Dreyfus, George (actually, Georg)
Dreyfus, George (actually, Georg)
Dreyfus, George (actually, Georg), German-born Australian bassoonist, conductor, and composer; b. Wuppertal, July 22, 1928. He and his family fled Nazi Germany in 1939, and settled in Australia. He received training in clarinet, and in 1946 studied bassoon with Fred Morgan at the Univ. of Melbourne Conservatorium. In 1955–56 he studied at the Vienna Academy of Music. He was a bassoonist in the orch. of Her Majesty’s Theatre (1948–52) and in the Victorian Sym. Orch. (1953–64) in Melbourne. In 1958 he founded the New Music Ensemble in Melbourne, which became the George Dreyfus Chamber Orch. in 1970. He held a creative arts fellowship from the Australian National Univ. in Canberra in 1967, the Prix de Rome of the German Academy in Rome in 1976, and the Don Banks fellowship of the Australian Council in 1991. In 1992 he received the Order of Australia. He publ. an autobiography, The Last Frivolous Book (Sydney, 1984). The vol. Being George… and liking it: Reflections on the Life and Work of George Dreyfus on his 70th birthday (Richmond, Va., 1998), includes essays by the composer and others. Dreyfus has composed works in all major genres, ranging from opera to music for television.
DRAMATIC Garni Sands, opera (1965–66; Sydney, Aug. 12,1972); The Takeover, school musical (1969); The Gilt- Edged Kid, opera (1970; Melbourne, April 11, 1976); The Lamentable Reign of Charles the Last, “pantopera” (1975; Adelaide, March 23, 1976); Smash Hit!, musical (1980); The Sentimental Bloke, musical (Melbourne, Dec. 12, 1985); Rathenau, opera (1991–92; Kassel, June 19, 1993); The Marx Sisters, opera (1994–95; Bielefeld, April 20, 1996); incidental music; over 35 film scores; television music, including Rush (1974). ORCH.: 2 syms. (1967, 1976); Jingles (1968); …and more Jingles (1972); A Steam Train Passes (1974); Hallelujah for Handel (1976); Symphonie Concertante for Bassoon, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Strings (1978); Mary Gilmore Goes to Paraguay for Strings, Brass, and Percussion (1979); Dimboola Water Music and Waltz (1979); Grand Ridge Road, suite for Small Orch. (1980); Folk Music with Large Orchestra (1982); German Teddy for Mandolin Orch. (1984); Great Expectations (1986); Larino, Safe Haven for Flute or Oboe and Strings (1990); Sound Sculptures from Rathenau (1991); Lighthouse for Strings (1993); Love Your Animal (1996); You’re remembr’d well, Clive Douglas!, overture for Concert Band (1998); Mr. Lewis Comes to Wuppertal for Didjeridu and Orch. (1998). CHAMBER: Trio for Flute, Clarinet, and Bassoon (1956); The Seasons for Flute, Viola, and Percussion (1963); 2 wind quintets (1965, 1968); Sextet for Didjeridu and Winds (1971); Old Melbourne for Bassoon and Guitar (1973); In Memoriam Raoul Wallenberg for Clarinet and Piano (1984); Song and Dance for Gabor for Clarinet, Taganing, and Double Bass (1988); for four Bassoons, quartet (1988); Sonata for Violin and Viola (1989); There is Something of Don Quixote in All of Us for Guitar (1990); Odyssey for a Lone Bassoon (1990); Homage a Victor Bruns for Bassoon Quartet (1994). VOCAL: Galgenlieder for Baritone, Flute, Clarinet, Violin, and Bassoon (1957); Songs Comic and Curious for Baritone, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon (1959); The Adventures of Sebastian the Fox for Narrator and Orch. (1963); Song of the Maypole, cantata for Children’s Choruses and Orch. (1968); Reflections in a Glass-house: An Image of Captain James Cook for Speaker, Children’s Chorus, and Orch. (1969); Mo for Baritone, String Orch., and Continuo (1972); Em Kaffeekonzert for Soprano, Violin, Cello, and Piano (1977); An Australian Folk Mass for Chorus (1979); Celebration for Women’s Voices, Piano, and Orch. (1981); Psalms 100 & 150 for Chorus and Orch. (1981); Visions for Chorus and Orch. (1983); Charles Rasp for Men’s Chorus, Children’s Chorus, Pop Singer, and Concert Band (1984); The Box Hill Gloria, cantata for Mixed Chorus, Children’s Chorus, Pop Singer, Brass Band, Concert Band, Pipe Band, and Strings (1985); The Song of Brother Sun for Chorus and Harp or Keyboard (1988); Auscapes for Chorus (1990); Else for countertenor or Contralto, Boy’s Chorus, and Men’s Chorus (1993); Song of the Republic for Chorus and Orch. (1998).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire