Press & Awards

Brian Harman’s En Masse (2013) for ensemble, also a commissioned première of New Music Concerts, had the most interesting instrumentation, because it included a saxophone (Wallace Halliday). The sax opened Harman’s celebration of ritual and ceremonies in music with some lovely blue tones expanded by gongs, thinned into the sigh of strings that move in soothing undulations. Later energized by flute and reeds, pierced by percussion, the music gets stretched in elastic riffs, while bass and cellos groan, reeds intone, then finish is a silent hiss.

Canadian Music Then and Now, by Stanley Fefferman
February 6, 2013

I was happy to leave Redpath Hall with the rare sensation of having heard the world premiere of something that I want to hear again. Many new pieces profess to replicate architecture, but Three Rooms and a Lobby by Montreal-born Brian Harman actually delivers, by creating its own sonic environment through a kind of trompe l’oreille and fully exploiting the special beauty of choral dissonance. This music sounded three-dimensional, maybe four-dimensional in view of the festival theme. I forgot to look at my watch, so I am not sure how long it was. A good sign!

MusiMarch Madness, by Arthur Kaptainis
March 3, 2009
Words & Music

Brian Harman’s Gregarious Machines was meant to reflect on the effects of computer-based gadgets on human interactions. But microchips in themselves make no sound, which may be why Harman’s score mimicked an earlier age’s anxiety about technology. … He made good use of textural contrasts, and especially of long pneumatic rhythms that gusted through skillful combinations of instruments.

An Exuberant Adventure into Turmoil, by Robert Everett Green
November 3, 2008
The Globe and Mail

Le pièce de 16 minutes [de Brian Harman] se déploie sur plusieurs plans et sur une dynamique extrêmement étendue, depuis des sifflements terriblement perçants jusqu’à des agrégats à peine audibles.

Pour Boulez: 127 Musiciens et 127 Auditeurs, by Claude Gingras
March 5, 2011
La Presse

Composition Awards

  • Finalist, Royal Conservatory of Music 21C video contest, 2014
  • Featured Composer, SOUNDLAB Podcast Series, 2013
  • Recipient, Sir Ernest MacMillan Award, SOCAN Foundation, Supposed Spaces for orchestra, 2012
  • Recipient, Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council Commissioning Grants, with various ensembles
  • Selected, International Society of Contemporary Music 2013 Canadian Submission, Supposed Spaces for orchestra
  • Honourable Mention, Canadian League of Composers 60th Anniversary Composition Prize, 2011
  • Winner, ISCM – Wiener Jeunesse Kammerchor Composition Competition, 2011
  • Finalist, Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra Composition Competition, 2009
  • Selected Participant, Génération 2008 Touring Project, Ensemble Contemporain de Montréal+, 2007
  • Serge Garant Composition Award, SOCAN Foundation, 2007
  • Finalist, Toronto Symphony Orchestra New Creations Competition, 2004

Other Awards & Achievements

  • Elected President, Canadian League of Composers, 2014
  • Participant, Impuls Academy for Contemporary Music, Graz, Austria, 2013
  • Councillor for Ontario Region, Canadian League of Composers, 2013
  • Composer Outreach Residencies, SOCAN Foundation, 2007, 2011 and 2013
  • Member of Creative Team and Conference Participant, NuNord Northern New Music Encounters, 2012
  • Composer-in-Residence, Portmantô Musique de Chambre, 2010-2012
  • Associate Composer, Canadian Music Centre, 2009
  • Participant, Domaine Forget Rencontres de Nouvelle Musique, 2007
  • Participant, National Arts Centre Composers Program, 2006

Academic & Teaching

  • Article “Musical Robots and the Serbian Kolo: A Narrative Analysis of Ana Sokolovic’s Géométrie Sentimentale” published in the music journal Circuit‘s Cahier d’analyse, 2013
  • Presenter, University of Toronto Music Symposium, “Architecture and Revelry as Metaphors in a Spatial Approach to Music Composition”, 2012
  • Composer Clinician, CMC & Conservatory Canada Workshop, Orillia, 2012
  • Guest Artist and Lecturer, Montreal Contemporary Music Lab, 2012
  • Director, New Music / New Minds Contemporary Music Workshop, Ottawa, 2008-2010
  • Lecturer and Teaching Assistant, Composition, Education and Music Theory, McGill University, 2005-2007
  • Research Grant for Doctoral Studies, FQRSC, 2007
  • Classical Music grant for Doctoral Studies, Canada Council for the Arts, 2007

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