Music - Composition and Electronic Music
Mark Engebretson (b. 1964) is Associate Professor of Composition and Electronic Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is the recipient of the 2011 North Carolina Artist Fellowship in Composition, and has received major commissions from Harvard University's Fromm Music Foundation and the Thomas S. Kenan Center for the Arts.
He is the founder of the UNCG New Music Festival, with performances at SEAMUS, ICMC, Wien Modern, Third Practice, Festival of New American Music, ISCM, BGSU Festival of New Music and Art, Carnegie Hall, Argentina, Albania, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, China, Terre Haute and many more. Recordings of his work are available on the Albany, Innova, Lotus, and Capstone labels.
Dr. Engebretson taught composition at the University of Florida, music theory at the SUNY Fredonia and 20th-century music history at the Eastman School of Music. He studied at the University of Minnesota (graduating Summa cum Laude), the Conservatoire de Bordeaux (as a Fulbright Scholar), and Northwestern University, where he received the Doctor of Music degree. At Northwestern he studied composition with M. William Karlins, Pauline Oliveros, Marta Ptaszynska, Michael Pisaro, Stephen Syverud and Jay Alan Yim and saxophone with Frederick Hemke. His teachers in France were Michel Fuste-Lambezat and Jean-Marie Londeix.
Melody, timbre, virtuosity, clear and balanced formal structure, the integration of new media, multiple levels of associations, and a desire for fresh, engaging expression all drive my creative work. Of course, the concept of melody can be interpreted quite broadly: a melody could be a singing, arcing line, a single tone with constant microtonal or timbre changes, a jumping, jagged, asymmetrical riff, or a lick played on a snare drum. A fascination with both performance and compositional virtuosity joins melody to form the basis of my ongoing interest in writing works that push my boundaries as a composer and that engage superstar performers in technical and musical challenges. Such works teach us something about music, endless possibilities, and ourselves.
Photo by Stacey Haines