News

Composer Residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery: Recording Sessions Complete!

After a wonderful week in the rehearsal room and in the studio, recording sessions are now complete for Mary’s composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery! An immense and heartfelt THANK YOU to all of the amazing people that made this wonderful recording project possible: our awesome project consultant Xiao’an Li of East Coast Scoring for his guidance and expertise; our amazing conductor Kristo Kondakci; our fantastic orchestra of Katharina Giegling (concertmaster), Sonia Deng (violin), Abby Swidler (violin), Christopher McClain (viola I principal and concerto soloist), Minjung Chun (viola I), Carrol Lee (viola II principal), Foxman James (viola II), Aron Zelkowicz (cello principal), Nash Tomey (contrabass principal), Arielle Burke (flute), Elizabeth England (oboe), David Angelo (clarinet), Susie Telsey (bassoon), Evangelia Leontis (soprano), Mali Sastri (mezzo-soprano/tenor), Seth Grondin (bass), and Paul Jacobs (piano); our excellent producer Antonio Oliart of WGBH Studios; everyone at WBGH and Fraser Performance Studio; and of course the wonderful Friends of Mount Auburn for creating this AMAZING residency!


Here are a few clips from throughout the week!:








And that’s a wrap — recording is finished! <3 THANK YOU to all of the amazing people that made this wonderful recording project possible!: the awesome Xiao'an Li of East Coast Scoring for his guidance and expertise; our fantastic orchestra of Kristo Kondakci / @kkconducts (conductor), Katharina Giegling (concertmaster), Sonia Deng (violin), Abby Swidler / @swidlerfiddler (violin), Christopher McClain / @calyanres (viola I principal and concerto soloist), Minjung Chun (viola I), Carrol Lee / @carrol.vla (viola II principal), Foxman McCarthy-James (viola II), Aron Zelkowicz (cello principal), Nash Tomey (contrabass principal), Arielle Burke (flute), Elizabeth England (oboe), David Angelo (clarinet), Susie Telsey (bassoon), Evan Leontis (soprano), Mali Sastri (mezzo-soprano/tenor), Seth Grondin (bass), and Paul Jacobs (piano); our incredible producer Antonio Oliart of WGBH Studios; and of course the wonderful Bree Harvey, Jenny Gilbert, Jessica Bussman and everyone at Friends of Mount Auburn for creating this AMAZING residency — I am so honored to have taken part! <3 Next up will be getting the recordings mixed and mastered in anticipation of the release date (June 2017), with more details to follow soon. <3 THANK YOU EVERYONE!! <3 <3 <3 (Video courtesy of Mount Auburn Cemetery) #MaryAtMtAuburn

A post shared by Mary Bichner (@marybichner) on




Next up will be getting the recordings mixed and mastered in anticipation of the release date (June 2017).


Thank you one and all, and more details will follow shortly! <3


Composer Residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery: Studio Dates Next Week

Greetings one and all! Hope you had a happy holiday season and a wonderful new year! <3



Another Mount Auburn update — Mary is thrilled to announce that she has completed all of the new compositions for her Mount Auburn Cemetery composer residency, and will be recording them with an 18-piece musical ensemble in the studio next week! Here is a preview of one of the pieces, inspired by a bright autumn day at Mount Auburn:






More updates (including a release date for the recordings) will be announced in the coming weeks — please check back soon! <3


Composer Residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery: Progress Update

Greetings, one and all! Here is an end-of-the-year update on Mary’s composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery:


At present, Mary is putting the finishing touches on the compositions commissioned as part of her residency, and will have all scores finalized by the end of 2016. She looks forward to recording the new works at Boston’s WGBH Studios in January 2017, and will have more concrete info on both the digital release date and the corresponding live concerts as winter melts into spring.


Wishing everyone a beautiful holiday season, and looking forward to more musical magic in the new year. See you in 2017, everyone!


Pop-Up Concert at Mount Auburn Cemetery on 10/28 @ 3:00pm (Final Concert of 2016)

As part of her two-year composer residency, Mary is pleased to announce a new pop-up concert to be held at Mount Auburn Cemetery on Friday, Oct 28th @ 3:00pm (her final concert of 2016!). Mary will be joined onstage by guest musician, the wonderful Mali Sastri, and the pair will perform Mary’s original works, including the first preview of a new in-progress composition inspired by Mount Auburn.


The performance will take place in Story Chapel, a short walk (less than five minutes) from the cemetery’s front gates. The concert is free and all ages!


Complete details are below, and are also available via the Performances page. Hope to see you there!


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POP-UP CONCERT: OCTOBER 28TH @ STORY CHAPEL, MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY
When: Monday, October 28th @ 3:00pm
Where: Story Chapel @ Mount Auburn Cemetery (580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge MA 02138)
Tickets: FREE (all-ages)
Performers: Mary Bichner (vocals/piano), Mali Sastri (vocals)
Details: Part of the pop-up concert series for Mary’s two-year composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery! Mary will perform a twenty-minute solo set of her original music with very special guest musician, Mali Sastri!


New Performance: “A Glimpse Beyond”, Oct 22-23 @ Mount Auburn Cemetery

Mary is honored to be joining the cast of Mount Auburn Cemetery’s A Glimpse Beyond, “an inspired celebration of music, dance, art, and poetry set within Mount Auburn’s
stunning landscape”. There will be three performances of the show over the weekend of Oct 22-23 (Sat Oct 22 @ 2:00pm, Sat Oct 22 @ 5:00pm, & Sun Oct 23 & 2:00pm), featuring a wonderful ensemble of dancers, poets, musicians and more.


During her set, Mary will perform works arranged for vocalist and lever harp.


Here is a video preview of the event! :

A Glimpse Beyond | October 22-23, 2016 from Mount Auburn Cemetery on Vimeo.



Complete info on the event, including ticket information, can be found on the Peformances page.


Hope to see you there! <3


New Composition: Video Preview of “Love-Song”




Here is a video preview of one of the pieces Mary is writing as part of her Mount Auburn Cemetery composer residency! It’s a musical setting of the James Russell Lowell poem “Love-Song”, written in the key of B minor to synesthetically “match” the colors of the flowers and plants that grow near the poet’s gravesite in the spring (pale purple, pale orange, green).


Performed by: Mary Bichner (voice I), Mali Sastri (voice II), Julia Okrusko (violin), Christopher McClain (viola I), Anna Stromer (viola II) and Nick Dinnerstein (cello).


A full-ensemble version of “Love-Song” will premiere at Mount Auburn Cemetery in June 2017 (official date and time TBA), as part of Mary’s Spring Residency Concert.


Thank you for watching, and thank you to Mount Auburn Cemetery for this wonderful collaboration!


New Promo Photos


Mary’s new website and social media photos have arrived! These photos were taken in June 2016 at the beautiful Arnold Arboretum in Boston, MA:













A huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to the incredible and talented artistic team that made this dream photo project a reality!:



PHOTO CREDITS
Photography: Meredith Nierman
Hair and Makeup: Maya Landi
Wardrobe, Shoes and Accessories: Rachel Jayson
Art Direction, Digital Art and Site Logo: Julie Miller





More updates soon, please stay tuned! <3


New Pop-Up Concert: Sept 19th @ Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Halycon Lake

As part of her two-year composer residency, Mary is pleased to announce a new pop-up concert to be held at Mount Auburn Cemetery! This twenty-minute solo performance will take place on Monday, Sept 19th @ 11:00am, at Mount Auburn’s beautiful Halcyon Lake. Mary will perform a solo set of her original music.


PLEASE NOTE: Because Halcyon Lake is a ten-to-fifteen minute walk from the main gates, we advise that you arrive at 10:45am in order to allow walking time to the performance site. Thank you!


Complete details are below, and are also available via the Performances page. Hope to see you there!


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POP-UP CONCERT: SEPTEMBER 19TH @ HALYCON LAKE, MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY
When: Monday, Sept 19th @ 11:00am (please arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow walking time from the main gate)
Where: Halcyon Lake @ Mount Auburn Cemetery (580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge MA 02138)
Tickets: FREE (all-ages)
Performers: Mary Bichner (vocals/guitar)
Details: Part of the pop-up concert series for Mary’s two-year composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery! Mary will perform a twenty-minute solo set of her original music. (PLEASE NOTE: Because the concert location is a ten-to-fifteen minute walk from the cemetery’s main gates, we advise that you arrive by 10:45am to allow walking time to Halcyon Lake. Thank you!)


New Performance: Washington Tower Wine Tasting @ Mount Auburn Cemetery on August 25th, 2016

Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet are thrilled to be performing at Mount Auburn Cemetery’s Washington Tower Wine Tasting event on Thursday August 25th from 5:30pm-7:00pm! Savor a hand-picked selection of wines provided by The Magnolia Wine Company of Watertown while enjoying the late-summer beauty of Mount Auburn in the early evening hours. During the event, MBPQ will be performing original pieces as well as works by Mozart, Vivaldi, Sibelius, Haydn and Rameau.


The event will take place at Mount Auburn’s Washington Tower, which is an approximate 12-minute walk / 4-minute car ride from Mount Auburn’s front gates.


(PLEASE NOTE: We highly recommend getting tickets in advance — this event sells out often!)


Complete details are below:


WASHINGTON TOWER WINE TASTING @ MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY
When: Thursday, August 25th from 5:30pm-7:00pm (event location is a 12-minute walk / 4-minute car ride from main gate)
Where: Washington Tower @ Mount Auburn Cemetery (580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge MA 02138)
Tickets: $12.00 (all ages) [ buy tickets HERE ]
Performers: Mary Bichner (vocals/piano/guitar/conducting), Julia Okrusko (violin),
Christopher McClain (viola), Anna Stromer (viola), and Nick Dinnerstein (cello).
Details: Savor a hand-picked selection of wines provided by The Magnolia Wine Company of Watertown while enjoying the late-summer beauty of Mount Auburn in the early evening hours! Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet will serve as the event’s musical guests, performing original pieces as well as works by Mozart, Vivaldi, Sibelius, Haydn and Rameau. The concert will take place at Mount Auburn’s Washington Tower, which is an approximate 12-minute walk / 4-minute car ride from Mount Auburn’s front gates. (PLEASE NOTE:: We highly recommend getting tickets in advance — this event sells out often!)


Thanks so much and we look forward to seeing you! <3


Two New Pop-Up Concerts (July 8th @ 2pm , July 31st @ 2pm), and Two New Works at Mount Auburn Cemetery

As part of her two-year composer residency, Mary is pleased to announce two new pop-up concerts to be held at Mount Auburn Cemetery in July 2016! Both concerts will be twenty minutes in length, and each will feature the first look at a brand new work inspired by Mount Auburn’s breathtaking landscape and landmarks.


On Friday July 8th @ 2:00pm, join Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet for the first reading of “Love-Song”, a musical setting of the James Russell Lowell poem composed to synesthetically match the garden area near the poet’s memorial. And on July 31st @ 2:00pm, Mary and a special guest vocalist will perform the first reading of a new work synesthetically inspired by the stained glass windows of Mount Auburn’s Bigelow Chapel. Each concert will take place in the location that inspired it, so audience members will be able to experience the visual aspects of each new composition first-hand.


PLEASE NOTE: Because the location of each concert is approximately a five-to-ten minute walk from the main gates, we advise that you arrive at least fifteen minute early in order to allow walking time to the performance site. Thank you!


Complete details are below, and are also available via the Performances page. We hope to see you there!


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POP-UP CONCERT #1: JULY 8TH @ THE JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL MEMORIAL, MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY
When: Friday, July 8th @ 2:00pm (please arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow walking time from the main gate)
Where: The James Russell Lowell Memorial @ Mount Auburn Cemetery (580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge MA 02138)
Tickets: FREE (all-ages)
Performers: Mary Bichner (vocals/conducting), Julia Okrusko (violin), Christopher McClain (viola), Anna Stromer (viola), Nick Dinnerstein (cello)
Details: Part of the pop-up concert series for Mary’s two-year composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery! Join Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet for a twenty-minute “pop-up” concert featuring the first look at a brand new work: a musical setting of the James Russell Lowell poem, “Love-Song”, composed to synesthetically match the garden area near the poet’s memorial. (PLEASE NOTE: Because the concert location is a five-to-ten minute walk from the cemetery’s main gates, we advise that you arrive by 1:45pm to allow walking time to the James Russell Lowell memorial. Thank you!)


POP-UP CONCERT #2: JULY 31ST @ THE JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL MEMORIAL, MOUNT AUBURN CEMETERY
When: Sunday, July 31st @ 2:00pm (please arrive at least 15 minutes early to allow walking time from the main gate)
Where: Bigelow Chapel @ Mount Auburn Cemetery (580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge MA 02138)
Tickets: FREE (all-ages)
Performers: Mary Bichner (vocals/conducting), Valerie Thompson (vocals…and maybe some cello as well! :))
Details: Part of the pop-up concert series for Mary’s two-year composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery! Join Mary and a special guest vocalist for a twenty-minute “pop-up” concert featuring the first look at a new work: a vocal-only piece composed to synesthetically match the stained-glass
windows of Bigelow Chapel. (PLEASE NOTE: Because the concert location is a five-to-ten minute walk from the cemetery’s main gates, we advise that you arrive by 1:45pm to allow walking time to Bigelow Chapel. Thank you!)