Dr Brian Chatpo Koo is a Sydney-based musician, music creator, and dog lover. He has worked as a violinist, cellist, and conductor in several professional symphony orchestras before settling down in Sydney in 1993.
He expanded his music career in a new direction in 1985 as a composer in Hong Kong, then in Sydney Australia in 1993, after his first work Music for Violin and Piano was recognized in the 1985 Hong Kong Young Musicians’ Award. Since then Koo’s composition output steadily increased and expanded across all types of Western musical styles from solo instruments to full-scale orchestral works, culminating in two operas, The Tomb of Three Kings and Three Trees, in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
This success took place while he continued advanced studies in composition: Bachelor of Arts (BA) (HKU) 1990, International Summer Course for New Music (Darmstadt, Germany) 1992, Licentiate Diploma (LTCL) 1992, Fellowship Diploma (FTCL) 1993, Master of Philosophy in music (M.Phil) (HKU) 1993, Doctor of Philosophy in music (Ph.D.) (USyd) 1996.
As a composer, he has been commissioned by a variety of organizations, including the Hong Kong Composers’ Guild, the Hong Kong Arts Festival, and the Symphony Australia. His compositions have been performed and broadcast over Asia, Europe, North America, and Australia.
As a conductor, he conducted many of his works’ premieres including both his operas. Other notable performances include those by Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra (Japan), Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Taiwan National Symphony Orchestra, Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra, Tasmania Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Symphonic Winds, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Zelanian Ensemble (New Zealand), Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Kochi (Tokyo Japan), Taiwan National Ensemble, Hamburg New Music Ensemble (Germany), Darmstadt Ensemble (Germany), Accordes Quartet (Toronto Canada).
He won the Hong Kong Young Musicians’ Award in 1985 and the Himalaya Cup Award in the First International Competition for Piano Composition in Beijing in 1995.
Koo was a tutor/teaching assistant for the Music Department at the University of Hong Kong, a senior faculty member of the Australian Institute of Music, and an external examiner for the University of Wollongong.
He is the Founding Conductor, Artistic, and Executive Director of The Sydney Contemporary Orchestra.
Koo is a represented composer of the Australian Music Centre. All of his music is available for purchase or hire through the center.
By signing the Deed of Assignment with The Composers and Authors Society of Hong Kong (CASH), Koo has assigned to the Society all Performing Rights as they subsist in all countries of the world in the musical work.