The oldest of three sons, Bruce was born into a very musical family - he, his parents and his brothers shared a passion for music, in particular musical theatre. Bruce‘s grandfather, Leonard James Rowland was so renowned in the music industry, that the city of Maryborough named a park after him. Bruce, following the family tradition, studied piano and as a teenager played with various pop bands. Before long, Bruce had become one of Australia’s most sought after session players and arrangers.
During the 1960’s Bruce worked with pop group The Strangers, backing the most popular recording artists at the time and touring with many international artistis including Roy Orbison and The Beach Boys. Bruce also worked on the popular teenage television series Go Show, playing keyboards and writing arrangements for guest artists like Olivia Newton-John and Billy Thorpe.
The eighties started Bruce on some ambitious film projects, writing the scores for some of Australia’s most successful films. His first film was The Man from Snowy River (1982), which saw the soundtrack achieve double platinum status and won Bruce his first AFI award. Following this tremendous success, Bruce then wrote the scores for Phar Lap (1983) and Rebel (1985) winning him a further two AFI’s. Since then, Bruce has written the scores for over 40 films in Australia and the USA. He was honoured in 2006 with the APRA International Achievement Award for his work in film.
Along with film, Bruce has also worked on a variety of special projects. In 1988 he was commissioned to write the Royal Fanfare for the opening of “Expo 88”. In 1996, he was commissioned to write the music for the Prime Minister’s Olympic Dinner and then in 2000, Bruce wrote and conducted the music for the opening ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. The performance included a special rendition of his score for The Man from Snowy River.
In recent years Bruce has produced music for two Arena shows – Australian Outback Spectacular and The Man from Snowy River Arena Spectacular, with the latter scoring him an ARIA award in 2002. Bruce’s other most recent project is short film The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello, which was nominated for both an Academy Award and a BAFTA. Bruce most recently worked on the musical score for Australian film, The Cup.