George Dreyfus

One of Australia's best known composers, especially the theme from the TV series "Rush", George Dreyfus was recently awarded a the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany at the Victorian Parliament House, for services to music.

George Dreyfus was born in Wuppertal, Germany in 1928 and migrated to Australia with his brother and parents in 1939. After formal education at Melbourne High School, he commenced his professional musical career as a bassoon player with the orchestra of Her Majesty's Theatre playing opera, ballet and musical comedy.

In 1953 he joined the ABC's Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, working under international conductors such as Lorin Mazel, Josef Krips, Sir Malcolm Sargent, Andre Cluytens, Charles Mackerras and many others. He left the MSO in 1965 to become a freelance composer, supporting himself by writing film music scores and maintaining a lively public profile through his activities with the ISCM (Melbourne), the George Dreyfus Chamber Orchestra, the GEKKO Opera Company and other performing groups, in which to the present day he continues to be involved. Throughout his freelance years, he has composed, amongst others, four operas, two symphonies, choral and chamber music, and also has many film scores to his credit.

Dreyfus' public persona as a composer was transformed in 1974 when his theme music for the ABC television series 'Rush' became a best-seller. In recent years he has found new outlets for his composing, conducting and performing skills in community involvement: his 'Australian Folk Mass' has been performed throughout the country, as has his music for brass band.

He has been the recipient of various awards and fellowships most notably at: the Australian National University in Canberra (1967 - 68); the German Academy Villa Massimo in Rome (1976); the Mishkenot Sha'ananim in Jerusalem (1980); and at the Conservatoria of Tienjin (1983), Shanghai (1987) and Nanjing (1991). More recently he received the Don Banks Fellowship (1991); and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (1992) for his services to music, particularly as a composer. Dreyfus' music is published by Allans Publishing in Melbourne and his autobiography ‘The Last Frivolous Book’ (1984) is published by Hale and Iremonger in Sydney.

George Dreyfus is featured on the following titles

Sebastian's Greatest Adventure


The ABC TV series Sebastian the Fox with George Dreyfus original score. This release contains a DVD with four episodes of the 1963 TV series Sebastian the Fox with a brand-new orchestral soundtrack of George Dreyfus’ score.

George Dreyfus ... Live!

Performer: vocal and bassoon, Composer

In 1978 George Dreyfus performed a live show of his music with the assistance of Paul Grabowski. It was released on a long-out-of-print LP which has now been remastered and is available on CD.

The Brass Band Music of George Dreyfus


This release features Fanfare for a new dome played by Melbourne's Kew Brass Band. There is a great variety music composed by George Dreyfus here -- even a band version of his famous Theme from Rush.

The Film Music of George Dreyfus, Volume 2

Performer, Composer

Move Records once again mines Screensound Australia's archive to showcase the wonderful film music of George Dreyfus, including the premiere release of the unused score to the Bruce Beresford feature Tender Mercies (1982).

The Marvellous World of George Dreyfus, Volume 2

Performer: Bassoon, Composer

The second volume of marvellous music from one of Australia's favourite composers, George Dreyfus. This album provides a great insight into Dreyfus' multifaceted talents.

The Marvellous World of George Dreyfus, Volume 1


Marvellous music by the well-known Australian composer George Dreyfus, one of Australia's most animated musical personalities.

The Film Music of George Dreyfus, Volume 1

Performer: Conductor, Composer

Fourteen of George Dreyfus' best-loved film themes. Melbourne and Queensland Symphony Orchestras conducted by the composer.

Rush, The Adventures of Sebastian the Fox and Other Goodies

Performer: Bassoon, Composer

Composed by George Dreyfus. An enjoyable collection featuring two of George Dreyfus' best known compositions, Rush and The Adventures of Sebastian the Fox.

Compositions by George Dreyfus also appear on

Move 50


A special CD to celebrate Move Records’ 50th year. Twenty-four Australian composers were invited to create a new short work for this special commemorative disc.

Ambient Voice


Ambient Voice features Dean Frenkel's haunting harmonic vocals strategically placed over and within the music of outstanding Australian composers, including Mark Clement Pollard, George Dreyfus, Andrew MacGregor and the group Invention in Time.



110 minutes of horn music, from the classical to the contemporary. Many works presented here were never available on CD before and virtually all are on the current AMEB French Horn syllabus - ideal for students!

There is an Island


Australian history in a tuneful, dramatic cantata by Don Kay, depicting the short history of the demise of the full-blood Tasmanian Aboriginal race and the early convict days. Includes The Song of the Maypole.

George Dreyfus: Chamber and Orchestral Music


The Adelaide Quintet and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra present the "serious" side of George Dreyfus - the Didjeridu Sextet and the two symphonies. Complete your Dreyfus collection with this fascinating disc!

Music for Strings


Composers include Australians George Dreyfus, Percy Grainger, Roger Rooman and Desmond Grixti, with three European composers as a bonus. The Southern Cross Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Gerald Gentry.

The Concert Band Music of George Dreyfus

Performer, Composer

Conducted by the composer, the Symphonic Wind Ensemble of the Johannes-Gutenberg-University, Mainz (Germany) performs George Dreyfus' complete music for wind orchestra. Strictly limited edition.

George Dreyfus is a member of