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. As part of this project, Mary will compose ten new works inspired by Mount Auburn’s breathtaking landscape and landmarks, and use her sound­-to­-color synesthesia to select the musical components that best “match” the natural color palette of each location. In January 2017, the works will be professionally recorded for use in Mount Auburn’s upcoming phone app, so that visitors to the cemetery will be able to experience the music in the setting that inspired it. The compositions will also be performed live by an ensemble of nine musicians in series of concerts at Mount Auburn in 2017.


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”.