Colin Brumby

Australian composer and conductor Colin Brumby was born on 18 June 1933 in Melbourne, where he studied at the Conservatorium of Music. After teaching in schools for a while, he went to Europe on a Spanish Government scholarship and studied with Philipp Jarnach in Santiago de Compostela. On the advice of Australian guitarist John Williams, he then studied with Alexander Goehr in London (where he also worked as head of music at Greenford Grammar School) and (later in his career) studied with Franco Evangelisti in Rome.

From 1968 until 1971 he was music director of the Queensland Opera Company, conducting various first Australian performances, and writing a series of children's operettas.

His other compositions include Fibonacci Variations (1963), A Ballade for St Cecilia (1969) and The Phoenix and the Turtle (1974).

His early works were atonal, but he later declared that atonal music was 'an attempt to raise gibberish to an art form' and returned to writing tonal music.

Colin Brumby spent most of his life in Brisbane, joining the Music Department staff at Queensland University, later becoming Associate Professor, retiring in 1998 and dying there on 3 January 2018, aged eighty-four.