Ottawa (Ontario, Canada), 1972

“An unleashed voyage that is out of control…”

Imagine a hundred train engines, the pressure in their boilers mounting, simultaneously (or, perhaps, at close intervals) leaving their respective stations, and you have a rough idea of Brian Current’s music. His work has pushed harmonic successions, rhythm, and volume beyond their musical limits. A triad grows until it falls into a void and implodes. Rhythms accelerate to the point where they become a noisy whirr of blurred humming.

Born in 1972. Brian Current’s music has been widely performed both at home and abroad by outstanding ensembles. His pieces have received awards in Paris, New York, Adelaide and Vancouver and have been broadcast in over 35 countries.

Among his recent honours, he counts the 2003 Barlow Prize, where after reviewing 427 composer applications from 32 countries, the judging panel awarded Brian Current a $17,000 (USD) commission for the Indianapolis Symphony and the American Composers Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

Other international prizes include the Selected Work (under 30) from the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris 2001, a nomination for the American Academy’s Prix de Rome 2003, first prize in the 1998 Polish International Musik y Zabawa competition, and the Jury Prize at the NEM’s International Forum for Young Composers, held at the 2000 Adelaide festival, Australia. At home, in addition to three first prizes from SOCAN, he has also received awards from ASCAP, the CBC and the Canada Council for the Arts, including the Robert Flemming Prize for most outstanding young composer. In March of 2001, he was awarded the Grand Prize in the CBC National Competition for Young Composers, the country’s highest distinction for composers under 30 years.

Raised in Ottawa, Brian Current studied music at McGill University in Montréal with Bengt Hambreaus and John Rea. He later completed his Ph.D. on full fellowship from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he was also active as a conductor. In 2000 he was chosen as participant in the National Arts Centre’s conductor training workshop with Jorma Panula and Pinchas Zukerman.

His music has been performed across Canada and abroad, by the Oakland Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Warsaw National Philharmonic, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Canadian Chamber Ensemble, ARRAYMUSIC, Continuum, the SIRIUS ensemble, NUMUS, the Esprit Orchestra, among others.

In 2002, his work For the Time Being, opened the inaugural concert of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, conducted by Antoni Wit. The piece was recently released in a recording made by the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, on the Atma label. Brian Current lives in Toronto.

(Source: Canadian Music Centre)