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 current Curator at Large of Brooklyn arts institution Pioneer Works New York in Fall 2020, 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 will create two new major commissioned works – the contemporary performance for public space The Invisible Opera (Singapore International Festival 2021, BAM new work in-residence) and Mount Analogue – A Provisionally Utopian Live Performance Event – for Ultima Festival Oslo 2021.
Her 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, Simon Hanes); 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 EXO-TECH – with collaborators including Kimbra, David Byrne, Moses Sumney, Questlove, Yuka Honda, Sean Lennon and Tyondai Braxton.
As a performer and vocalist, Brous has appeared in productions for BAM, The Kennedy Center, The Barbican, Southbank Centre, Paris Philharmonie, All Tomorrow’s Parties, DOCUMENTA, Pioneer Works, Dark MOFO, Sydney Opera House and Arts Centre Melbourne.
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; DOCUMENTA Athens (Hallucinations, with Oliver Coates); 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 musicians including David Byrne, Marc Ribot, Questlove, Caroline Polachek, Jehnny Beth, David Coulter, Senyawa, Zeena Parkins, Colin Stetson, Julia Holter, Lucy Railton, Belle and Sebastian, Patrick Wolf and Mick Harvey, and worked with artists in film, theatre and dance including Faye Driscoll, 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 has presented radio with Triple R and The Lot (NYC), and studied music at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston and Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.