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Bryce Dessner is a composer/guitarist/curator based in New York City. He has received widespread acclaim as a composer and guitarist for the improvising new music quartet, Clogs. Bryce has performed and/or recorded with some of the world’s most creative musicians including songwriters Sufjan Stevens, Bon Iver, and Antony Hegarty, Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo, composers Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Nico Muhly and Michael Gordon, the contemporary ensembles, Kronos Quartet, the Bang on a Can All-Stars and visual artist Matthew Ritchie.
Most recently, Dessner has composed two string quartets,
, for the Kronos Quartet. Other recent commissions include a new piece for the Bang on a Can All-stars and a collaborative work for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus with composer Nico Muhly for St. Ann’s Warehouse in Dumbo (NYC). In 2011 and 2012 he will present several new projects including new commissions for the American Composers Orchestra, the Amsterdam Sinfonietta and the Berlin string ensemble, Kaleidoscope.
In 2007 Dessner was awarded a Jerome Grant from the American Composer’s Forum and the Kitchen (NYC) to create a concert of his music. In the same year he created a 40-minute sound work for the Morning Line, a large outdoor sound pavilion by artist Matthew Ritchie for Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary (Vienna). Other works include the
commission by the Rosenbach Library in Philadelphia in honor of Abraham Lincoln’s bi-centennial, and
The Long Count,
an origins story told in myth, music and video, commissioned by Brooklyn Academy of Music for the 2009 Next Wave Festival.
Dessner is best known as the guitarist for the acclaimed rock band The National. Their albums Alligator (2005) and Boxer (2007) were named among albums of the decade in publications throughout the world. Their most recent release, High Violet (2010), debuted at #3 on the US Billboard chart and at #5 in the UK charts. He is also the creator and artistic director of the Music Now Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio, which will present its seventh season in March 2011. He is co-founder and owner of the Brassland record label, which is home to a diverse group of artists including the experimental rock duo Buke and Gass, composer Nico Muhly and cellist Erik Friedlander. Bryce and his brother Aaron also recently produced an extensive AIDS charity compilation, Dark was the Night, for the Red Hot Organization. The ambitious record features exclusive new recordings and collaborations from a long list of artists including David Byrne, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Sharon Jones, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear, My Morning Jacket and Spoon. Dark was the Night has raised over 1.5 million dollars for AIDS charities as of January 2011. Bryce Dessner now serves on the board of The Kitchen in New York City and is a graduate of Yale College and the Yale School of Music.
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