A Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Barlow Prize for Orchestral Music, Brian Current has been repeatedly recognized as one of the leading composers of his generation in North America. His music, lauded and performed internationally as well as broadcast in over 35 countries, is renowned for its energy, wit and daring bravado.
Brian Current’s music has been performed across North America and abroad by the Esprit Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra (Carnegie Hall), the Oakland Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Warsaw National Philharmonic, the Vancouver Symphony, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia (Koussevitzky commission), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), the VOX festival of the New York City Opera, the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Winston Choi, the Honens International Piano Competition, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and others.
Raised in Ottawa, Brian Current studied music at McGill University in Montreal with Bengt Hambreaus and John Rea. He later completed his Ph.D. in composition on full fellowship from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he was also active as a conductor. He has since been featured conducting with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Windsor Symphony, the Thunder Bay Symphony, New Music Concerts, the Kensington Symphonietta, Soundstreams, CBC’s On Stage, as well as with the Esprit Orchestra’s New Waves Festival. Since 2006, Brian Current has been the artistic director and conductor of the Royal Conservatory of Music’s New Music Ensemble, which performs several concerts per year of international contemporary works.
As the winner of the 2011 Fedora Prize in International Chamber Opera, Brian Current will conduct his chamber opera Airline Icarus, in a fully staged production in April of 2011 in Verbania, Italy.
In October of 2009, Brian Current was the artistic director of Nuit Blanche at the Royal Conservatory in Toronto. In celebration of the opening of the new Koerner Hall, Brian directed over 200 musicians, singers, staff, volunteers and electronics in a 12-hour installation of James Tenney’s In a Large Open Space which spanned the entire building. An estimated 15 000 people attended throughout the night.
In 2001, Brian won the Grand Prize in the CBC National Competition for Young Composers for his piece For the Time Being, which then went on to win Selected Work (under 30) at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. In 2002 it opened the inaugural concert of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, conducted by Antoni Wit. Recently Brian Current’s new disc This Isn’t Silence: Works for Symphony Orchestra, was nominated for a Juno Award, and featured Current conducting in a first-ever CBC broadcast of Classical Juno nominees.
Brian Current has received residencies from Yaddo, MacDowell, JUSFC (Kyoto, Japan) and Bogliasco (Italy) and is the recipient of the assistance of numerous foundations and arts councils. He lives in Toronto and is on the board of directors of the Toronto Arts Council, the Canadian League of Composers and New Music Concerts.