Biography

Dr Brett McKern has an international career as a composer with his music being performed in at least six countries in Europe, America and Australasia. Within Australia, his music has been performed in four states and broadcast in three. Brett is also an award-winning composer (Australia & Canada) and has published over sixty works in Australia and abroad. His music has been performed at such prestigious venues as Westminster Abbey and St Paul’s Cathedral, London; York Minster, UK; Sint-Rombout’s Cathedral, Mechelen, Belgium; and Washington National Cathedral.

While his overall output is varied, a number of Brett’s works show the influence of his interest in the liturgy of the Anglican and Catholic traditions as well as in Baroque music. His music includes a book of piano sight-reading exercises, hymns and church music, orchestral works, works for professional choirs and soloists, music for schools, organ solos, and more. Brett has been commissioned by professional soloists (particularly organists), liturgical choirs, school choirs and orchestras, the AMEB, and the Song Company, to name a few.

He holds degrees in music, education, theology and two doctorates in musical composition. He has lectured at various universities and at theological college, and examines written music grades and diplomas for the AMEB, as well as being called upon to examine university research degrees. Brett has adjudicated multiple composition competitions, and is a Represented Composer of the Australian Music Centre.

Brett has performed as an organist and choir director in four countries, and been recorded for DVD, CD and film. He makes a specialty of improvisation at the organ. Brett also teaches and his private organ, theory or composition students have gone on to read for undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at various conservatoria and universities in Australia and abroad, and a number are now professional musicians.

Brett is passionate about adding to the Australian art music repertoire as can be seen by his compositional output, and by the number of new choral works he has commissioned from other Australian composers.