Short BiographyBorn in Stamford, Connecticut in 1970, composer David Bruce grew up in England and now enjoys a growing reputation on both sides of the Atlantic. In the 2013/14 season David was Associate Composer of the San Diego Symphony, for whom he wrote three pieces, including Night Parade for the orchestra's highly successful Carnegie Hall debut in October 2013; and the violin concerto Fragile Light for Gil Shaham for 2014. His fourth Carnegie Hall commission That Time with You (2013) for mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor follows Steampunk (2011), Gumboots (2008) and Piosenki (2006), which have all gone on to be widely performed by leading ensembles around the world. In the UK, David was 2012-13 Composer-in-Residence with the Royal Opera House, London and his new large-scale opera 'Nothing' (after the book by Janne Teller) co-commissioned by Glyndebourne and ROH, premieres in Glyndebourne in February 2016. Bruce's chamber opera The Firework Maker's Daughter (after the Philip Pullman story) toured the UK and New York in 2013 and was shortlisted for both the British Composer Awards, and the 2014 Olivier Awards for Best New Opera Production. It returns to the ROH Lindbury Studios for a 27-performance run in December 2015. In 2012 David's Fire was one of 20 '20x12' commissions celebrating the Cultural Olympiad.
Long BiographyBorn in Stamford, Connecticut in 1970, David Bruce grew up in England and now enjoys a growing reputation on both sides of the Atlantic. Bruce's music draws on the wild dances and heart-felt laments of gypsy music, flamenco, klezmer and other folk traditions, as well as having a direct connection to composers like Stravinsky, Janacek, Berio and Bartok who shared similar passions. Often witty and always colourful, pulsing with earthy rhythms, Bruce's music has a directness rarely heard in contemporary music, but also contains an emotional core of striking intimacy and sensitivity.
Since the premiere of Piosenki (2006) in Carnegie Hall, Bruce's career in the US has flourished. Carnegie Hall itself has been a huge supporter of Bruce's music, going on to commission Gumboots (2008), Steampunk (2011) and most recently That Time with You for mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor which premiered at the hall in October 2013. In 2009, Dawn Upshaw premiered the song-cycle The North Wind was a Woman commissioned for the gala opening of the Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center's 2009 season. For 2013-14 Bruce was Associate Composer with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra, for whom he wrote three pieces : Night Parade for the orchestra's Carnegie Hall debut in October 2013; the Violin Concerto Fragile Light for Gil Shaham ; and Cymbeline featuring mandolinist Avi Avital. Future US commissions include from Camerata Pacifica for a new work featuring renowned oboist Nicholas Daniel.
In the UK, recent commissions include Prince Zal and the Simorgh (2012) for the London Philharmonic Orchestra for their BrightSparks series; Fire (2012), one of 20 '20x12' commissions celebrating the Cultural Olympiad; and the chamber opera The Firework Maker's Daughter (2012) co-commissioned by The Opera Group and ROH2 which toured the UK and New York's New Victory Theatre in Spring 2013.
Other notable recent commissions include a 35 minute chamber work The Given Note (2011) for violinist Daniel Hope together with the David Orlowsky Trio and cellist Vincent Segal, co-commissioned by the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival, Germany and the Savannah Festival USA; and in 2012, Cut the Rug for Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble. Cut the Rug was recorded for the Sony Classical label and released in December 2013. The piece received it's official premiere at Carnegie Hall in October 2013 as part of the ensemble's 15th anniversary celebrations.
Bruce's love of folk music often leads him to collaborate with musicians who have strong connections with both classical and folk/world traditions, such as accordionist Michael Ward-Bergeman, mandolinist Avi Avital and clarinettist David Orlowsky. Bruce also enjoys close working relationships with some of the finest musicians of the younger generation including Ensemble ACJW; harpist Bridget Kibbey; the grammy-nominated Metropolis Ensemble in New York; Chroma in the UK; and Art of Elan in San Diego (whose recording of their 2011 commission The Eye of Night was recently released).
Bruce's work in opera has also attracted considerable attention. A series of short operas for Tete a Tete in London culminated in the Genesis Foundation commission Push! (2006) which was Critic's Choice for 2006 in both The Telegraph and Classical Music Magazine and received universal critical acclaim. In 2008, Dawn Upshaw instigated the commission for his one-act opera A Bird in Your Ear (2008) for Bard College, NY. 2013 brought Bruce's chamber opera The Firework Maker's Daughter which again received enormous acclaim with critics and audiences in the US and UK and was shortlisted for both the British Composer Awards, and the 2014 Olivier Awards for Best New Opera Production. The Firework Maker's Daughter returns to the ROH Lindbury Studios for a 27-performance run in December 2015. Bruce is currently working on 'Nothing' - a new large scale opera after the book by Janne Teller, co-commissioned by Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House, which premieres at Glyndebourne in Feb 2016
Bruce's music has attracted numerous awards and prizes, including the Lili Boulanger Memorial Prize (2008) and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Competition (1994). He studied at Nottingham University, the Royal College of Music, London, (with Tim Salter and George Benjamin); and completed a PhD in Composition at King's College, London (1995-9), under the supervision of Sir Harrison Birtwistle.
Complementing his work as a composer, Bruce runs the music and technology company Red Balloon Technology Ltd whose sites include the popular sheet music site 8notes.com and the composers' site CompositionToday.
All works are available through billholabmusic.com.
||Latest CD release|
THE SILK ROAD ENSEMBLE WITH YO-YO MA: A PLAYLIST WITHOUT BORDERS
Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Project has been on a mission to promote innovation and cross-cultural understanding through the arts for the last 15 years; the latest chapter comes with their new album, A Playlist Without Borders. The vision of Yo-Yo Ma's limitless collective is as timely as ever: to connect the world's neighborhoods by bringing together artists and audiences. From flashy surf guitar sounds to ninth century Chinese poetry, from modular playlists to Egyptian rhythms, the Silk Road Ensemble mixes the modern and the traditional, breaking boundaries of ethnicity and era. The Silk Road Ensemble with Yo-Yo Ma's A Playlist Without Borders is the groundbreaking group's fifth recording and the first since 2009's Grammy® nominated Off the Map. With A Playlist Without Borders, The Silk Road Ensemble once again demonstrates that there are no barriers for those approaching music with an open mind.
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THE MYRIAD TRIO: THE EYE OF NIGHT
The Myriad Trio launches their debut disc, featuring classic work for flute, viola, and harp. The last piece on the CD is the source of inspiration for the disc and the work that anchors the album: The Eye of Night. Commissioned and premiered by The Myriad Trio in 2010, The Eye of Night, written by the British-American composer David Bruce, highlights the very special qualities that make this instrumental combination distinctive and this unique ensemble extraordinary.
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