Selected Résumé

May 2024 [ UPCOMING ]
Composer Residency at The Vasilicos of Santorini, Greece; and New String Quartet Work
Organizations: The Vasilicos ( https://www.thevasilicos.com/ )
Details:  Mary 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. 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.

January 2023
Release of “Oh, the OF It All!” Orchestral Recording and Music Video
Organizations: The Budapest Scoring Orchestra ( https://www.budapestscoring.com/ )
Details:  “Oh, the OF It All!” is a stand-alone, nine-minute “miniature” ballet work by composer Mary Bichner and librettist John J King, celebrating American illustrator Edward Gorey’s fondness for the New York City Ballet and its legendary choreographer, George Balanchine. The work is arranged for a traditional mid-sized ballet orchestra consisting of: 2 flutes (flute + flute/piccolo), 2 oboes (oboe + oboe/English horn), 2 clarinets (clarinet + bass clarinet), 2 bassoons (bassoon + bassoon/contrabassoon), 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 3 trombones (2 tenor + 1 bass), tuba, timpani, percussion (snare drum, triangle, gong), piano, celesta, harp, and string orchestra. “Oh, the OF It All!” was recorded by the Budapest Scoring Orchestra at Rottenbiller Studio in Budapest, Hungary in October of 2022, and released as a digital single on January 30th 2023. An accompanying music video, featuring live footage of the orchestra paired with the ballet libretto’s text so that viewers can follow along with the story, was released on the same date. (View the music video HERE, and the full "Oh, the OF It All!" project page HERE.)

May 2022-Present [ IN PROGRESS ]
Opera: The Memoirs of Antonina ("Official" Version)
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 2017-2019, with an "official" version begun in 2022 and on target to be completed in 2024. (More information on the opera can be found on the “Memoirs of Antonina” mini-site HERE).

November 2021-Present [ ONGOING ]
“Rencontres Poétiques” Collaborative Concert Series
Organizations: Christina Goh: Composer, Poet, and Performer; The Museum of Science, Boston; Muse & Ruse Production; Sabine Soury Poussard; the City of Tours; the Bibliothèque centrale de Tours; The Saché Castle; le Département de Touraine; the National Union for Suicide Prevention France; Le Centre des Monuments Nationaux (National Monuments Center of France); and l’Office National des Forêts de France.
Details: “Rencontres Poétiques” is a poetry-focused international concert series created by composers Mary Bichner [USA] and Christina Goh [France]. The series features musical settings composed by Bichner and Goh for classic poems in both French and English; inspired by the works of Yves Bonnefoy, Phillis Wheatley, Honoré de Balzac, Edgar Allan Poe, Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, Emily Dickinson, and more. The first edition of the concert took place in Boston, MA, USA on April 13th 2022 at the Museum of Science Boston’s Mugar Omni Theatre. The event featured a world premiere from each composer, as well as gorgeous visuals custom-made by the Museum’s award-winning artistic teams accompanying each song via the theatre’s five-story screen. The second edition of the concert took place in Tours, France on October 20th 2022 at Le Centre Musical Jean de Ockeghem, a beautiful 12th century abbey turned performance venue, complete with a multi-sensory pre-show experience that included color-changing lights, images, and immersive sound. The next edition of ”Rencontres Poétiques” will take place during France’s National Poetry Month (known as “Le Printemps des Poètes”) on Thursday, March 28th 2024 at Salons Ronsard in Saint-Cyr-sur-Loire, France. (More information on this series can be found on the “Rencontres Poétiques” mini-site HERE).

June 2021-October 2021
Collaboration as part of Christina Goh’s “Ut Fortis”
Organizations: Christina Goh: Composer, Poet, and Performer (https://conceptmusic.christinagoh.com); in partnership with Réseau VIES 37, the Institut de Touraine (https://institutdetouraine.com), and the Université de Tours (https://www.univ-tours.fr)
Venue: Université de Tours (60 Rue du Plat d’Étain, 37000 Tours, France)
Details: Mary was honored to have been invited by composer, poet, and performer Christina Goh to participate in Goh’s “Ut Fortis”; a multi-media, multi-artist event centered on the important topic of suicide prevention. The concert took place on June 11th 2021 at the Université de Tours in Tours, France; and featured performances by Christina Goh, Catherine Capozzi, Gotham Aymar, G.K Noland, Les Passeurs de Legendes, Maxime Perrin, Noah Preminger, Jacques Moury Beauchamp, and Mary Bichner. One month later, the concert was broadcast by TV Tours Val de Loire on Sunday July 11th 2021, and again Sunday September 11th 2021. To close the project, Ms. Goh released the EP “Double Trinome” on October 4th 2021 (Mary appears as a guest singer on the track “Ut Fortis”).

June 2021
Masterclass Series Presentation at the Institut de Touraine
Organizations: The Institut de Touraine (https://institutdetouraine.com), and Christina Goh: Composer, Poet, and Performer (https://conceptmusic.christinagoh.com)
Venue: Institute of Touraine (1 Rue de la Grandière, 37020 Tours, France)
Details: Mary was honored to have been invited to speak as part of the Institut de Touraine’s Masterclass series on June 9th 2021 in Tours, France. The class consisted of a presentation on Mary’s compositional process as well as her use of synesthesia in her work, and a Q&A session for audience questions.

March 2020-December 2021
Commission: Composer for John J. King’s “The Mementi Mori of Edward Gorey”
Organization: John J. King, Playwright (http://www.j-rexplays.com)
Venue: TBA
Details: “The Mementi Mori of Edward Gorey” is a shuffle play by John J. King inspired by the life and work of Edward St. John Gorey (1925-2000), with original music composed by Mary Bichner. The play consists of thirteen vignettes, each of a different genre that Gorey loved: from opera and ballet to hand puppets and silent film. For each performance, several sketches are selected and ordered by an audience volunteer – Tarot card reading style – resulting in a new performance each night. Throughout the play, Edward Gorey appears as various incarnations, each an anagram of Gorey’s name. By casting nine actors as different versions of the artist, “Mementi Mori” explores the spectrum and fluidity of identity, artistry, and personhood, through a life. Premiere TBA.

January 2019-May 2019
Commission: “Senses of Summer” for Aeronaut and WGBH’s Pindrop Sessions Concert Series
Organizations: Pindrop Sessions @ Aeronaut Brewing Company (http://www.aeronautbrewing.com), 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.  (More information an be found on the “Senses of Summer” project page 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 was 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 worked on the first draft of “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.  (More information on the opera can be found on the “Memoirs of Antonina” project page HERE).

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.

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 & Club Passim ( http://www.passim.org )

November 2017-June 2020
“Synesthesia Suite: Live” Concert Series with The Museum of Science, Boston
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: From 2017-2020, Mary collaborated 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) were paired with customized 360° full-dome visuals created by the museum’s award-winning planetarium team. The visuals for each piece were 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 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). The creation of these new technologies was made possible by a generous grant awarded to the Neoperceptions team by the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT). 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 various events, can be found on the "Synesthesia Suite: Live" project page HERE).

April 2017-May 2019 [ IN PROGRESS ]
Opera: The Memoirs of Antonina (Draft One - "Official Version" currently in progress)
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 2017-2019, with an "official" version begun in 2022 and on target to be completed in 2024. (More information on the opera can be found on the “Memoirs of Antonina” project page HERE).

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, and the full Mount Auburn Cemtery Composer Residency project page 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 a series of vocal and instrumental works inspired by the night sky’s constellations entitled “Synesthesia Suite: Constellations”, which premiered at the Museum of Science Boston on November 30th 2017.

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