Composer of Music for Live Performance

Solo Instrument to Large Ensemble

Arthur Breur, ComposerPortland composer Arthur Breur started seriously studying piano as a child of eight after his grandmother, Jocelyn—the second wife of his dad’s father—passed away. The two had been close, and his weekend stays at her home inevitably included him asking her to play piano.

At ten he started taking lessons, having already taught himself a variety of music, including various movie score themes and ragtime pieces. He gradually discovered that he enjoyed composing and playing his own music more than playing what was assigned to him by his piano teacher.

From the start, his compositions were very affected by the music in movies and on television. It is not in jest that he points to the music performed on such television shows as “Sesame Street”, “The Electric Company”, and “The Muppet Show”—not to mention the superb songs of “School House Rock”—as sources of inspiration. Further, many excellent scores for movies of that time, such as Escape to Witch Mountain, Close Encounters, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek, and others, fascinated him and formed his ideas on how music should “work”—with accessible, easily remembered themes that can be associated with specific things, people, or feelings. His music was also heavily influenced by an excellent music program at his childhood church.

By that time he had been studying piano for eight years, he had composed more than a dozen pieces, and had lied about his age to get into a college-level music theory course. He studied piano performance and composition and got his Bachelor of Music degree from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. His college piano instructor worked with his desire to compose by assigning him works by composers that inspired him. Works by Prokofiev and Ravel in particular influenced his compositional tone considerably. Around this time, Danny Elfman’s film music also came to his attention and provided yet another dimension of sound to pursue.

In the early 1990s, he collaborated with lyricist, comedian, and singer, Cristopher Blake. Between them they wrote more than twenty songs, many of which were performed live at various Los Angeles cabarets and open-mic nights.

Over the more than 35 years he has been composing, he has written more than 120 individual pieces, including works for five weddings, two Christmas revues, numerous videos, and one short film, Leah (2008), directed by Neil H. Weiss.

Arthur Breur currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his husband, Brian, whom he met in 1996.

Recent Projects & Commissions

  • 2019 – “AREA A” Suite – Composed two movements (“I. The Healer*” and “II. Taking Flight”) of this 5-movement suite, collaborating with composers Kathering Bergman, Garrett Hope, and Chris Teichler.  (*The Healer was arranged for concert band by Garrett Hope; Taking Flight was composed and arranged by Arthur Breur.) To be premiered by the Tualatin Valley Community Band on December 8, 2019. 
  • 2018 – Composed “Tuesday Night Overture” by commission for the 30th Anniversary of the Tualatin Valley Community Band.  Premiered December 2, 2018.
  • 2017 – Composed “Tualatin Overture” for the Tualatin Valley Symphony, premiered May 21, 2017. Tualatin Overture was proclaimed the official overture of the City of Tualatin, Oregon in June 2017.
  • 2016 – Composed the official march for the US Army’s 44th Air Defense Artillery, “Per Ardua”.

Tuesday Night Overture by Arthur Breur. Premiered by the Tualatin Valley Community Band on December 2, 2018.
(Notes from the composer…)

Tualatin Overture by Arthur Breur. Performed by the Tualatin Valley Symphony on May 21, 2017.
(Notes from the composer…)

A delightful afternoon… a magical moment in music

I recently had the pleasure of attending a piano concert performed by Arthur Breur. It was a delightful afternoon, filled with music of Arthur's creation, laughter (Arthur is an engaging speaker and entertainer), and friendship. I sincerely hope that you will give yourself and your friends this gift of a magical moment in music.

Annette Saarinen, Portland, Oregon

2014-10-01T14:47:18-08:00

Annette Saarinen, Portland, Oregon

I recently had the pleasure of attending a piano concert performed by Arthur Breur. It was a delightful afternoon, filled with music of Arthur's creation, laughter (Arthur is an engaging speaker and entertainer), and friendship. I sincerely hope that you will give yourself and your friends this gift of a magical moment in music.

“Wonderful music… fascinating… wow!”

A performance by Arthur is more than simply listening to wonderful music. It’s fascinating to hear about the process of composing the piece, not from the highly technical view, but from the perspective of the intention of the composition. I love the inventive nature of his work. As I listen to different pieces I can imagine Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse dancing, monsters under the bed, and robots on the march… wow!

Shell Tain, Portland, Oregon

2014-10-01T14:45:28-08:00

Shell Tain, Portland, Oregon

A performance by Arthur is more than simply listening to wonderful music. It’s fascinating to hear about the process of composing the piece, not from the highly technical view, but from the perspective of the intention of the composition. I love the inventive nature of his work. As I listen to different pieces I can imagine Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse dancing, monsters under the bed, and robots on the march… wow!

“One incredible journey into how melodies come to be.”

"One composer. One grand piano. One incredible journey into how melodies come to be. Plus one resounding urge to do it again!"

Jerry Fletcher, Portland, Oregon

2014-10-01T14:42:50-08:00

Jerry Fletcher, Portland, Oregon

"One composer. One grand piano. One incredible journey into how melodies come to be. Plus one resounding urge to do it again!"

What a cherished gift you have given us!

Dear Arthur,

At last, we are sending our long overdue THANK YOUs for the incredible contribution you made to our wedding celebrations. ...

We think of you each time we hear "our song." What a cherished gift you have given us.

With Much gratitude…

Wendy & Bruce

2015-08-25T07:07:23-08:00

Wendy & Bruce

Dear Arthur, At last, we are sending our long overdue THANK YOUs for the incredible contribution you made to our wedding celebrations. ... We think of you each time we hear "our song." What a cherished gift you have given us. With Much gratitude…

It was indeed a gift — I am grateful I was inline to receive it!

Arthur,

I keep thinking back to the journey we went on with you and your music last Saturday! It was indeed a gift — I am grateful I was inline to receive it!

Ruth

2015-08-25T07:10:20-08:00

Ruth

Arthur, I keep thinking back to the journey we went on with you and your music last Saturday! It was indeed a gift — I am grateful I was inline to receive it!