Since 1990 Mark Applebaum has built electroacoustic instruments out of junk, hardware, and found objects for use as both compositional and improvisational tools. He is the Associate Professor of Composition and Theory at Stanford, where he served as John Philip Coghlan Fellow and received the 2003 Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching. He received his Ph.D. in composition from the University of California at San Diego where he studied principally with Brian Ferneyhough.
His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic, and electroacoustic work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia with notable performances at the Darmstadt summer sessions, ICMC in Beijing and Singapore, the TRANSIT Festival in Belgium, Stockholm New Music, the American Composers Orchestra’s OrchestraTech, the Unyazi Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sonorities in Belfast, Sonic Circuits in Hong Kong, SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles, the Essl Museum in Vienna, the Kennedy Center, at Electronic Music Midwest where served as the 2002 visiting artist, as featured composer at the 2004 University of Michigan Eclectronica Microfestival, and as featured composer at the 61st Festival of Contemporary Music at Louisiana State University.
He has received commissions from Betty Freeman, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, the Fromm Foundation, the Paul Dresher Ensemble, the Vienna Modern Festival, Antwerp’s Champ D’Action, Festival ADEvantgarde in Munich, Zeitgeist, MANUFACTURE (Tokyo), the St. Lawrence String Quartet, the Jerome Foundation, and the American Composers Forum, among others. In 1997 Applebaum received the American Music Center’s Stephen Albert Award and an artist residency fellowship at the Villa Montalvo artist colony in Northern California.
Appelbaum’s Mousetrap Music (1996) and The Bible without God (2005), CDs of sound-sculpture improvisations can be heard on the Innova label. Also on Innova is The Janus ReMixes: Exercises in Auto-Plundering, a CD of eleven electronic works whose source material corresponds exclusively to recordings of the eleven acoustic compositions that constitute his Janus Cycle (1992-1996), as well asIntellectual Property, a CD of hybrid acoustic and electronic works. His orchestral music can be heard on the Innova CD Martian Anthropology; solo pieces appear on the Innova CD Disciplines; and chamber works appear on the Innova CDs 56 1/2 ft. and Asylum, and on the Tzadik CD Catfish.
Applebaum is also active as a jazz pianist and has concertized from Sumatra to the Czech Republic, most recently performing a solo recital in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso sponsored by the American Embassy. At present he performs with his father, Robert Applebaum of Chicago, in the Applebaum Jazz Piano Duo. Their first recording, The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree, is available on Innova. At Stanford University Applebaum also serves as the founding director of [sic]—the Stanford Improvisation Collective. Prior to his current appointment, he taught at UCSD, Mississippi State University, and Carleton College.
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