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Brett Dean: new trumpet concerto at Grafenegg Festival

(August 2013)

Brett Dean's residency at the Grafenegg Music Festival in Austria includes the world premiere of a new trumpet concerto, Dramatis personae, with Håkan Hardenberger as soloist.

This summer's Grafenegg Music Festival features the music of Brett Dean as resident composer, including a new trumpet concerto, Dramatis personae, commissioned by the festival for Swedish virtuoso Håkan Hardenberger. The world premiere on 31 August is performed by the Tonkünstler Orchestra conducted by John Storgårds. Further performances by the co-commissioners follow, with the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Storgårds (3 October), City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Andris Nelsons (29 May 2014) and Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Nelsons (3 July 2014).

The trumpet concerto's title, Dramatis personae, refers to the different characters the composer associates with the instrument. Cast in three movements, the concerto opens with a depiction of the Fall of a Superhero, drawing equally upon comic strip scenarios and classical tales of heroism. The trumpet is the individual pitted against the antagonistic masses of the orchestra, as the music depicts the struggle between mythical leader and the proletariat. The second movement, Soliloquy, has the hero alone with his thoughts, offering a more mellow, reflective interlude. The final movement, The Accidental Revolutionary, sees the composer focusing on the coincidental aspects of heroism. The comic model is Charlie Chaplin's film Modern Times, in which the protagonist finds himself unexpectedly leading a band of striking workers.

Dean's residency at the Grafenegg Music Festival between 16 August and 6 September also includes the Austrian premieres of Amphitheatre for orchestra , Wolf-Lieder for soprano and chamber ensemble, Twelve Angry Men for 12 cellos and the Viola Concerto with the composer as soloist. Performances by visiting orchestras include Testament with the Philharmonia Orchestra and Esa Pekka-Salonen, and Komarov's Fall with the Pittsburgh Orchestra and Manfred Honeck. Dean also leads the Ink Still Wet workshops for composers conducting their music with the Tonkünstler Orchestra.

> Visit the Grafenegg Music Festival website.

Dean's Grawemeyer Award-winning violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing is released on disc by BIS in November, performed by Frank Peter Zimmermann with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Nott. Also on the disc are Testament and Vexations and Devotions with Gondwana Voices and the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by Martyn Brabbins and David Robertson (BIS 2016).


> Further information on Work: Dramatis personae

Photo: Mark Coulsen

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