-born American composer; b. Lemberg, April 26, 1896; d. Langenzers-dorf, near Vienna, April 5, 1980. He became a student of Schreker in Vienna in 1919, and continued as his student in Berlin in 1920. He also received instruction from Alois Hàba and Erwin Stein. Brand’s early use of 12-tone methods is revealed in his Fünf Balladen nach Gedichten von Else Lasker-Schüler (1927). He scored a sensation when he brought out his first opera, Maschinist Hopkins (Duisburg, April 13, 1929), which subsequently was performed throughout Europe. This expressionistic score of the “machine era” served as a remarkable precursor to Berg’s Lulu. Brand pursued his interest in avant-garde expression by founding Vienna’s Mimo-plastisches Theater für Ballett and by serving as co-director of the Raimund Theater, where he oversaw the Wiener Opernproduktion company. He also was associated with Eisler in producing experimental films. As a Jew, Brand’s works were banned by the Nazis in Germany in 1933. After the Anschluss in Austria in 1938, he was compelled to flee to Brazil. In 1940 he went to the U.S. and in 1944 became a naturalized American citizen. He was active in N.Y. as director of the Music and Theatre Wing, Caravan of East and West. Around 1958 he began to experiment with electronics. In 1975 he returned to Austria and was active in his own electronic music studio.


DRAMATIC: Maschinist Hopkins, opera (1928; Duisburg, April 13, 1929); Kleopatra, opera (1932–38); Requiem, opera (1933); Die Chronik, scenic cantata (1938); The Gate, scenic oratorio (N.Y., May 23, 1944); Stormy Interlude, opera (1955); ballets; incidental music. orch. :Line Nachtmusik for Chamber Orch. (1923); The Wonderful 1-Hoss Shay, symphonic poem (Philadelphia, Jan. 20, 1950); Night on the Bayous of Louisiana, tone poem (1953). chamber: String Trio (1923); Piece for Flute and Piano (1940). vocal:Nachtlied for Soprano and Orch. (1922); Kyrie Eleison for Chorus (1940); songs. electronic:The Astronauts, An Epic in Electronics (1962); Ilian 1 & 2 (1966).


T. Brezinka, M. B., 1896-1980: Leben unà Werk (Munich, 1995).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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