NEWS

This month: composer-in-residence at the vasilicos of santorini, greece

May 12, 2024

( Photo Credit: Nikos Alexopoulos )

Later this month, Mary will be traveling to Greece to serve as artist-in-residence at The Vasilicos, an elegant seven-suite boutique hotel perched on the magnificent Caldera of Santorini, Greece; as part of its “[To Build] A [Temporary] Home” ad hoc residency program.

While in residence, Mary will begin the composition of a new string quartet work using her sound-to-color synesthesia, inspired by the rainbow hues of the world-famous Santorini sunset as viewed from The Vasilicos’ Efta balcony.

The work will later be recorded in partnership with The Vasilicos, with a live premiere anticipated for the future.

Mary is the third artist-in-residence in the program, and the first composer in its history. Previous recipients of the residency include Felicia Simion (2022) and Saori Kuno (2013).

More information on The Vasilicos can be found on their official website, and more information on their ad hoc residency program can be found via the “[To Build] A [Temporary] Home” subpage.

Thank you so much to The Vasilicos for this amazing collaboration, and please check back at the end of the month for more updates! 


New Concert with singer mali at The Lilypad in Cambridge, MA, USA on June 23rd 2024

May 8, 2024

American composers Singer Mali and Mary Bichner are thrilled to announce a new collaborative concert at The Lilypad (1353 Cambridge Street; Cambridge, MA, USA) on June 23rd, 2024 @ 4:00pm (doors @ 3:30pm).

This intimate piano-and-vocal performance will feature original classical-meets-chamberpop music (including the world premiere of Mary's new work, "White Lilies"), impromptu Q&A, and a handful of reimagined early-2000s-era rock covers (because why not).

Tickets are $10 for this all-ages show and can be reserved via the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mary-bichner-and-singer-mali-at-the-lilypad-tickets-903266021987

Thank you so much to Singer Mali and The Lilypad for this wonderful new concert, and looking forward to June 23rd!


"OFFICIAL" VERSION OF "THE MEMOIRS OF ANTONINA" NOW COMPLETE

May 4, 2024

( Logo and illustration by: Chess Albaneze )

Exciting news! The music and libretto for the "official" version of Mary 's first full length opera inspired by Marie Antoinette, The Memoirs of Antonina, is now complete! Taking its name from a slanderous 18th-century tract about the queen’s rumored exploits & indiscretions, The Memoirs of Antonina focuses on the final two years of Marie Antoinette's life, and pits two versions of the queen (performed by two different singers) against one another: the imagined breezy libertine derided by revolutionary pamphleteers, & the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom & her reputation. The opera also sets the stylistic conventions of opera buffa against those of opera seria, resulting in a work that explores both the exasperatingly comic — and profoundly tragic — elements of Marie Antoinette’s story.

Mary composed the first draft of the score and libretto for The Memoirs of Antonina from March 2017 to May 2019. A preview concert of this version took place on Sunday, September 2nd 2018 at the Central Square Theater of Cambridge, MA, USA; featuring the world premiere of five arias and three recitatives from the opera. The concert starred Helen Zhibing Huang as Marie Antoinette, Emily Thorner as Antonina, Neal Ferreira as Louis XVI, and Junhan Choi as Jacques Hébert, with music direction by Berlin-based conductor and vocal coach Tim Ribchester. You can see a recap video of this concert, performed beautifully by the very talented cast, right here:



After a few years away, Mary returned to The Memoirs of Antonina in May of 2022; and set out to create a second, "official" version of the libretto and musical score, which was completed in May of 2024. This completely expanded and revised second iteration features: 1) a far more nuanced & historically-informed libretto (the result of many months of in-depth period research), and 2) a polished and expanded musical run time of over two hours.

With the official version of The Memoirs Antonina now complete, Mary will take a brief break, and return to the opera later in 2024 to begin creating its orchestrations.

For any inquiries regarding The Memoirs of Antonina, please contact the composer/librettist at info [at] marybichner [dot] com. And please stay tuned for more updates, including a preview concert of the new and expanded version, intended for the future! 


Travelogue: "Rencontres poétiques" Concert Week in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, FRance (MARCH 2024)

April 15, 2024

(Above: Salons Ronsard, the beautiful concert venue for "Rencontres Poétiques".)

From March 24th-30th 2024, Mary was delighted to visit the city of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France to perform with composer Christina Goh in the third edition of their poetry inspired concert series, "Rencontres Poétiques". While in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, Mary was also honored to meet with the wonderful offices and organizations that made the concert possible, as well as perform in a children's edition of the concert for a local elementary school group. Here are some memories and photos from the week!:

--> CLICK HERE TO SEE THE TRAVELOGUE (WITH PHOTOS)


GUEST PERFORMER ON CHRISTINA GOH'S NEW ALBUM, ANDROMEDE, RELEASED TODAY

April 12, 2024


Mary is honored to be featured as a guest performer on ANDROMEDE; the beautiful new album by composer, blues vocalist, and poet Christina Goh; released today. Here is description of the album by distributor Sergent Company Ltd:

"With ANDROMEDE, the vocalist [Christina Goh] redefines her time frame: her powerful, soulful voice retraces the story of Ovid's mythical Andromeda with a set of wonders rooted in forgotten blues and a strangely contemporary sound. Here, the composer's frequencies twirl between percussion, authentic electric instruments from the 70s and the electronic sounds of the 21st century."

Mary was inivited to play piano for the final track of the album, "Wings of Imagination"; Christina's gorgeous musical setting of the Phillis Wheatley poem, On Imagination.

ANDROMEDE is available as both a physical and digital album, via online music shops as well as all major streaming services.

Congrats to Christina Goh on this amazing new album, and everyone go give a listen to ANDROMEDE!


finalist for the 2024 american prize in composition - orchesrta music

April 9, 2024


Mary is honored to have been named a finalist of The 2024 American Prize, in the category of "Composition - Orchestra Music", for the score of her nine-minute orchestral ballet, "Oh, the OF It All!". Based on a libretto by playwright John J King, "Oh, the OF It All!" tells the tale of American illustrator and author Edward Gorey, and his fondness for George Balanchine's days at the New York City Ballet. You can watch a video of "Oh, the OF It All!", performed beautifully by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra, right here:


The American Prize is "the nation's most comprehensive series of contests in the classical arts. The American Prize is nonprofit, unique in scope and structure, and is designed to evaluate, recognize and reward the best performers, ensembles, composers, directors and administrators in the United States, based on submitted recordings." You can find more about this wonderful competition through The American Prize website.

Winners from the list of 2024 finalists in each category will be announced by The American Prize committee later in the year.

Thank you so much to The American Prize for selecting Mary as a 2024 finalist, and congratulations to all of the other finalists!


“Rencontres Poétiques” - THANK YOU!

April 3, 2024


Thank you so much to everyone who joined us for "Rencontres Poétiques" at the beautiful Salons Ronsard in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France on March 28th! It was a joy to perform for you, and to share such a wonderful experience together.

And a VERY special thanks to the town of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, Salons Ronsard, Art et Poésie de Touraine, Hommes et Patrimoines Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France/États-Unis Touraine, and and all of the wonderful people and organizations who made this unique concert and incredible week of collaboration possible!

More info and media on the concert will be posted in the coming weeks. Until then, merci beaucoup and wishing everyone a beautiful spring season!


“Rencontres Poétiques” Concert Featured in La Nouvelle République

March 26, 2024


French newspaper La Nouvelle République has published an article about Mary Bichner and Christina Goh’s sold-out “Rencontes Poétiques” concert in today's Tours edition!

You can read the full article online right here (in French):

https://www.lanouvellerepublique.fr/indre-et-loire/commune/saint-cyr-sur-loire/saint-cyr-sur-loire-poesie-et-synesthesie-aux-salons-ronsard-ce-jeudi

And here is a brief snippet from the article translated into English:

"On Thursday March 28, 2024 at 7 p.m., international blues vocalist Christina Goh and award-winning synesthete and orchestral composer Mary Bichner offer a poetic encounter in sound and light in the Ronsard salons, specially designed for this unique show. [...] 'With this concert, the audience must be able to experience another universe in which we associate sight with hearing,' explains Christina Goh. Indeed, Mary Bichner who is a synesthete orchestrator, 'sees the music'. When she composes, synesthesia allows her to associate musical notes with specific colors."

Thank you so much to one and all, and looking forward to Thursday’s concert in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire!


sold out: “Rencontres Poétiques” with Christina Goh in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France

March 15, 2024


The third edition of Rencontres Poétiques, the collaborative poetry-inspired concert series by composers Christina Goh (France) and Mary Bichner (USA), is now sold out! The concert will take place on March 28th 2024 @ 7:00pm at the beautiful Salons Ronsard in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France.

Rencontres Poétiques will feature musical settings composed by Christina and Mary for classic poems in both French and English; inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Yves Bonnefoy, Phillis Wheatley, Honoré de Balzac, Benjamin Franklin, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Emily Dickinson, and more. The date of the concert is timed to coincide with France’s National Poetry Month, also known as “Le printemps des poètes”.

Although the concert is sold out, if any additional tickets become available, it will be via this link.

Thank you so much to Christina Goh, the town of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, Salons Ronsard, Art et Poésie de Touraine, and Hommes et Patrimoines Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire for their partnership in this concert. And looking forward to seeing everyone on March 28th!


COMPOSER-IN-RESIDENCE AT THE VASILICOS OF SANTORINI, GREECE IN MAY OF 2024; new string quartet work

January 15, 2024

( Photo Credit: Nikos Alexopoulos )

Composer Mary Bichner is honored to have been named artist-in-residence for 2024 by The Vasilicos, an elegant seven-suite boutique hotel perched on the magnificent Caldera of Santorini, Greece; as part of its “[To Build] A [Temporary] Home” ad hoc residency program.

While in residence in late May 2024, Mary will begin the composition of a new string quartet work using her sound-to-color synesthesia, inspired by the rainbow hues of the world-famous Santorini sunset as viewed from The Vasilicos’ Efta balcony.

The work will later be recorded in partnership with The Vasilicos, with a live premiere anticipated for the future.

Mary is the third artist-in-residence in the program, and the first composer in its history. Previous recipients of the residency include Felicia Simion (2022) and Saori Kuno (2013).

More information on The Vasilicos can be found on their official website, and more information on their ad hoc residency program can be found via the “[To Build] A [Temporary] Home” subpage.

Thank you so much to The Vasilicos for this amazing collaboration, and more updates to follow soon!


NEW COMPOSITION: "WHITE LILIES" FOR ALTO VOCALIST AND ORCHESTRA (FORTHCOMING)

January 8, 2024

( Photo Credit: Nikos Alexopoulos )

White Lilies” is a new work for vocalist and orchestra by composer Mary Bichner. The piece is a brand new musical setting of the 17th-century Scottish poem “James Harris/The Daemon Lover”, which tells the story of a married woman who is visited by her long lost love, whom she thought had died at sea.

The lyrics to the work are a composite of the eight versions of the poem found in The English and Scottish Popular Ballads by Francis James Child [1825-1896], with a few lyrical variations and re-wordings added in by the composer, to preserve the newly-created melody line and structure (as well as to change to storyline just slightly, to make it a bit more operatic :)).

Singularly, Mary has composed “White Lilies” largely — but not entirely — in the Locrian mode, a dissonant modal scale rarely used in Western music due to its instability. The Locrian mode’s mysterious and unsettling energy lends itself perfectly to the historical poem’s haunting tale.

A piano-and-vocal version of “White Lilies” was completed in November and December of 2023, with an orchestral version currently in progress. A live premiere of the piano-and-vocal version is anticipated for Summer/Autumn 2024 (more info TBA), with a recording and live premiere of the orchestral version to follow in the future.

For more info on "White Lilies" and/or to request a demo recording of the piano-and-vocal version, please contact the composer at: info@marybichner.com


New concert: “Rencontres Poétiques” with Christina Goh at Salons Ronsard in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France on March 28th 2024

January 3, 2024


Composers Christina Goh (France) and Mary Bichner (USA) are delighted to announce that Rencontres Poétiques, their collaborative poetry-inspired concert series, will be returning to the stage on March 28th 2024 @ 7:00PM. This latest edition of the concert will take place at the beautiful Salons Ronsard in the city of Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France.

The date of the concert is timed to coincide with France’s National Poetry Month in March, also known as “Le printemps des poètes”.

Tickets are free and all ages, and can be reserved via the following link: https://www.saint-cyr-sur-loire.com/Agenda/Rencontres-poetiques

Thank you so much to Christina Goh and Salons Ronsard for this wonderful new concert, and looking forward to March 28th!


New Year, New Website, New Photos

January 1, 2024

( Photo Credit: Emily O'Brien Photography )

It's a new year, and time for a new website! Welcome to the brand new version of marybichner.com, now programmed in Webflow.

The site also features brand new promo photos of Mary for 2024 by the wonderful Emily O’Brien Photography.

Please watch this space for new project and concert announcements coming soon!

 Sign up for Mary's email list:

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.