Dirk Brossé, born in Ghent, Belgium, 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 Filmfestival Ghent and Music Director and Principal Conductor of the ‘Star Wars in Concert World Tour’.
Recent achievements include an Emmy Award nomination for his score to HBO/ BBC’s television series ‘Parade’s End’ and being awarded the honour of Knight in the Order of the Crown in Belgium.
Dirk began his music studies at the Music Conservatories of Ghent and Brussels. He subsequently specialised in conducting, which he studied in Maastricht, Vienna and Cologne. Alongside his many guest professorships, he is currently Professor of Composition and Conducting at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Ghent.
Dirk has conducted all the leading Belgian orchestras, among them, the Brussels Philharmonic, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, the 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 Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra, the Ulster Symphony Orchestra of Northern Ireland, the Camerata St Petersburg, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Orchestras of Venezuela and Ecuador.
Dirk is also a versatile and prolific composer. He has written some 200 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. His most important 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’.
In 2010, at the request of the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra, he wrote ‘The Hallow-e’en Dances’. This Halloween-inspired work is specially written for age-old, traditional Chinese instruments.
Besides this, on numerous occasions Dirk has composed for the theatre and the cinema. His best-known soundtracks are ‘Koko Flanel’, ‘Licht’, Stijn Coninx’s ‘de Kavijaks’ and ‘Daens’ (Academy Award Nominee, 1993), Marian Handwerker’s ‘Marie’, Martin Koolhoven’s ‘Knetter’, and Jaques Feyder’s 1925 silent film ‘Visages d’Enfants’. He wrote the scores for the musicals ‘Sacco & Vanzetti’, ‘The Prince of Africa’, ‘Tintin – The Temple of the Sun’ (based on Hergé’s world-famous cartoon character Tintin), ‘Rembrandt, the Musical’, and ‘Musical Daens’, each time in close collaboration with Frank Van Laecke.
In 2007 Dirk 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 such renowned actors as Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh.
Dirk has made more than 60 CD recordings and has conducted in numerous world-famous concert halls, such as the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Royal Festival Hall, the Barbican Centre and the Royal Albert Hall in London, 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 artistes such as José Van Dam, Philip Webb, Barbara Hendricks, Claron McFadden, Julia Migenes, Derek Lee Ragin, Sabine Meyer, Julian Lloyd Webber, Daniel Blumenthal, Salvatore Accardo and, on a broader musical platform, 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 was awarded the title “Cultural Ambassador of Flanders”. He has received numerous prizes, among them, the Flemish Government’s ‘Gouden Erepenning’ award for merit and the prestigious Achiel Van Acker Award. He is an Advisory Board Member of the independent think tank ‘Itinera Institute’. Since 2010 Dirk has been a Freeman of the town of Destelbergen.
Dirk most recently completed the score to Roland Joffe’s feature film The Lovers.