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Ausrine Stundyte as Cio-Cio-San, Elizabeth Janes as Butterfly’s child and Sarah Larsen as Suzuki in Seattle Opera's production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly. Photo by Elise Bakketun.
North American Works Directory Listing
Airline Icarus
Brian Current
A 2005 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the 2003 Barlow Prize, Brian Current has established himself as one of North America 's leading young composers. His music, lauded and performed internationally as well as broadcast in over 35 countries, is renowned for its energy, wit and daring bravado. Raised in Ottawa , Brian Current studied music at McGill University in Montreal with Bengt Hambreaus and John Rea. He later completed his Ph.D. in composition on full fellowship from the University of California at Berkeley in 2002, where he was also active as a conductor. He has since been featured conducting with New Music Concerts, Soundstreams, CBC’s In Performance and the Esprit Orchestra’s New Waves Festival. Recently, the Royal Conservatory of Music appointed Brian conductor and artistic director of its New Music Ensemble. Brian Current’s music has been performed across North America and abroad by the Esprit Orchestra, the American Composers Orchestra (Carnegie Hall), the Oakland Symphony, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Warsaw National Philharmonic, the CBC Radio Orchestra, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Monday Evening Concerts ( Los Angeles ) and others. Upcoming performances are scheduled by the VOX festival of the New York City Opera, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Vancouver Symphony, the Victoria Symphony and a Koussevitsky commission for Symphony Nova Scotia . In 2001, Brian won the Grand Prize in the CBC National Competition for Young Composers for his piece For the Time Being, which then went on to win Selected Work (under 30) at the International Rostrum of Composers in Paris. In 2002 it opened the inaugural concert of the Warsaw Autumn Festival, conducted by Antoni Wit. Brian Current has received fellowships from Yaddo, MacDowell and Bogliasco and is a recipient of grants and awards from numerous foundations and arts councils. He lives in Toronto .
Anton Piatigorsky
Anton Piatigorsky’s plays include Eternal Hydra, which premiered at the Stratford Festival’s Studio Theatre in 2002, The Kabbalistic Psychoanalysis of Adam R. Tzaddik, The Offering, Mysterium Tremendum, Easy Lenny Lazmon and the Great Western Ascension and the libretto for composer Brian Current’s Airline Icarus. Three of his plays were nominated for Dora Mavor Moore and Floyd Chalmers awards. Easy Lenny Lazmon won four Dora awards in 1999. John Mighton chose Anton Piatigorsky as his protégé after winning the Siminovitch prize in 2005. Anton Piatigorsky is presently working on The Duke of Windsor, a play commissioned by the Stratford Festival, and a novel.
February 01, 2003
Soundstreams Canada
Airline Icarus, by the composer Brian Current and the librettist Anton Piatigorsky, is a chamber opera about thoughts, fears and attractions among a group of passengers aboard an airplane that, as in the myth of Icarus, flies too close to the sun. Turbulence during the flight is linked to emotional turbulence within the characters through punchy, swirling and gratingly astringent music.
The Opera Fund Awardee Information
2003 Canadian Opera Creation Fund Partnership
Soundstreams Canada
John Guilian
2005 Canadian Opera Creation Fund Development
Soundstreams Canada
Heather Davies
Les Dala

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