MARK DANCIGERS is a composer of chamber, orchestral, film, and solo instrumental works, and the electric guitarist for the new-chamber music group NOW Ensemble. Praised for his "entrancing" music in the New York Times, Dancigers creates scores that are melodically driven, texturally imaginative, and sonically vibrant.
After growing up in Virginia Beach, VA, and picking up the guitar at age 11, Dancigers studied composition at Yale (B.A.), the Yale School of Music (M.M.), and Princeton University (PhD). His principal teachers have been composer and electric guitarist Steven Mackey, Martin Bresnick, Paul Lansky, Ezra Laderman, John Halle, Kathryn Alexander, and Matthew Suttor. He has previously been on the faculties of New College of Florida and Yale College, and is currently Assistant Professor at the University of Redlands.
Dancigers' recent collaborations include creating music for the indie rock band San Fermin and NOW Ensemble together, which premiered at the Ecstatic Music Festival in Merkin Hall and was repeated at Troy Savings Bank, and on the Crashfest at the House of Blues, Boston. He has worked with Oscar nominated director Sam Green on the film "The Measure of All Things", premiered at the Sundance Festival with live soundtrack performed by yMusic. The film score has been performed subsequently in the Netherlands, Greece, the U.K., and venues around the United States. Dancigers also co-scored, with Troy Herion, the feature documentary "The Dog" about the life John Wojtowicz, the subject of "Dog Day Afternoon".
Dancigers has collaborated with New York City Ballet choreographer Justin Peck for a pas de deux called "The Bright Motion", commissioned by the Fall for Dance for their 10th Anniversary Season. He has also collaborated with New York City Ballet choreographer Troy Schumacher and his group Ballet Collective on a pas de deux, "The Last Time This Ended". The latter was praised in the Huffington Post as "creeping, majestic, and fantastical; it feels textured, like if you could touch the music, it would prick you."
Mark Dancigers' music has been performed at the Apples and Olives Festival in Zurich, the Nordernzon Performing Arts Festival in the Netherlands, The Athens Concert Hall, Greece, Sydney, Australia, Carnegie Hall, Miller Theater, Symphony Space, Merkin Hall, BargeMusic, the Kitchen NYC, Arts Brookfield at the Brookfield Place Winter Garden, the Bang on a Can Marathon, the Percussive Arts Society International Conference, the Skaneateles Festival, Cal Arts, the Strathmore Mansion, Music Mondays, the Festival International Chihuahua, Mexico, the Music Gallery, Toronto, Montclaire State's Peak Performances, Pittsburgh's Music on the Edge, Southern Exposure, New Music New College, Western Michigan University, the Carlsbad Festival, the Look and Listen Festival, and numerous other venues.
His orchestra music has been performed by the Alabama, Minnesota, Cabrillo, and New York Youth Symphony Orchestras. A large part of his chamber music output is for NOW Ensemble, whose second album "Awake" charted at #2 on Amazon's Classical Music Charts and was featured on NPR's All Things Considered. Their recent album "Dreamfall" was released to critical acclaim in May 2015, with the blog "I Care if you Listen" writing, "Dreamfall’s' harmonies are tonal and the sounds from the instruments mostly conventional but always used with masterful imagination and delicate balance."
As an album producer, his credits include pianist Michael Mizrahi's "Currents" (2016) and "The Bright Motion" (2012), which made the Top Ten Best Classical Releases of 2012 in both Time Out New York and Time Out Chicago. Critics wrote that Dancigers' piece "The Bright Motion" contained the album's "loveliest moments...Stately trills repeat operatically throughout, creating wave-like effects whose lulling motions impart a dream-like, incantatory feeling to the material—bright motion, indeed" (Textura).