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Brett Dean wins Melbourne Prize for Music 2013

(November 2013)

Composer, violist and conductor Brett Dean has won the 2013 Melbourne Prize for Music for his outstanding contribution to Australian music.

Brett Dean is the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Melbourne Prize for Music, worth 60,000 Australian Dollars, recognising his outstanding contribution to Australian music and to cultural and public life. Dean's receipt of the annual Prize for Music was announced on 13 November at Federation Square in Melbourne, alongside the Outstanding Musician Prize awarded to guitarist Stephen Mangusson and the Development award granted to pianist, vocalist, saxophonist and composer Kate Kelsey-Sugg.

The $60,000 Melbourne Prize for Music 2013 is awarded to a Victorian musician, or group of musicians, who has made an outstanding contribution to Australian music and has enriched cultural and public life. The Prize is supported by The Vera Moore Foundation, The Tallis Foundation & Melbourne Prize Trust.

The Melbourne Prize judging panel includes leading figures in the Australian musical world and the citation described how "the diversity of the 2013 finalists is testimony to the abundant music talent and spectrum of genres we have in Victoria... Brett Dean, classical composer and conductor, has made an outstanding contribution to Australian music both locally and on the international stage and in doing so has enriched our cultural life."

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle commented: “Melbourne is blessed with a vibrant music industry, passionate musicians and audiences. The Melbourne Prize for Music 2013 and Awards provides opportunities for local musicians and promotes the musical talent and rich music culture that we are fortunate to enjoy in Melbourne.”

Brett Dean has been commissioned by the Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Orchestra and LA Philharmonic among other leading orchestras. In 2009 he won the Grawemeyer Award for his violin concerto The Lost Art of Letter Writing, and the work has been released on disc by BIS. Recent premieres have included Fire Music (commissioned by the Australian Ballet for their 50th anniversary celebrations) and the orchestral version of the same work, which has just won the APRA Art Music Prize 2013; The Last Days of Socrates received premiere performances in Berlin, Melbourne, Los Angeles; and Dramatis personae (for trumpet and orchestra) was first  heard at the Grafenegg Festival in Austria and is travelling widely with soloist Håkan Hardenberger over coming seasons. Dean combines his composing activities with a musical life performing internationally as a soloist, chamber musician and conductor with the world’s leading orchestras.



Photo: Mark Coulsen

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