Biography


Mary Bichner is an orchestral classical-meets-pop composer with the bizarre musical superpowers of perfect pitch (the ability to recognize notes and chords by name upon hearing them played) and synesthesia (a neurological condition that causes Mary to “see” splashes of specific colors when she hears their corresponding pitches sounded). Called a “musical genius” by CBS News, and invited to Harvard University’s prestigious neuroscience lab to be studied for her brain’s unusual wiring, Mary creates richly-colored compositions that delight classical enthusiasts and indie-pop rockers alike.


Current commissions and collaborations include a two-year composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery of Cambridge and Watertown, MA. In the first year of her residency, Mary composed twelve new works inspired by the cemetery’s breathtaking landscape and landmarks, using her sound­-to­-color synesthesia to select the musical components that best “match” the natural color palette of each location at different times of year. In January of 2017, the works were recorded by a 19-piece chamber orchestra at WGBH Studios of Boston MA, and were released online as a digital album on June 3rd, 2017. The tracks are also featured in Mount Auburn Cemetery’s new mobile app, allowing visitors to the cemetery to experience the music in the setting that inspired it.


Past commissions and collaborations include serving as composer-in-residence at Marble House Project of Dorset VT for May 2016, arranging and conducting strings for 30 Seconds to Mars’ MTV Unplugged appearance, numerous collaborations with the illustrious Vitamin String Quartet (including a placement on ABC’s Modern Family), serving as composer and music director for Wheelock Theatre [AEA]’s original stage adaptation of Pinocchio, and more.


Past awards include receiving a 2014 Somerville Arts Council Music Fellowship Grant, being named the SAC Somerville Artist of the Month for March 2014, and receiving a 2014 San Diego Film Award for her musical score of the short film, “Just Desserts”.