Brumby, Colin (James)

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Brumby, Colin (James)

Brumby, Colin (James), Australian composer, conductor, and teacher; b. Melbourne, June 18, 1933. He was educated at the Univ. of Melbourne Conservatorium of Music (B.Mus., 1957; D.Mus., 1971). He also received training in composition in Santiago de Compostela (1962), London (1962–64), and Rome (1972–73), and studied computer music at Stanford Univ. (1974). He was music director of the Victorian Chamber Players (1956), the South Melbourne Sym. Orch. (1957), and the Queensland Opera (1969–71). In 1964 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Queensland, where he was an assoc. prof, from 1977 as well as music director of its Musical Soc. (1966-68; 1977-86). After composing in an approved atonal style, Brumby forsook that path in 1974 to embrace an adventuresome tonal style. In both atonal and tonal scores, melodic writing is a salient feature.


DRAMATIC: Opera : The 7 Deadly Sins (Brisbane, Sept. 12, 1970); The Marriage Machine (1971; Sydney, Jan. 28, 1972); La Donna (1986); Lorenzaccio (1986–87); Fire on the Wind (1990); Summer Carol (1990); The Heretic (1998–99). ballet:Bunyip, television ballet (1966); Cinderella, after Rossini (Brisbane, Dec. 10, 1975); Masques (Brisbane, Aug. 18, 1980); Alice, Memories of Childhood (1987). Also operettas for children, incidental music, and film scores. orch.: Concerto for Viola and Strings (1960); Antipodea (1962); Partite for Clarinet and Strings (Brisbane, June 20, 1962); Fibonacci Variations (1964); Mediterranean Suite (1964); 2 violin concertos: No. 1 (1969; Brisbane, Feb. 28, 1970) and No. 2 (Brisbane, Aug. 1983); Litanies of the Sun (1970; Brisbane, May 28, 1971); The Phoenix and the Turtle (Canberra, Oct. 6, 1974); Horn Concerto (1974; Brisbane, April 2, 1975); Flute Concerto (1976; Brisbane, Feb. 23, 1977); Entradas (1978); Musagettes (Brisbane, Oct. 2, 1978); Festival Overture on Australian Themes (1981; Adelaide, Feb. 17, 1982); 2 syms.: No. 1 (Brisbane, April 7, 1982) and No. 2, Mosaics of Ravenna (1993); Paean (Sydney, July 3, 1982); Bassoon Concerto (Adelaide, Nov. 16, 1983); South Bank Overture (1984; Brisbane, April 23, 1985); Guitar Concerto (Brisbane, May 22, 1985); Piano Concerto (Perth, Sept. 17, 1985); Oboe Concertino (Brisbane, June 29, 1987); Clarinet Concerto (1988; Brisbane, July 21, 1989); Scena for English Horn and Strings (1988); Viola Concerto, Tre aspetti di Roma (1990); Trumpet Concerto (1991); West End Overture (1993); Concerto for Organ and Strings (1994). chamber:4 Exotic Pieces for Flute and Harp (1961); Wind Quintet (1964); String Quartet (1969); Player Chooses for 3 Instruments and Keyboard (1973); Chiaroscuro for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1977); Suite for Double Basses (1978); Haydn Down Under for Bassoon and String Quartet (1980); The 7 Ages of Man for Wind Quintet and Optional Narrator (1981); Slarinet Sonatina (1982); Bassoon Sonata (1984); Piano Quartet (1985); Flute Sonatina (1985); 4 Aphorisms for Clarinet and Piano (1986); Mundoolun for English Horn and Piano (1988); Borromeo Suite for Flute and Guitar (1990); Gardens of the Villa Taranto for Flute and Guitar (1991); Aubade for Violin and Piano (1991); Capriccio for Bassoon (1995); Aria for Violin and Piano (1996); Little Waltz for Violin and Piano (1996); Menteith for Flute and Piano (1997). vocal:3 Italian Songs for High Voice and String Quartet (1968); Gilgamesh for Narrator, Chorus, Brass, and Percussion (1968); Charlie Bubble’s Book of Hours for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1969); Bring Out Your Christmas Masks for Soloists, Chorus, Dancers, Actors, Orch., and Organ (Brisbane, Dec. 10, 1969); Ballade for St. Cecilia for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1970); Celebrations and Lamentations for 4 Choruses, Wind, Brass, and Percussion (Brisbane, May 25, 1972); This Is the Vine for Soloists, Chorus, and Orch. (1972; Melbourne, Feb. 24, 1973); Orpheus Beach for Soprano, Baritone, and Orch. (Brisbane, Oct. 10, 1978); 3 Baroque Angels for Chorus and Orch. (1979); Festival Mass for Chorus, Wind, Brass, and Percussion (Brisbane, Aug. 11, 1984); Psalm 148 for Chorus and Band (Brisbane, Aug. 11, 1984); Great Is Truth and Mighty Above All Things for Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (Brisbane, May 10, 1985); Stabat mater dolorosa for Soprano, Baritone, and String Trio (1986); The Ballad of Sydney Hospital, cantata for Mezzo-soprano, Baritone, Chorus, and Orch. (Sydney, Nov. 15, 1988); The Ballad of Charlie Blow, cantata for Women’s Chorus, Mixed Chorus, and Orch. (1988); Canti Pisani for Medium Voice and Orch. (1989); A Special Inheritance, cantata for Women’s Voices and Orch. (1990); The Trenchant Troubadour, song cycle for Medium Voice and Piano (1991); Song of Mary for Women’s Voices and String Orch. (1995); Justorum animae for Chorus (1996).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire