Dirk Brossé, Music Director
Sir Dirk Brossé, born in Ghent, Belgium in 1960, is a multi-faceted composer and a respected conductor on the international music scene. He is currently Music Director of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Music Director of the Film Festival Ghent and Music Director and principal conductor of the Star Wars In Concert World Tour.
Brossé began his music studies at the Music Conservatories of Ghent. He subsequently specialized in conducting, which he studied in Maastricht, Vienna and Cologne. He is currently Professor of Composition and Conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Ghent. Dirk Brossé has conducted all the leading Belgian orchestras, among them, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, Orchestra of the Flemish Opera and the National Orchestra of Belgium. Outside his native Belgium, he has conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, the London Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra London, l’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Shanghai, the Vancouver Opera, the KBS Symphony Orchestra of South Korea, l’ Orchestra de l’Opéra de Lyon, the World Symphony Orchestra (Japan), the Ulster Symphony Orchestra of Northern Ireland, the Liverpool Philharmonic, the RTE Orchestra Dublin, the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Porto Philharmonic, the Queensland Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the Camerata St. Petersburg, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Noord Nederlands Orkest, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Orchestras of Venezuela and Ecuador.
Dirk Brossé is a versatile and prolific composer. He has written over 400 works, including concerti, oratorios, lieder, chamber music and symphonic works that have been performed all over the world and have been recorded in more than 40 countries. Among his most performed works are La Soledad de América Latina, written in collaboration with the Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garcia Marquez; Artesia, a universal symphony for orchestra and ethnic instruments, the ethno-classical symphony The Birth of Music; the oratorio Juanelo; the lieder cycles Landuyt Cycle and La vida es un Sueño, the War Concerto for clarinet and orchestra; and the violin concertos Black, White & Between, Sophia and Echoes of Silent Voices.
He has also composed extensively for cinema, television and stage. His film soundtracks include Boerenpsalm, Daens (Academy Award Nominee, 1993), Koko Flanel, Back to Utopia, Licht, Stijn Coninx’s de Kavijaks, Marian Handwerker’s Marie, Martin Koolhoven’s Knetter, Roland Joffé’s The Lovers, Jaques Feyder’s 1925 silent film Visages d’Enfants, and Knielen op een bed violen (Golden Calf Nominee, 2016). His score for the BBC/HBO series Parade’s End starring Benedict Cumberbatch was nominated for an Emmy Award. He wrote the scores for the musicals Sacco & Vanzetti, Ben X, The Prince of Africa, Tintin — The Temple of the Sun (based on Hergé’s world-famous cartoon character Tintin), Rembrandt the Musical, 14-18 the musical, Pauline & Paulette and Musical Daens — each time in close collaboration with stage director Frank Van Laecke.
In 2007, Dirk Brossé made his debut in the Royal Albert Hall, conducting the London Symphony Orchestra in A Night of Music from the Movies, featuring the music of Patrick Doyle, with guest appearances by renowned actors Emma Thompson, Sir Derek Jacobi, and Kenneth Branagh.
In 2010, at the request of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, he wrote The Hallow-e’en Dances. This Halloween-inspired work was especially written for traditional Chinese instruments. He recently composed Haiku Cycle 1, for Jessye Norman and based on Haiku by Herman Van Rompuy, former President of the European Union.
In 2016, he made his debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York, conducting his violin concerto Black, White & In Between with the Chamber Orchestra of New York.
Dirk Brossé has made more than 80 CD recordings and has conducted in numerous world-famous concert halls, such as the Concertgebouw Amsterdam, the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican Centre, the Royal Albert Hall in London, Opera La Monnaie in Brussels, the Victoria Hall in Geneva, the Seoul Arts Center, the Tokyo Forum, and the Concert Hall Shanghai. He has collaborated with world-class artists such as José Van Dam, Philip Webb, Barbara Hendricks, Claron McFadden, Julia Migenes, Derek Lee Ragin, Sabine Meyer, Julian Lloyd Webber, Daniel Blumenthal, and Salvatore Accardo. On a broader musical platform, he has performed with John Williams, Toots Thielemans, Hans Zimmer, Elmer Bernstein, Emma Thompson, Kenneth Branagh, Randy Crawford, Lisa Gerrard, Mel Brooks, Maurane, Sinead O’ Connor, Viktor Lazlo, Maurice Jarre, and Youssou N’Dour.
Dirk Brossé has been awarded the title Cultural Ambassador of Flanders, the Flemish Parliament’s Gold Medal for Merit, the Achille Van Acker Prize, the Joseph Plateau Honorary Award, and the Global Thinkers Forum Award for Excellence in Cultural Creativity. In 2010, Dirk Brossé was made an honorary citizen of Destelbergen. In 2013, he was elevated to Belgium’s hereditary nobility, with the personal title of Sir. In late 2010, EMI Classics released the 6 CD Box-Set Dirk Brossé, A Portrait in Music. The documentary Brossé, a destiny in Music by Jacques Servaes received international acclaim. Since 2016, Dirk Brossé is a member of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts.