Open Proposal: Orchestral Ballet





PROPOSAL SUMMARY: I would be honored to compose a new narrative ballet of any length, in collaboration with an orchestral ballet company.

[ — PROPOSALSELECTED COMPOSITIONSTESTIMONIALSSELECTED RÉSUMÉBIOGRAPHYCONTACT INFO ]




PROPOSAL

Greetings! My name is Mary Bichner, and I am an orchestral composer from Boston, MA, USA with both perfect pitch (the ability to recognize notes & chords by name upon hearing them played) and sound-to-color synesthesia (a neurological condition that causes me to “see” splashes of specific colors when I hear their corresponding pitches sounded). In my work, I strive to combine richly-hued harmonic progressions with memorable melodies, and frequently incorporate synesthesia-derived elements into each piece’s structure. Genre-wise, my specialty is composing vibrant new works inspired by the classical musical traditions of 18th- and 19th-century Europe, and I frequently create pieces in these styles for professional theatre productions, site-specific composition projects, themed concerts, digital album/single releases, and more.


I am publishing this open proposal, as I would be honored to compose a new narrative ballet of any length, in collaboration with an orchestral ballet company. As composer for this new ballet, I could provide an original score completely customized to the wishes and instructions of your company’s choreographer; filled with rich, memorable melodies and lush, romantic orchestrations designed to both convey and propel the storyline alongside the dancers’ movements.

Recent collaborations of mine include a two-year composer residency at the historic Mount Auburn Cemetery of Cambridge, MA, USA (a brief documentary on the project can be found HERE); and a special ongoing collaboration with Boston’s Museum of Science for the “Synesthesia Suite: Live” Concert Series, a live music event that pairs my original compositions with full-dome synesthesia-inspired videos created by the Museum’s award-winning planetarium team (more information on this project, including photos and videos, can be found HERE). 

I have attached my résumé, biography, testimonials, and selected composition samples beneath my signature for your review. Should you be interested in discussing a potential collaboration further, please don’t hesitate to contact me at info@marybichner.com, and I would be delighted to respond to you promptly.

Thank you so much for considering my proposal, and I look forward to speaking with you!

Sincerely,
Mary Bichner
info@marybichner.com
https://www.marybichner.com



SELECTED COMPOSITIONS













TESTIMONIALS




James Wetzel, Co-Producer of Adult Programs at the Museum of Science, Boston:
“I have had the pleasure of collaborating with Mary Bichner over the past several years on numerous projects around Boston, and she remains one of the most exciting, creative, professional tour-de-force’s in the city’s Arts scene. Her style and range as a musician sets her apart from the pack and her ingenuity and artistic vision is unparalleled. She has been a producer’s dream- always surpassing expectations and our entire team at the Museum of Science has fallen under her spell. It’s been an absolute pleasure to explore, dream and create with her on our “Synesthesia Suite” program in the Planetarium over the past year and I am honored to have been a part of her journey as an artist. We are already counting down the days for her return engagement and waiting anxiously to see what gorgeous piece she dreams up next!”





Bree Harvey, Vice President of Cemetery & Visitor Services at Mount Auburn Cemetery:
“I have had the pleasure of working with Mary Bichner for the past two years while she has served as the Composer-in-Residence at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. […] It has been an absolute delight to work with her in a variety of ways. Everyone she worked with at the Cemetery was impressed by her endless enthusiasm, creativity, and professionalism. Though Ms. Bichner has recently completed her residency at Mount Auburn, we look forward for many future collaborations with her. […] She is a talented musician and composer who has much to share with the world.” 



SELECTED RÉSUMÉ


May 2020-June 2020
“Synesthesia Suite: Live” Concert Series: The Virtual Experience (4th edition)
Organizations: The Museum of Science, Boston (https://www.mos.org/), The Lowell Institute (http://www.lowellinstitute.org)
Details: Developed for the #MOSatHome Initiative, this virtual version of Mary’s “Synesthesia Suite: Live” concert series collaboration with the Museum of Science Boston premiered on June 18th 2020, in partnership with The Lowell Institute. It now exists as a permanent online concert which can be viewed from anywhere in the world via this link. The concert features five of Mary’s compositions (performed previously by Mary as well as her friends from Planetary Quartet and East Coast Scoring Orchestra) paired with stunning music videos created by the Museum’s award-winning planetarium team. Much like previous live collaborations with the Museum, the imagery in each video is directly inspired by Mary’s synesthesia, allowing the viewer to “hear” colors and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. (More information, including photos and videos from previous live versions of this event, can be found HERE.)


March 2020-Present [CURRENT]
Commission: Composer for John J. King’s “The Mementi Mori of Edward Gorey”
Organization: John J. King, Playwright
Venue: TBA
Details: Mary is honored to be serving as composer for playwright John J. King’s “The Mementi Mori of Edward Gorey“, a new theatre work inspired by the life and art of famed New England author-illustrator Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000). More information to follow soon!


August 2019-February 2020
“Synesthesia Suite: Live” Concert Series at the Charles Hayden Planetarium (3rd edition)
Organization: The Museum of Science, Boston (https://www.mos.org/)
Venue: Charles Hayden Planetarium (1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114)
Details: Presented in partnership with The Museum of Science Boston, Mary Bichner’s sold-out “Synesthesia Suite: Live” concert series returned to the Charles Hayden Planetarium on February 27th 2020. This immersive musical event featured live performances of Mary’s compositions paired with stunning visuals created by the Museum’s award-winning planetarium team that were directly inspired by Mary’s polymodal synesthesia, allowing audience members to “hear” color and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. (More information, including photos and videos from previous versions of this event, can be found HERE.)


January 2019-May 2019
Commission: “Senses of Summer” for Aeronaut and WGBH’s Pindrop Sessions Concert Series
Organization: Pindrop Sessions @ Aeronaut Brewing Company (http://www.aeronautbrewing.com/pindrop/), in partnership with WGBH (http://www.wgbh.org), and 99.5 WCRB/Classical Radio Boston (http://classicalwcrb.org)
Details: Three-movement, synesthesia-inspired musical setting of excerpts from James Agee’s “Knoxville: Summer of 1915” for soprano and woodwind quintet. Commissioned by Aeronaut Brewing Company for the Pindrop Sessions, a classical music concert series presented in partnership with WGBH and 99.5 WCRB/Classical Radio Boston. Premiered live by Phoenix and soprano Margot Rood during the Pindrop Sessions’ season 2 finale concert at Aeronaut Brewing Company on May 5th 2019.


October 2018-April 2019
“Synesthesia Suite: Live” Concert Series at the Charles Hayden Planetarium (2nd edition)
Organizations: The Museum of Science, Boston (https://www.mos.org/); The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (http://www.mit.edu); and Arizona State University (http://www.asu.edu)
Venue: Charles Hayden Planetarium (1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114)
Details: Presented in partnership with The Museum of Science Boston, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Arizona State University; Mary Bichner’s “Synesthesia Suite: Live” concert series returned to the Charles Hayden Planetarium on April 4th 2019. This immersive musical event featured live performances of Mary’s compositions paired with stunning visuals directly inspired by her polymodal synesthesia, which allowed audience members to “hear” color and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. For the 2019 edition of the series, the visuals were presented in two exciting and innovative forms: a collection of dazzling 360-degree videos created by the Museum’s award-winning artistic team for the Planetarium’s fulldome, as well as an entirely new synesthesia-displaying LED-based technology (including interactive LED synesthesia costumes for the performers) created by the renowned scientists of MIT Media Lab and ASU’s SciHub especially for “Synesthesia Suite: Live”. (Photos and videos from this event can be found HERE.)


September 2018-December 2018
Composer-in-Residence at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico
Organization: The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico (http://wurlitzerfoundation.org/)
Details: Mary is honored to have been granted a three-month artist residency The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico for September through December of 2018. While in residence, she continued work on “The Memoirs of Antonina”, a new three-act opera inspired by the final years of Marie Antoinette’s life.


September 2018
Preview Concert for “The Memoirs of Antonina”
Organization: The Nora Theatre Company [AEA] (http://www.centralsquaretheater.org)
Venue: Central Square Theater (450 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge MA 02139)
Details: Preview concert for Mary’s forthcoming opera “The Memoirs of Antonina”, which featured the world premiere of three recitatives and five arias. The sold-out concert took place on September 2nd 2018 at the Central Square Theater of Cambridge, MA, USA; and 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 conductor and operatic vocal coach Tim Ribchester.


July 2018
Performance of “King’s Chapel” for Vento Chiaro’s “The Boston Project” at Boston University Tanglewood Institute
Organization: Vento Chiaro (http://ventochiaro.org/)
Venue: Trinity Episcopal Church (88 Walker St., Lenox, MA 01240)
Details: Boston wind quintet Vento Chiaro performed “King’s Chapel”, a work they commissioned Mary to compose for the ensemble’s “Boston Project” 20th anniversary series, during their Boston University Tanglewood Institute Faculty recital at Trinity Episcopal Church of Lenox, MA, USA on July 11th 2018.


May-June 2018
Commission: Theme Music for “Agents of the Realm” Graphic Novel and Webcomic
Organization: Astrea’s Nexus (http://www.astreasnexus.com) for Agents of the Realm (http://www.agentsoftherealm.com)
Details: Illustrator, author, and Astrea’s Nexus founder Mildred Louis commissioned the short instrumental work “Not Doing This Alone” for her graphic novel and webcomic series, Agents of the Realm. The work first premiered as part of the “Agents of the Realm Volume II” Kickstarter Campaign, launched in July 2018.


December 2017-May 2018
Commission: “Boston Common” and “King’s Chapel” for Vento Chiaro’s “The Boston Project”
Organization: Vento Chiaro (http://ventochiaro.org/)
Details: To celebrate their 20th anniversary season, renowned Boston wind quintet Vento Chiaro commissioned Mary to compose a pair of works for the ensemble’s newest series, “The Boston Project”. Mary created two new compositions — one inspired by Boston Common, and one by King’s Chapel — using her sound-to-color synesthesia, which were premiered by Vento Chiaro during the inaugural “Boston Project” concert at Forest Hills Cemetery of Boston, MA, USA on May 6th 2018.


December 2017
Recipient of a 2017 Iguana Music Fund Grant
Organization: The Iguana Music Fund ( http://passim.org/iguana ) & Club Passim ( http://www.passim.org )


November 2017
“Synesthesia Suite: Live” Concert Series at the Charles Hayden Planetarium (1st edition)
Performance and Premiere of “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations”

Organization: The Museum of Science, Boston (http://mos.org/)
Venue: Charles Hayden Planetarium (1 Science Park, Boston, MA 02114)
Details: The inaugural edition of “Synesthesia Suite: Live”, presented in partnership with the Museum of Science Boston, took place during two sold-out concerts at the Charles Hayden Planetarium in Boston, MA, USA on November 30th 2017. This immersive musical event featured live performances of Mary’s compositions paired with stunning visuals created by the Museum’s award-winning planetarium team that were directly inspired by Mary’s polymodal synesthesia, allowing audience members to “hear” color and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. This first edition of the series also featured the premiere of Mary’s “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations”, a new collection of chamber works inspired by the New England night sky in spring. (More information on this project, including photos and videos from this event, can be found HERE). 


April 2017-Present [CURRENT]
Opera: The Memoirs of Antonina
Organization: TBA
Details: “The Memoirs of Antonina” is a new/in-progress three-act opera inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th-century tract about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, “The Memoirs of Antonina” focuses on the final 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, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. Three recitatives and five arias from the opera received their piano/vocal premiere at the Central Square Theater of Cambridge, MA, USA on September 2nd 2018 as part of The Nora Theatre Company’s emerging artists workshop series. A first musical draft of the opera was completed in June 2019, with a second musical draft currently in progress. (More information on the opera can be found on the “Memoirs of Antonina” mini-site: https://www.marybichner.com/memoirsofantonina )


May 2016-November 2017
Composer-in-Residence at Mount Auburn Cemetery
Commission: Synesthetic Suite inspired by Mount Auburn Cemetery

Organization: Mount Auburn Cemetery (http://www.mountauburn.org)
Details: Mary was honored to take part in a two-year composer residency at Mount Auburn Cemetery. 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 works were premiered at Mount Auburn Cemetery in concert on June 3rd 2017 (Spring Suite) and November 4th 2017 (Autumn Suite). The audio recordings are now permanently featured in Mount Auburn Cemetery’s free mobile app, allowing visitors to the cemetery to experience the music in the setting that inspired it. (View a brief documentary of this project HERE.)


May 2016
Composer-in-Residence at Marble House Project
Organization: Marble House Project (http://www.marblehouseproject.org)
Details: While at Marble House from May 2nd through May 25th 2016; Mary began composing for two projects: a new one-act ballet arranged for full orchestra, and a new series of vocal and instrumental works inspired by the night sky’s constellations. The second project, entitled “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations”, premiered at the Museum of Science’s Charles Hayden Planetarium of Boston, MA, USA on November 30th 2017.


November 2014-February 2015
Composer & Music Director for the Wheelock Family Theatre Production of “Pinocchio”
Organization: Wheelock Family Theatre [AEA] (http://www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org)
Venue: Wheelock Family Theatre (180 Riverway, Boston MA 02215)
Performance Dates: January 30th-February 22nd 2015


May 2014-July 2014
Arranger & Music Director for the Nora Theatre Production of “Her Aching Heart”
Organization: The Nora Theatre Company [AEA] (http://www.centralsquaretheater.org)
Venue: Central Square Theater (450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139)
Performance Dates: July 10th-August 10th 2014


March 2014
Recipient of the 2014 San Diego Film Award for Best Musical Score – Short Film
Film: Just Desserts [David G. Stone, Director] (http://www.justdessertsthemovie.com)
Organization: Film Consortium San Diego (http://www.filmconsortiumsd.com)


March 2014
Named Somerville Arts Council Artist of the Month for March 2014
Organization: Somerville Arts Council (http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org)
Interview: March 2014 Artist of the Month – Mary Bichner


January 2014
Recipient of a 2014 Somerville Arts Council Artist Fellowship Grant for Music
Organization: Somerville Arts Council (http://www.somervilleartscouncil.org)

( ***For résumé credits prior to 2014, please visit this link.*** )



BIOGRAPHY

Mary Bichner is an award-winning orchestral 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.


Since 2017, Mary has been collaborating annually with the prestigious Museum of Science, Boston on the groundbreaking “Synesthesia Suite: Live” concert series: an immersive musical event in which live performances of Mary’s compositions (performed by Mary Bichner and Planetary Quartet) are paired with customized 360° full-dome visuals created by the museum’s award-winning planetarium team. The visuals for each piece are directly inspired by Mary’s synesthesia, allowing audience members the unique opportunity to “hear” color and “see” sound just as Mary does when she listens to music. The first edition of the series took place during two sold-out concerts at the Charles Hayden Planetarium on November 30th 2017, and featured the premiere of Mary’s “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations”, a collection of chamber works inspired by constellations found in the New England night sky in spring. For the second edition of the concert series in April 2019, the synesthetic visuals were presented to the audience in an additional exciting and innovative form — a series of entirely new immersive LED-based technologies (including audio-responsive wearables and room illuminators) which were developed especially for “Synesthesia Suite: Live” by the renowned scientists of MIT’s Neoperceptions Initiative and Arizona State University’s SciHub, under the direction of theoretical physicists Frank Wilczek (Nobel laureate and Herman Feshbach Professor of Physics) and Nathan Newman (Lamonte H. Lawrence Professor in Solid State Science). A third version of the sold-out series was held in February 2020; and a virtual version of the concert premiered online in June of 2020 as part of the #MOSAtHome Initiative, in partnership with SubSpace Sessions and the Lowell Institute. (More information on this project, including photos and videos from the live events, can be found HERE.)


From 2017-2019, Mary composed “The Memoirs of Antonina”, a new three-act orchestral opera inspired by Marie Antoinette of France. Taking its name from a slanderous 18th-century tract about the queen’s rumored exploits and indiscretions, “The Memoirs of Antonina” focuses on the final 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, and the distraught historical figure determined to reclaim her kingdom and her reputation. Three recitatives and five arias from the opera received their piano/vocal premiere during a sold-out preview concert at Central Square Theater of Cambridge, MA, USA on September 2nd 2018, as part of The Nora Theatre Company’s emerging artists workshop series. A first musical draft of the opera was completed in June 2019, with a second musical draft currently in progress. (More information on the opera can be found on the “Memoirs of Antonina” mini-site right HERE. )


From April 2016 to November 2017, Mary served as composer-in-residence at the beautiful Mount Auburn Cemetery of Cambridge and Watertown, MA, USA. 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. (View a brief documentary of this project HERE.)


Other noted commissions and collaborations include: serving as composer for John J. King’s “The Mementi Mori of Edward Gorey”, a new theatre work inspired by the life and art of the famed author/illustrator (forthcoming); a soprano-and-woodwind-quintet commission for the “Pindrop Sessions” classical music series, presented in partnership with WBGH Boston, WCRB 99.5/Classical Radio Boston, and Aeronaut Brewing Company; serving as composer-in-residence at The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico for September-December 2018; a commission from celebrated wind quintet Vento Chiaro for their “Boston Project” concert series; serving as composer-in-residence at Marble House Project of Dorset, VT, USA 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); musical collaborations with professional theatre companies including The Nora Theatre Company [AEA], Wheelock Family Theatre [AEA], and Liars & Believers; and more.


Past awards include receiving a 2017 Iguana Music Fund Grant, 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”.



CONTACT INFO

For more information, please contact composer Mary Bichner at:

info@marybichner.com