Stacey Brown, composer

Born in Kamloops BC, Canadian composer Stacey Brown has lived and worked in Montreal since 2002. In a country where Francophones and Anglophones call themselves the two solitudes, Stacey expresses her interest in language in all its forms by choosing to live bilingually, as much in her creative work as in her teaching and her daily life.

What emerges from this, and stands out in her approach to artistic collaboration and interdisciplinarity, is her curiosity for how different perspectives and the ideas of others can enrich the creative process. She brings this inquisitiveness to her composition projects, which have included writing two operas in close partnership with their respective librettists, working jointly with a fellow composer to create a piece with live electronics, collaborating with a choreographer for a dance film, developing new works with commissioning performers, composing for musical theatre, and creating scores for short films, animated shorts and documentaries.

It also quickly becomes apparent that Stacey has a deep interest in all aspects of communication: the musical language of a composer and its evolution, and also language as poetic text in vocal works, as dramatic text for operatic treatment or as underlying inspiration for instrumental pieces.  An engaging speaker and author, she continually seeks to elucidate and contextualize her own artistic practice and those of her contemporaries within the framework of conferences, colloquia, in-depth articles and research groups.


Stacey Brown holds composition degrees from the University of Victoria (BMUS) and the Université de Montréal (MMUS, DMUS) and, as an adjunct professor at the Université du Québec à Montréal and École de musique Vincent-d’Indy (a specialized music college), she teaches courses covering a variety of topics in composition, theory, and analysis. Her academic journey from coast to coast has provided her with wide-reaching influences and an integrated approach to teaching music, one that favours students’ success and their understanding of musical phenomena.

An active participant in her local, regional, and national music communities, Stacey is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre, a professional member of the Canadian League of Composers, and Treasurer of the National Board of Directors of the Canadian New Music Network. She has also previously collaborated in various roles with a number of organizations including Codes d’accès, Western Canada Theatre, Phoenix Theatres, and the Canadian University Music Society (MusCan).

With her opera Trahisons liquides, Stacey earned her doctorate, completed with research funding from the Fonds québécois de recherche sur la société et la culture (FQRSC), and for her piece Lamentation de Rebecca, she was awarded the MusCan National Composition Prize in 2010. Her piece Five Stages of Insanity received its Montreal premiere by Ensemble Fiolûtröniq in 2012 and has continued to be performed by the ensemble in cities across Canada, including Edmonton, Vancouver, and Victoria as part of a cross-country tour.  In 2014, Ensemble Kô chose her a cappella choral work 1952 as the centerpiece for its concert season. In fact, the season’s theme “Let me go free” was drawn directly from the text (by Millicent G. Brown) of 1952, which the ensemble sang in nearly a dozen performances. Stacey has received commissions from many performers and ensembles, including the Bicycle Opera Project, VivaVoce, Ottawa New Music Creators, Ensemble Fiolûtröniq and the pianist Matthieu Fortin.

Stacey Brown’s catalogue includes solo, vocal, chamber, mixed and orchestral works, as well as music for dance, theatre and film, and, of course, opera. She is currently collaborating with novelist and poet Bertrand Laverdure on a song cycle for counter-tenor and orchestra to be premiered in 2015 by Daniel Cabena and the Orchestre de la Francophonie under the direction of Jean-Philippe Tremblay. She is also preparing a three-movement work for soprano, baritone, and quintet to be premiered in 2016 by Sarah Albu, Vincent Ranallo and Ensemble Paramirabo.

[January 2015]

(Author: M. Rhéaume; translated by S. Brown)