Author, performer, and teacher PHILIP BRETT is currently Professor of Music at the University of California Riverside, a position which he assumed directly after chairing the Music Department at UC Berkeley, where he taught for 25 years. He is the compiler of the Cambridge Opera Handbook on Benjamin Britten's Peter Grimes (Cambridge University Press, 1983), one of the writers of the companion volume to the facsimile of the composer's sketch published to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the opera in 1995, and author of the Britten article in the forthcoming new edition of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians. He is General Editor of The Byrd Edition, the new collection of the leading English composer's works. He is Co-founder of the Gay Lesbian Study Group of the American Musicological Society and a leader in gay studies in musicology. He is co-editor of Queering the Pitch: The New Gay and Lesbian Musicology (Routledge, 1983), the first collection of such work in musicology. Brett is also co-editor of the new interdisciplinary series, Unnatural Acts: Theorizing the Performative, published by Indiana University Press.
He won a Noah Greenberg Award in 1980 with his productions of Monteverdi's Orfeo and Peri's Eurydice. A 1991 Grammy-nominated recording of Handel's Susanna, with the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan on the Harmonia Mundi label, featured the UC Berkley Chamber Chorus, of which Brett was the director. His most recent recording with the UC Berkeley Chamber Chorus, David Abel (viola) and William Winant (percussion) is of Morton Feldman's Rothko Chapel on the New Albion label, a recording highly praised and placed in the top twenty-five recordings of music of the last twenty-five years by Allan Ulrich in The San Francisco Examiner. He has been a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies, recipient of two separate two-year grants from the NEH (1980-82, 1999-2001) in support of The Byrd Edition, Fellow and co-convener of a residential research project, Re-theorizing Music, at the UC Humanities Research Institute at Irvine, and winner of the Archibald Davison Medal in Musicology, one of the Harriet Cohen International Music Awards.