Sophia Brous is a cross-disciplinary performance-maker based in New York and Melbourne, Australia. An artist of diverse interests, she is a musician, vocalist, performer, musical director, writer, curator and festival director. She creates and performs in new commissioned and collaborative works for festivals, concert houses and major events internationally.
Brous was 2016-2018 artist-in-resident of National Sawdust, New York and former resident artist of Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center and the Red Bull Studios New York. She is ongoing Artistic Associate at the Arts Centre Melbourne where she founded Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic and is the recipient of a range of prizes including the Victorian Government Creators Fund and is recent finalist of the Outstanding Artist Award, Melbourne Prize for Music.
Recent commissioned works and productions include the large-scale live concert installation Dream Machine for Pioneer Works and the Red Bull Music Festival New York with guests Iggy Pop, Master Musicians of Jajouka and Genesis Breyer P-Orridge; When The World’s On Fire with Marc Ribot for The Kennedy Centre Washington DC/Direct Current Festival; Ursula K Le Guin’s Music and Poetry of the Kesh for RVNG International; song cycle Lullaby Movement with Leo Abrahams and David Coulter (UTProjects/Sydney Festival), and the all-star New York large ensemble collective EXO-TECH, created by Brous and pop innovator Kimbra, featuring a revolving cast of some of New York’s most respected musical luminaries including David Byrne, Yuka Honda, Dave Harrington, Moses Sumney, Questlove, Colin Stetson, Caroline Polachek, Mauro Refosco and many more.
Brous has been a feature performer in productions for The Barbican, Southbank Centre, Paris Philharmonie, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Operadagen Rotterdam, The Kennedy Center for the Arts, Sydney Opera House, National Sawdust, DOCUMENTA, Pioneer Works, FORM, Red Bull Festival New York, Dark MOFO, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne Festivals. Recent performance engagements include The Barbican’s In Dreams: David Lynch Revisited, Arthur Russell Retrospective for BAM, New York; Hallucinations for DOCUMENTA 2017; motion pictures Mary Magdalene (2018) and Judy and Punch (2019); The Southbank Centre’s 200 Motels by Frank Zappa with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Marina Abramovic’s Private Archaeology (Dark MOFO/MONA) and Mick Harvey’s Serge Gainsbourg Intoxicated Man (Mute).
Brous is currently developing several new commissioned works through 2019/2020, including The Invisible Opera with Lara Thoms, Faye Driscoll and Gideon Obarzanek; feature film and live theatre event Mount Analogue with filmmaker Ben Russell, staged music theatre ensemble work Gorgon, and Glossa a chorus for untrained voices.
Alongside her own performance projects, Brous is a recognized artistic director and curator and emerged as one of Australia’s youngest arts leaders at the age of 22 when she directed the Melbourne International Jazz Festival over 4 successful years (2008-2012), before becoming Curator of Music of the Adelaide Festival of the Arts (2010-2012). Brous is founder and curator of Supersense: Festival of the Ecstatic, which she created with the Arts Centre Melbourne in 2015.
Brous studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston and Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.
“…a powerhouse” – The Australian
“…a revelation” – The Observer UK
“…a prodigious chanteuse” – Rolling Stone