Sophia Brous is a cross-disciplinary artist and performance-maker based in New York and Melbourne, Australia. A musician, composer, vocalist and musical director, alongside a curator and festival director, Brous creates new commissioned performance works collaborating with artists, companies, festivals and concert houses internationally.
Brous is an ongoing resident artist at New York performing arts institution National Sawdust, and past resident artist at The Watermill Center and Red Bull Studios New York. She is current recipient of the Victorian Government Creators Fund, and finalist in the Melbourne Prize for Music, Outstanding Artist Award. She is ongoing Artistic Associate at the Arts Centre Melbourne, where she founded Supersense, a contemporary performing arts festival exploring ecstatic performance.
Brous has collaborated and conceived new performance works and projects with major companies including the Adelaide Festival of the Arts, The Barbican, Paris Philharmonie, Southbank Centre; Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Kennedy Centre, Sydney Opera House, Red Bull Music Academy New York, Funkhaus Berlin, National Sawdust, DOCUMENTA Athens, Pioneer Works, New York, The Watermill Center, Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and Greenpeace Australia Pacific.
Recent/current engagements and commissions include the celebrated song cycle Lullaby Movement with Leo Abrahams and David Coulter (National Sawdust/UTP Projects-Sydney Festival); New York large ensemble collective EXO-TECH (with Kimbra and collaborators David Byrne, Moses Sumney, Questlove, Greg Fox, Yuka Honda, Bilal, Cleek Schrey and more), Dream Machine with Dave Harrington, the Master Musicians of Jajouka, Zeena Parkins, Oliver Coates and guests (RBMA New York/Pioneer Works), When The World’s On Fire with Marc Ribot (Kennedy Centre) and new commissions in-development including contemporary opera cycle Gorgon (National Sawdust) and Healing Music: The Ecstatic Vision of Hildegaard Von Bingen (2019 premiere).
Other recent engagements include The Barbican’s world tour production In Dreams: David Lynch Revisited, Arthur Russell Retrospective at BAM; Hallucinations at DOCUMENTA 2017; Anthony McCall’s ‘Solid Light Works’ at Pioneer Works, New York, motion picture Mary Magdalene with Jaoquin Phoenix and Rooney Mara, The Southbank Centre’s 200 Motels (Frank Zappa) with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Marina Abramovic’s Private Archaeology for the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) and Mick Harvey’s Serge Gainsbourg reimagining Intoxicated Man (Mute).
Alongside her own performance projects, Brous is a recognized artistic director and curator and emerged as one of Australia’s youngest arts leaders at 22 as Program Director of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival (2008-2012) and Curator of Music at the Adelaide Festival of the Arts (2010-2012), during which time she invited many distinguished artists to Australia for the first time in new and devised collaborations. In 2015 Brous founded Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic at the Arts Center Melbourne, exploring intersecting states of ecstatic performance across music, dance, theatre, film and live art. Sophia was a broadcaster on much-loved Melbourne radio station Triple R where she presented the weekly show Dance Cadaverous and presents on The Lot Radio, Brooklyn.
Sophia studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston and Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.
“… a power house” – The Australian
“… a revelation” – The Observer (UK)
“… a prodigious chanteuse” – Rolling Stone