Mark Applebaum

Mark Applebaum is Associate Professor of Composition at Stanford University. His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic, and electroacoustic work has been performed throughout the United States, Europe, Africa, and Asia with notable premieres at the Darmstadt summer sessions. His music can be heard on the Innova, Tzadik, Capstone, and SEAMUS labels. Many of his pieces are characterized by challenges to the conventional boundaries of musical ontology: works for three conductors and no players, a concerto for florist and orchestra, pieces for instruments made of junk, notational specifications that appear on the faces of custom wristwatches, works for an invented sign language choreographed to sound, a chamber work comprised of obsessive page turns, and a 72-foot long graphic score with no instructions for its interpretation. Applebaum is also an accomplished jazz pianist and builder of electroacoustic sound-sculptures.

On Mark Applebaum:

There’s No Sound in my Head documentary film on his Metaphysics of Notation: [vimeo][/vimeo]

Aphasia, performed by the composer: [vimeo][/vimeo]

General website:

On pieces that influenced Applebaum’s Medium, p. 14:

no. 2, Ligeti’s Poeme Symphonique for 100 Metronomes:

Ligeti says the piece “demands patient, unhurried listening and a willingness to let oneself become accustomed to the process of gradual transformation of rhythmic patterns.” (‘performance instructions’, Schott score, 1962)

no. 3,  Jonathan Harvey: Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco:




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