Sophia Brous is an interdisciplinary artist and performer based in New York and Melbourne, Australia. A musician, performance-maker, devising artist and curator, she creates new contemporary performance working with artists, festivals, concert houses and major events internationally.
Brous is current resident artist of the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) New York, and former artist-in-resident of National Sawdust, The Watermill Center and Red Bull Studios New York. She is a Curator at Large of Brooklyn arts institution Pioneer Works New York, and ongoing Artistic Associate of the Arts Centre Melbourne, where she created Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic in 2015. Brous was 2019 and 2016 finalist of the Melbourne Prize for Music, and recipient of the World Tour Scholarship from the Berklee College of Music.
Brous’ practice draws on far-reaching interests in devised performance and collaboration. She works with artists across music, film, theatre, dance and contemporary performance to create new commissioned work for stage, screen, concert hall and public space.
In 2021-22, Brous created two new major commissioned works – contemporary performance for public space The Invisible Opera (Singapore International Festival, RISING, BAM new work in-residence) and Mount Analogue – A Provisionally Utopian Live Performance Event (world premiere, Oslo Opera House Sept 2022)
Other recent projects include large-scale concert installation Dream Machine for Red Bull Music Festival/Pioneer Works New York (featuring Iggy Pop, Master Musicians of Jajouka; Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Zeena Parkins, Greg Fox); When The World’s On Fire for The Kennedy Centre Washington (with Marc Ribot, Shahzad Ismaily); the world premiere of Ursula K Le Guin’s Music and Poetry of the Kesh for RVNG International (with Okwui Okpokwasili); song cycle Lullaby Movement for Sydney Festival, Operadagen Rotterdam (with Leo Abrahams and David Coulter); and ongoing New York large ensemble collective EXO-TECH – which Brous founded in 2016 with New Zealand pop innovator Kimbra, with collaborators including David Byrne, Moses Sumney, Questlove, Yuka Honda, Sean Lennon, Tyondai Braxton and many others.
As a performer and vocalist, Brous has appeared in productions for The Barbican, Southbank Centre, BAM, The Kennedy Center, Paris Philharmonie, All Tomorrow’s Parties, DOCUMENTA, Pioneer Works, Oslo Opera House, Sydney Opera House, Arts Centre Melbourne and Dark MOFO.
Noted productions include The Barbican’s In Dreams: David Lynch Revisited (directed by David Coulter); The Arthur Russell Retrospective (BAM); The Southbank Centre’s 200 Motels by Frank Zappa with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Marina Abramovic’s Private Archaeologies (MONA/Dark MOFO); Anthony McAll’s Solid Light Works (Pioneer Works) and motion pictures including Mary Magdalene (2018); Judy and Punch (2019) and The Invisible Mountain (2021).
Brous has collaborated with artists across film, theatre and dance including Faye Driscoll, Marina Abramovic, Okwui Okpokwasili, Lara Thoms, Samara Hersch, Gideon Obarzanek, Ben Russell, Nicolas Becker, Garth Davis and Makino Takashi.
Alongside her creative projects, Brous is a recognised curator and festival director, and was the Program Director of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival at the age of 22, Curator of Music of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts and founder and curator of Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic at the Arts Centre Melbourne. She was a presenter on 3RRR Radio Melbourne, and studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston and Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.