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Program note: Brenton Broadstock's "Hall of Mirrors"

  • © Brenton Broadstock
  • Source: Produced for and provided by Melbourne Composer's League

Born in Melbourne, Brenton studied history, politics and music at Monash
University, and later composition and theory, with Donald Freund, at
Memphis State University in the USA and with Peter Sculthorpe at the
University of Sydney. In 1991, he signed a publishing contract with G.
Schirmer (Australia), the first Australian composer to do so. He has won
numerous prizes for composition including First Prize in the 1981 Townsville
Pacific Festival’s National Composition Competition; the Albert Maggs
Award; two APRA Music Awards; First Prize in the Hambacher Preis in
Germany; and in 1994 he received the Paul Lowin Song Cycle Award. His
music has been performed at many international festivals in England,
Germany, Japan, Hong Kong, Norway, Korea, and in Australia and further
performances in New Zealand, Canada, Russia, Sweden, Spain and China.
His orchestral music has been performed by all of the major orchestras in
Australia as well as orchestras in Japan, England, Germany, Russia,
Moldova, Ulster, and Finland.


Brenton has written five symphonies, concertos for tuba, piano and
saxophone, several orchestral works, four string quartets and much
chamber, choral and solo music; also several major brass band pieces such
as Winds of Change, which was commissioned, by the Yorkshire Building
Society Brass Band and premiered at the 2000 European Brass Band
Championships in Birmingham, and Gates of Day, premiered at the 2001
Melbourne International Festival. In 1988-89, he was the Melbourne
Symphony Orchestra’s Inaugural Composer In Residence and in 1997 he
received the Jean Bogan Prize; in 1998, the Michelle Morrow Memorial
Award and an Explorations Opera Project grant. In 1998, he also spent
three months in Italy on fellowships awarded by the Civitella Ranieri
Foundation and a Bellagio Award from the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1999,
he received the prestigious Don Banks Award for his outstanding contribution
to Australian Music, and his five symphonies were released on the Etcetera
label in 2000. In 2004, Torre di Forza was the test piece at the Sydney
International Piano Competition and ABC Classics released a CD of his
orchestral works with Ola Rudner conducting the Tasmanian Symphony
Orchestra in December 2005. His chamber opera based on Ray Bradbury’s
Fahrenheit 451 was performed in Bonn, Germany in April 2006.


He is currently a Vice Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Melbourne.
This piece is a musical hall of mirrors! A hall of mirrors is a traditional
attraction at fun fairs, carnivals and amusement parks. The basic concept
behind a hall of mirrors is to be a maze-like puzzle, but in addition to
confounding the spatial senses with a labyrinth element, the visual senses
are also confounded by the construction of the walls of the maze of optically
reflective material, most often glass mirrors. Sometimes each mirror may be
distorted into different curved, convex or concave shapes to give the
participants unusual and confusing reflections of themselves. The original
hall of mirrors was in the Palace of Versailles. This piece was written during
my Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship at the University of Melbourne.


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