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The London Philharmonic Orchestra has announced Brett Dean as its new Composer in Residence and Young Composers programme mentor for the next three years. Commencing in September 2020, the residency brings a selection of the composer’s works, UK premieres and a new LPO commission.

Australian composer Brett Dean is the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s new Composer in Residence for three years as of September 2020, and the Orchestra’s next season features three of his works: The Players, Cello Concerto and Komarov’s Fall. The LPO worked closely with Dean on his opera Hamlet in 2017, which was premiered at Glyndebourne to critical acclaim and released as a DVD on Opus Arte. Dean will also take on the role of Composer Mentor to the LPO’s Young Composers programme, where he will provide guidance and expertise to the five rising stars, and conduct the annual Debut Sounds performance, a major showcase of their work. Future seasons will include further UK premieres of work by Dean in addition to a new LPO commissioned work.

Brett Dean commented on his appointment: “Ever since my first encounter as composer with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and their chief conductor, Vladimir Jurowski, at the 2017 Glyndebourne Opera Festival, I’ve felt a special connection and empathy with these wonderful musicians. I am beyond delighted to be named as their new Composer-in-residence starting next season.”

The LPO’s Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Vladimir Jurowski, leads the UK premiere of Dean’s The Players on 5 December 2020 at the Royal Festival Hall. Scored for accordion and orchestra, the work grew out of the opera Hamlet, specifically the scene with the travelling players who present the ‘play within the play’ that drives the drama towards its tragic denouement. James Crabb is solo accordionist, reprising the role he played in stagings of Hamlet at the Glyndebourne Festival and on tour, the Adelaide Festival and Cologne Opera. Crabb was soloist for the premiere of The Players by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2019 and performs the work in April with the Israeli Chamber Players in Tel Aviv.

Edward Gardner, the LPO’s Principal Conductor Designate, is on the rostrum for the UK premiere of Dean’s Cello Concerto on 27 February 2021 at the Royal Festival Hall. Alban Gerhardt is solo cellist, following first performances of the concerto in 2018 at the Sydney Opera House, Berlin Philharmonie and Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, and this season in Minneapolis, New York’s Lincoln Center, and Stockholm. The Cello Concerto was commissioned by the Sydney Symphony, Berliner Philharmoniker, Swedish Radio SO, Minnesota Orchestra, Amsterdam Cello Biennale and Muziekgebouw Aan 't IJ.

The LPO’s 2020/21 season also features Dean’s Komarov’s Fall in a concert conducted by Karina Canellakis on 14 April 2021 at the Royal Festival Hall. This short orchestral work was composed in 2006 as an ‘asteroid’ to accompany Holst’s suite The Planets. This memorial to the doomed cosmonaut Vladimir Mikhailovich Komarov depicts his space capsule’s hurtling descent towards earth and imagines his final farewell to his wife.

> Biography of Brett Dean

>  Further information on Work: The Players

Photo: Bettina Stoess

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