This year, multiples of twenty play a major role in the life of our music director Dirk Brossé: not only can he blow out 60 candles on 18 February, but it is also the 40th year of his thriving career. On top of that, he will celebrate the 20th edition of the World Soundtrack Awards, which he will be conducting again in 2020.
The twentieth anniversary edition of the World Soundtrack Awards – on 24 October 2020 in Capitole Gent – harmonises with the numbers conductor and composer Dirk Brossé can flaunt in 2020. Dirk Brossé, ‘Dirk knight Brossé’ in full, turns sixty on 18 February and also celebrates a career in music spanning 40 years. So he definitely collects multiples of twenty in 2020. Would you like some more examples? The music director of Film Fest Gent and the World Soundtrack Awards has composed no fewer than 400 works and recorded 100 albums. If the affix ‘top’ hadn’t become so meaningless, we would call him a ‘top conductor’, which he of course is.
Just ask the members of the London Symphony Orchestra. When Dirk Brossé replaced John Williams, who was ill at the time, for ‘A Celebration of John Williams’ at the Royal Albert Hall in London, he received applause from the orchestra after the concert.
On his birthday Brossé will undoubtedly think about John Williams more than once, because he has also toured around the world with ‘Star Wars: A Musical Journey’. On that occasion, the composer of countless successful films called Brossé his ‘buddy from Belgium’.
In addition to John Williams, Dirk Brossé also boasts Hans Zimmer, Jessye Norman, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, John Malkovich, Julia Jimenes, Sinead O’Connor and Maurice Jarre with whom he collaborated, among his international ‘artistic fellows’.
Closer to home, we find names like Herman Van Rompuy, whose haiku verses he set to music, Stijn Coninx, Frank Van Laecke and others.
The London Symphony Orchestra is just one of the renowned orchestras that Dirk Brossé has had the privilege to work with. The list is impressive and includes the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic; the Philharmonic orchestras of Brussels, Antwerp, Basel, Birmingham, Los Angeles, Boston, St. Petersburg, Shanghai and Seoul. In recent years, he was also music director of the prestigious Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia.
The compositions of Dirk Brossé cover many genres and range from concerti, oratorios, songs, chamber music to symphonic music. He has composed for film, theatre, musical and television. His score for the British BBC / HBO series “Parade’s End" was nominated for an Emmy Award.
On the occasion of his birthday, he mentions his ambitions regarding classical music in a press release. We quote: “All too often classical music is reproached for being elitist or inaccessible. My ambition has always been to make music, to give performances or concerts that are accessible to everyone." In this and in many other things he calls himself an "inventive entrepreneur".
Dirk Brossé, who started out as a trumpet player, has no intention of taking it easy. "I want this musical flame to continue to burn fiercely," he says, and to this end he gladly gets his partner Claire Tillekaerts involved too, who is chair of the board of directors of Film Fest Gent, because "without her, my life and career would have been very different".
Anniversary edition WSA2020
The celebratory year of Dirk Brossé is marked with an album, ‘Brussels Philharmonic plays Dirk Brossé’, a recital in Carnegie Hall in New York on 1 April, gala concerts in Destelbergen (10 - 11 June), BOZAR in Brussels (5 November) and De Bijloke in Ghent (12 November). The musical department of the Koninklijk Conservatorium Brussel will be performing the musical ‘Sacco & Vanzetti’ on 8, 9 and 10 May, and there are three ‘Brossé Songbook’ recitals as part of the Festival van Vlaanderen Gent. The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia takes over the torch in 2021 with a gala concert at the Kimmel Center of Performing Arts in Philadelphia.