Jakob Bragg (b. 1990) is an Australian composer currently based between Melbourne (AU) and Huddersfield (UK). Creating highly detailed works exploring ornamentation, multiculturalism, and a parametric approach to instrumental writing, Jakob has worked primarily with new music specialists. Through close collaboration these works push instrumental writing into extreme territory. Handwritten scores, meticulous instructions, and an almost organic unfolding of material reveal a musical landscape that elicit descriptors such as weird, harsh, confronting, exquisite and intriguing.

Anna Moretó Photography

For Jakob, music and sound exist in a multitude of settings, from the political in “At least so far…” for voice + harnessing the use and misuse of language by politicians, to the exploratory in Subdue for solo clarinet; an intense exploration of timbre through instrumental technique. Working with acoustic sound has led to collaborations with a broad spectrum of instruments including the Uilleann Pipes and Recorders (Between giants), Double-bell trombone and Ondomo (Displaced bodies, weapons of action), and use of unusual items including bearing balls, saucepans, and vibrators.

In creating these sounds, Jakob has been fortunate to closely work with artists including: ELISION (AU), Arditti Quartet (UK), International Contemporary Ensemble (US), Cikada (NO), Quatuor Tana (FR), Meitar Ensemble (IL), BRON (NL), eventuell.Duo (CH), panSonus (US), Amber Evans (US/AU), Australia’s Kupka’s Piano (with whom he is an associate artist), Syzygy Ensemble, Kurilpa String Quartet, The Song Company, Horsley & Williams Duo, Alex Raineri, Phoebe Green, Ben Opie, Callum G’Froerer, the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra, and the Queensland Philharmonia.

His works have been featured across the globe including: China (Shanghai New Music Week), Turkey, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, France (Festival de Royaymont), Austria (Impuls), Germany (Darmstadt), Italy, Netherlands, UK, United States, and throughout Australia (Metropolis New Music Week, Brisbane Festival).

Jakob has participated in composer development programmes such as the 49th Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music (DE), Impuls Academie (AT), Académie Voix Nouvelles Royaumont (FR), Bilkent Composition Academy (TR), International Masterclass Shanghai New Music Week (CN), the TSO Composers’ School, Ensemble Offspring’s Hatched Academy, Melbourne Arts Centre’s 5x5x5, Tilde Academy Festival, AYO’s National Music Camp, and has participated in workshops with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and The Australian Voices.

Jakob is currently undertaking his PhD under the supervision of Aaron Cassidy and Mary Bellamy at CeReNeM, University of Huddersfield, with the generous support of the Rae and Edith Bennett Travelling Scholarship and the Welsford Smithers Memorial Scholarship. He has previously studied at the University of Melbourne with Elliott Gyger and Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University with Gerard Brophy. He has been closely mentored by composer Liza Lim and had additional lessons with Enno Poppe, Simon Steen-Anderson, Wieland Hoban, Pierluigi Billone, Rebecca Saunders, Yann Robin, Philippe Hurel, Noriko Baba, and Mauro Lanza.

In 2022, Jakob is working with ELISION, Rubiks Collective and Ossicle Duo, Callum G’Froerer, Alex Raineri, David Zucchi, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.