Brian Mark


Brian Mark


New York City based composer and pianist Brian Mark has been hailed as an "attractive and intelligible" artist (Boston Musical Intelligencer), whose work is "compelling" (London Jazz News), and "preserves the vibrancy and relevance of contemporary art music" (New York Examiner). The American Composers Forum esteemed Brian as an "intelligent, modern composer who employs many media elements and does so with marked idiosyncrasy and depth”, and his concert programming has recently been described as “a fluid approach to presenting new music in fresh contexts and juxtapositions” (The New Yorker).

Brian’s music have been performed by many notable ensembles, such as the BBC Singers, Psappha Ensemble, Chelsea Symphony, Ensemble Signal, Atlas Ensemble, MikroEnsemble, Brave New Works, Choral Chameleon, both the Ligeti and Esterhazy String Quartets, Juventas Ensemble, Dither Quartet, members of the London Symphony Orchestra, among many others. His works have been presented around the world in festivals such as Bang on a Can, Oregon Bach Festival, London Contemporary Music Festival, Atlas Festival, Spitalfields Music Festival, i=u, June in Buffalo, Tutti Festival, the Bowdoin International Music Festival, and the highSCORE Festival.

Brian has been awarded the 2016 Jerome Composers Commissioning Program/Jerome Fund, and a recent commission from the Astoria Music Project. He has also received multiple awards and grants from New Music USA, the Grammy Foundation, ASCAP and SCI, New London Singers, Ross McKee Foundation, Florence Gould Michael Iovenko Memorial Fellowship, the BMI Henry Warren Film Scoring Award, and was very highly commended for the 2016 Alan Bush Prize. He has been featured as a composer-in-residence with the Chelsea Symphony, the Bizarre Noir Theatre Company, and was awarded multiple artist residencies at the I-Park Artists’ Enclave, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and the Ucross Foundation. He has received Honorable Mentions from both the 2015 American Prize in Orchestral Composition and the 2019 Zodiac International Music Competition, and was recently awarded a summer fellowship to study Korean Music at the National Gugak Centre in Seoul, South Korea. In addition, he was recently awarded one of the top ten prizes from Mozaik Philanthropy's "Future Art Awards" competition, as a result of his work created in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic.

As a composer for film, his music for the Independent Short Film Misunderstood, directed by Pablo Herrán de Viu, was exhibited at the 2009 Screen Loud Film Festival in New York City, and the 2010 Festival Internacional de Cine Pobre de Humberto Solás in Habana City, Cuba. His collaborative work Sublime Oasis, commissioned by the East London Dance Company, was showcased at the 2012 Spitalfields Hidden Gems Dance Festival.

From 2009-2011 Brian was the Co-Artistic Director and Founder for DETOUR, a composer collective and New Music Ensemble, which was featured as “one the top five new music events of 2011" from New York’s Classical WQXR. He has also collaborated with UK’s record label Nonclassical as a concert curator, featuring emerging composers and artists throughout London and abroad. In addition, he was appointed as an Associate Member for the London Symphony Orchestra’s Composer Soundhub Scheme from 2015-2017, which culminated of his first video installation performance comprising of members from the LSO. His curated concert series Ensemble in Process made its debut at the Iklectik Creative Space in Southeast London on 15 May, 2017.

Brian had completed his PhD at the Royal Academy of Music, studying with Gary Carpenter. He is also a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Berklee College of Music, and Boston University. He has received a graduate certificate in film scoring from the University of Southern California, and has also studied with Philip Cashian, Samuel Adler, David Conte, David Garner, James Russell Smith, and Howard Frazin.

Cole Bartels is a trombonist currently based in Madison, WI, where he is pursuing Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in trombone performance at the University of Wisconsin. He studies with Prof. Mark Hetzler, and also serves as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the trombone studio. He holds a Master of Music degree in trombone performance, and Graduate Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy from the University of Tennessee, where he served as a graduate teaching assistant. Additionally, Bartels holds a Bachelor of Music degree in performance from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN. His previous teachers include Dr. Alex van Duuren, Dr. Nat Dickey, Dr. Ed Huttlin, and Douglas Wright. Cole has participated in master classes with Ian Bousfield, Derek Hawkes, Casey Jones, Scott Hartman, Gabriel Langfur, Randy Hawes, Dr. Sarah Paradis, Marshall Gilkes, and more.

​Bartels currently serves as principal trombone in the University of Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, and as 2nd trombone in the Latin Pride Orquesta, as well as being an in-demand freelancer in the Madison area. He has recently served as principal trombone in the UT Symphony Orchestra, lead trombone in the UT Big Band, and was a regular top call substitute for many ensembles throughout the Knoxville, TN area. He is a substitute trombonist and bass trumpet with the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra. Bartels is also an active chamber musician, recently as trombonist in the Volunteer Brass Quintet. Bartels regularly freelances as a classical, jazz, and contemporary trombonist throughout the country and has recently performed with performed with exciting artists such as Bill Frisell, Peter Erskine, and Michael Dease.

​Believing in the importance of the music of our time, Bartels has committed himself to the intense study and performance of contemporary music. In June, 2018 he attended the nief-norf festival as a performance fellow. Previously, he attended the Bang on a Can summer festival in July, 2016. He, along with composer/guitarist Colin Holter, was commissioned to create an original improvised score for Theatre B's devised work "The Oil Project" in summer 2015.

​As a solo artist he has commissioned many pieces from composers including Colin Holter, Tyler Taylor, Steven Makela, Brianna Drevlow, and Jorge Variego to name a few. As a chamber musician, Bartels was a founding member of Triangulum, a trombone trio dedicated to new music and educational outreach. Triangulum commissioned works from a wide array of composers including Natalie Fideler, Kyle Tieman-Strauss, Brianna Drevlow, Jordan Degerness, Daniel Breedon and more.

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