Biography

I have always hoped to be able to give back to others at least a minimum part of the joy I have received.

Defined as “a brilliant Italian composer with a meticulous sense of orchestral colour and appealingly lyric gifts”, Elisabetta Brusa is a pioneer of a growing number of modern composers who have elected to write music in a tonal style that communicates with the public, while avoiding some of the clichés that so often lie in wait. Her idiom is always fresh and her music covers a wide range of expressions.

The third volume of orchestral works released in March 2015 on the Naxos label features her Symphony No. 1 and Merlin – Symphonic Poem, performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Daniele Rustioni.

The first two volumes of her orchestral works were recorded and released in 2002 also on the Naxos label with 11 works for small and large orchestra performed by the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Fabio Mastrangelo. Both CDs were received with glowing reviews [When so much “new” music is merely a collection of scrapes and blasts or a series of computer generated shrieks and blips, it is a completely refreshing surprise to come across a composer who can write for an orchestra with an original voice that is worth hearing. Such a voice is that of Italian born Elisabetta Brusa. Educated in Milan, London and the United States, Ms. Brusa is an inspired composer who has found some interesting things to say through the medium of the traditional orchestra.http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2002/Nov02/Brusa1.htm]

She has had numerous commissions and her compositions have been performed in various cities in Italy, the United States, Great Britain, Russia, Canada, Austria, Ukraine, Czecoslovakia, Korea and Albania with orchestras such as the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Gera-Altenburg Philharmonisches, the Boris Brott Festival Orchestra, the Virtuosi of Toronto, the Radio and TV Symphony Orchestra of Tirana, the London Chamber Symphony, the New England Philharmonic of Boston, the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Alea III Ensemble of Boston, the Contemporary Music Forum of Washington D.C., the Women’s Philharmonic of San Francisco, the Frauen Kammerorchester von Osterreich of Vienna, the Pomeriggi Musicali Orchestra of Milan, I Solisti Veneti and many other chamber orchestras, ensembles and soloists.Her music has been broadcast and televised in Italy, the Vatican, Great Britain, Canada, most radios in the States, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Australia and Hong Kong.

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1954, Elisabetta started composing at the very young age of 5 and created over 30 piano pieces as well as a string quartet before starting Composition studies at the Music Conservatory in Milan under the guidance of Bruno Bettinelli and graduating in 1980 with Azio Corghi. From 1976 to 1985, she also frequently travelled to the UK to be mentored by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies in Dartington and Hans Keller in London. Among the numerous awards she obtained are the 1st prize of “The Washington International Competition for Composition for String Quartet” with her “Belsize” String Quartet in 1982, and the “Fromm Foundation Fellowship” and a “Fulbright scholarship” in 1983, which allowed her to attend Composition courses held by Hans Werner Henze and Gunther Schuller at Tanglewood (US). From 1988 to 1990, she was awarded Fellowships from the MacDowell Colony (US) for artistic residencies to work on her first “Symphony” for large orchestra and other works.

Elisabetta Brusa is a full time member of the faculty at the G. Verdi Music Conservatory in Milan, where she has taught Composition since 1985. Since 2002, she also holds courses of Traditional Orchestration.
Her works can also be heard on Youtube and Spotify.
Elisabetta Brusa is married to the conductor Gilberto Serembe (www.gilbertoserembe.it).