Described by the New York Times as “entrancing” and “rich in beguiling timbres”, the music of Mark Dancigers has been commissioned and performed by orchestras and chamber ensembles across the United States. An active electric guitarist and advocate for new music, he has premiered over 60 new works for the electric guitar by emerging and established composers across the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
His orchestral music has been performed by the Albany Symphony Orchestra’s Dogs of Desire, the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, the New York Youth Symphony, the Yale Philharmonia, the Princeton University Orchestra, and at the Minnesota Orchestra Readings. His music has been broadcast on NPR, performed at Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Virginia Arts Festival, the Carlsbad Music Festival, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, Pittsburgh’s Music on the Edge Series, the University of South Carolina’s Southern Exposure series, the Festival International Chihuahua, the Carlsbad Festival, Montclaire State’s Peak Performances series, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the Aperio Music of the Americas Festival, and many other venues by such groups as Opus 21, the Yale Percussion Group, the Quintet of the Americas, and NOW Ensemble. His percussion duo Lion Lying Down has been performed over a dozen times at venues such as the Hartt School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, Michigan State University, University of Maryland at Baltimore, University of Akron, Ohio, and the So Percussion Summer Institute.
As an electric guitarist, he performs regularly with NOW Ensemble, a chamber music group dedicated to commissioning and performing the music of today’s most exciting young composers. NOW Ensemble has performed across the country and held residencies at the University of Virginia, Yale University, and Princeton University and has received grants from Meet the Composer, the Jerome Foundation, and the Copland Fund for New Music. NOW Ensemble’s debut album received five star reviews in Time Out New York and Time Out Chicago and was nominated as one of the top classical releases of 2008 by New Yorker critic Alex Ross. In 2006 he premiered Guggenheim Award winning composer Kathryn Alexander’s electric guitar concerto In the Purest Air, Sapphirine at the Yale Rare Book Library. In 2009 he recorded and performed Scott Johnson’s electric guitar duo Bowery Haunt; the concert “New and Used Guitars” was featured in The New Yorker‘s classical picks and the recording was released on the Tzadik record label.
Mark Dancigers studied at Yale University and the Yale School of Music, where his principal teachers included Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman, Kathryn Alexander, Aaron Jay Kernis, Matthew Suttor, and John Halle, and where he was the recipient of the Rena Greenwald Memorial Prize and the Abraham Beekman Cox Prize. In 2005 he taught composition at Yale University under Kathryn Alexander . He is currently completing his doctorate in music composition at Princeton University, studying with Steven Mackey, Paul Lansky, Dmitri Tymoczko, Barbara White, and Dan Trueman.. Current projects include a commission funded by a Yale Alumni Connections Grant to compose a new work for pianist Michael Mizrahi, as well as a commission from the two-piano two-percussion quartet Hammer/Klavier.