Elisabetta Brusa

Elisabetta Brusa

b. 1954



Defined as “a brilliant Anglo/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 fourth volume of orchestral works released in December 2020 on the Naxos label and features her Symphony No. 2 and Simply Largo performed by the Ulster Orchestra conducted by Daniele Rustioni.

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. Learn More]

She has had numerous commissions and her compositions have been performed in various cities in Great Britain, Italy, the United States, Russia, Canada, Austria, Sweden, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Korea and Albania with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine, the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra, the St. Petersburg Camerata State Hermitage Orchestra, the CBC Vancouver Orchestra, the Gera-Altenburg Philharmonisches, the Aachener Kammerorchester, 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 Great Britain, Italy, most radios in the United States, the Vatican, Canada, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, Hong Kong etc.

Born in Milan, Italy, in 1954 and naturalised British in February 2018, 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 traveled 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 was a full-time member of the faculty at the G. Verdi Music Conservatory in Milan, where she taught Composition and Orchestration from 1985 to 2018. Previously, she had taught at the conservatories of Vicenza, Mantova and Brescia.

Her works can also be heard on Youtube and Spotify.

Elisabetta Brusa is married to the conductor Gilberto Serembe.