Tony Bremner (1939-2021) : Represented Artist
Random Audio Sample: In the shrubbery : SATB choir with chamber ensemble by Tony Bremner, from the CD green CD
Tony Bremner was born in Sydney in 1939 and lived in London since 1961. He studied piano at the Conservatorium High School. In England he studied singing and worked in the Glyndebourne chorus as a tenor for a period of 10 years. His change to counter-tenor turned out to be a success - his first job with the new voice was at Covent Garden as understudy to James Bowman. He appeared in Death in Venice at the Adelaide Festival in 1980 and later sang the falsetto role in Reimann's Lear in Mannheim, and again in Krefeld.
Although he had done some composing while still living in Sydney, it was not until he began to work as assistant to Christopher Palmer (musicologist, and orchestrator for many big Hollywood composers) that he started to compose again. In 1981 the Queensland Symphony Orchestra gave the premiere of his Harp Concerto. In 1983 he wrote his first film score, Kindred Spirits - an award-winning score written for ABC TV. Two more films followed, A Halo for Athuan and The Everlasting Secret Family. All three scores were released on a Southern Cross CD. His cantata In the Shrubbery was first performed in 1991 by The Song Company and recorded on the Tall Poppies label.
In 2000, he won the Gregynog (Wales) Composer of the Year award with Three Divine Poems of John Donne for choir and piano. Bremner composed the music for the BBC radio play Don Quixote and for a production of Midsummer Night's Dream at the Beirut Festival. The orchestral work Symphony - from a Western Movie is inspired by film music. With poet/novelist Thomas Shapcott, he co-wrote the opera White Stag of Exile, describing his style as 'unashamedly lyrical and accessible, perhaps somewhat like Prokofiev'.
Bremner arranged and orchestrated many works including: a new orchestration (with Christopher Palmer) of Minkus's Don Quixote for the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden; and The Gondoliers for 8 instruments for Opera Factory Zurich, a reconstruction of the famous Friedhofer score for William Wyler's film The Best Years of our Lives. He has also worked as a conductor re-recording famous film scores including (with the Australian Philharmonic) Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons and (with the London Philharmonia Orchestra) Lawrence of Arabia and The Big Country.
He orchestrated the Entheon Concerto for Peter Stannard and published a number of arrangements of popular classics for harp ensembles.
Tony Bremner passed away in the UK on 31 January 2021.
Analysis & Media
- Program note: In the shrubbery