Margaret Brandman


In a career of over 45 years, Margaret Brandman has composed a variety of music in various genres ranging from orchestral and chamber works to works for choir, solo voice and solo piano. Recent productions include the two internationally acclaimed CD’s of Brandman works produced by Parma Recordings USA: SENSATIONS – works for orchestral and chamber ensembles recorded by the Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra in the Czech republic (2015) and the compilation CD ABRAZO which includes Warm Winds in Havana, a four-movement suite for saxophone quartet and percussion, also recorded in 2015 by Cuban Musicians. As composer and concert pianist Brandman has performed many of her works in several concerts in the past years. In 2012, she performed her works in Oxford, England for the World Forum concert. In 2013 and 2014, a cast of twelve musicians and singers performed exclusively Brandman works at her Rhapsodies to Rhumbas concerts at concert venues in Penrith and Chatswood. In September 2016 at a concert at Sydney Conservatorium of Music, her newly composed songs for voice and piano, including Lady of Grace, The Baragoola Sails to Manly, and the major work the Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac – song cycle of 12 songs – were premiered by Baritone Martin Cooke, of the Bavarian State Opera company in association with the composer on piano. The DVD of the songs performed at this concert is now available from her website. (MMP 8101) Two radio broadcasts of these songs plus works from SENSATIONS have been prepared by Patrick Thomas for broadcast on FINE MUSIC in 2017. Cosmic Wheel of the Zodiac song cycle will be recorded in the Czech Republic by the Prague Choir and soloists in September 2017 for Parma Recordings and both the solo versions and the choral versions of the work will be performed in concert in Prague on the 14th of September 2017.

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The Eastern Spinebill and the Sulphur-Crested Cockatoos Herald a Blue Mountains Bushfire, for violin and piano.

This programmatic work is an adaption of the dramatic first movement of Brandman’s Firestorm Symphony, for violin and piano. The composition portrays the searing heat and stillness of a mid-summer day with the lonely monotone sound of the Eastern Spinebill, followed by the unfolding drama as the winds pick up the embers of the Eucalyptus trees and spread a major bushfire over vast areas of the Blue Mountains where the composer was living at the time of writing this piece. As the wind picks up, the piercing cries of the cockatoos fleeing the fires signify danger ahead. The dramatic sections in this work are contrasted with sensitive melodic sections which have a rhapsodic quality. The work was premiered by Duo Deconet at Margaret Brandman’s ‘Rhapsodies to Rhumbas Concert, at the Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre in Penrith in 2013.

Featured in Spotify Waves – February 2017 (01/02/2017)