Bryce Dessner Embarks on Multi-year Artist Residency with Yale Schwarzman Center in Collaboration with Notable Artists Julia Bullock, Ash Fure, Nathalie Joachim, Kaneza Schaal & Anna Thorvaldsdóttir
Nearly 25 years after graduating from Yale, acclaimed Grammy® Award-winning musician, composer, arranger, guitarist Bryce Dessner returns to New Haven to embark on a multi-year residency as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence at the newly opened Yale Schwarzman Center (YSC), in collaboration with extraordinary musicians, artists, thinkers, and doers at and beyond Yale, and produced in partnership with ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann. As a feature of the multi-project residency, Dessner has curated and commissioned new multi-disciplinary works from a roster of emerging creators to be performed this season —including Julia Bullock, Ash Fure, Nathalie Joachim, Kaneza Schaal & Anna Thorvaldsdóttir —whose work amplifies their lived experiences across gender, race, and culture.
Each artist, including Dessner, will spend time on Yale’s campus engaging in research as they develop new works to debut at YSC beginning this fall and extending into the next year, as well as a major new theatrical project produced by ArKtype in association with partners worldwide. The Dessner residency series of commissioned works will be free and open to the public. Additionally, Dessner will offer master classes to students and alumni, various public events, and will join events hosted for the New Haven community.
“Julia, Ash, Nathalie, Kaneza and Anna are artists with a capital A—they defy genres and blur boundaries between space, composition, and performance,” said Dessner. “I’m excited to harness our collaborative energy as we build a community for students, local musicians, and in my case, old colleagues and friends—to be able to expose them to new kinds of genres, new experiences, and all the possibilities within and beyond the music industry.”
In spring 2023, Dessner will punctuate his time in New Haven performing with his pioneering minimalist group Dream House Quartet. The group will present US and world premieres of works commissioned by YSC by Dessner and Icelandic composer Anna Thorvaldsdóttir, among additional works by Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, Philip Glass and more. Formed in 2018, Dream House Quartet fuses classical and contemporary musical forms, featuring luminaries Katia and Marielle Labèque on duelling pianos along with Dessner and David Chalmin on electric guitars to perform genre-bending compositions.
Following the slate of new commissions, Dessner will embark on the creation of a new music-theater work in partnership with acclaimed Director Kaneza Schaal to be announced and premiered in future seasons.
Most music fans know Dessner as one of the five members of The National, one of the most celebrated indie-rock bands of recent years and winner of a Grammy Award for best alternative album for its “Sleep Well Beast” (2017). The National continues to perform globally at major venues and festivals like Pitchfork, Primavera Sound, All Points East and Lollapalooza.
With compositions and performances that zig zag between classical or contemporary, electro, rock and jazz, Dessner has worked with artists such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Jonny Greenwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Justin Peck, Ragnar Kjartansson, Katia and Marielle Labèque, and Taylor Swift, among others.
“I'm most often inspired by people who are different than me, who have a challenging idea, and so, I tend to enjoy working not only with untrained musicians, student musicians, musicians from different cultures, but also non-musical partners like writers, choreographers, filmmakers and visual artists,” said Dessner. “That’s why I am eager to reconnect with a deeper well at the Yale Schwarzman Center and truly give back to a place that fostered my own growth as a musician.”
As an increasingly high-profile presence in the world of film score composition, including Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Oscar®-winning The Revenant, Dessner is one of the most sought-after composers of his generation, working with artists across a variety of genres. He also has written orchestral, chamber, and vocal compositions for the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Kronos Quartet, BAM Next Wave Festival, Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Festival, eighth blackbird, Roomful of Teeth, Sō Percussion and New York City Ballet, among others.
The Bryce Dessner Residency is one in a series of highlights in YSC’s public programming this fall—a much anticipated season that celebrates the Center’s activation of live performances following a four-year renovation and subsequent pandemic-related offsets. For more information on YSC’s fall programming visit https://schwarzman.yale.edu.