Originally from San Francisco, Mark Grey made his Carnegie Hall debut as a composer with Kronos Quartet in 2003. His solo, ensemble and orchestra music has been performed in many venues such as the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall, Théâtre de la Ville in Paris, Barbican Centre in London, Het Muziektheater in Amsterdam, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, Philharmonie Hall in Warsaw, UNESCO Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, Symphony Hall in Phoenix, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, as well as at the Ravinia, Cabrillo, OtherMinds, Perth International, and Spoleto festivals.
Mr. Grey has been commissioned by The National Opera of Belgium La Monnaie | de Munt Opera to write an evening length grand opera to premiere during the spring of 2016 in Brussels. The subject of the opera will be Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – to commemorate the novel’s 200 year anniversary. Co-commissioners/producers to be announced.
Current commissions for the 2013/14 season include a chamber symphony for the Los Angeles Philharmonic which premiered in April 2014, John Adams conducting, and a 45-minute song cycle for Jessica Rivera (soprano), Stuart Skelton (tenor), and orchestra which premiered in March 2014 with The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Robert Spano conducting. As well, an overture for orchestra LEVIATHAN premiered with the Green Bay Symphony and California Symphony orchestras.
During the 2014/15 season, Grey will write another full-length symphonic work for The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, a full choral work for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and a solo violin work for Jennifer Koh.
During a two month period in the spring of 2011, Mr. Grey received three world premieres in three of the world’s great concert halls. The first work was for soprano Jessica Rivera and The MEME Ensemble, titled Ātash Sorushān (Fire Angels), a Carnegie Hall, Cal Performances and Meet The Composer co-commission, which premiered at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. The libretto for this work was created by poet Niloufar Talebi. The second work, titled Mugunghwa (Rose of Sharon), for violinist Jennifer Koh, The Los Angeles Master Chorale, and chamber orchestra premiered at The Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. Finally, Mr. Grey was commissioned by The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra to write a fanfare for orchestra celebrating Robert Spano’s Tenth Anniversary as Music Director and Donald Runnicles’ Tenth Anniversary as Principal Guest Conductor.
Grey was The Phoenix Symphony’s Composer In Residence for their 2007/08 season. He composed a 70-minute oratorio, Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio, for baritone, chorus of 130 singers, and full orchestra, which premiered in February 2008. The story of the oratorio was based on a Navajo creation mythology story. The residency was funded by Meet The Composer and ASOL’s program Music Alive! In September 2007, a 10-minute full orchestra work was premiered during the residency period, titled The Summons. The oratorio was recorded for Naxos Records and released March 2009. Enemy Slayer: A Navajo Oratorio has also been performed at the Colorado Music Festival in July 2008 and in Salt Lake City in May 2009 with the Salt Lake Choral Artists.
Other commissions include works for The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Minimalist Jukebox Festival, Kronos Quartet, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, Leila Josefowicz, Paul Dresher Ensemble, The California EARUnit, and Joan Jeanrenaud (former Kronos Quartet cellist).
Grey was listed by the The Los Angeles Times – Faces to Watch 2006, Classical Music Section, by Mark Swed.
Bertoia I and II, a two movement composition, was included as part of Kronos’ evening length program Visual Music, which has been performed at Theatre de la Ville (Paris), Sydney Opera House (Australia), Perth International Music Festival (Australia), Barbican Centre (London), Het Muziktheater (Amsterdam), Carnegie Hall (New York City), Royce Hall (Los Angeles) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (San Francisco).
During her 2005/2006 season, violin prodigy Leila Josefowicz toured Grey’s San Andreas Suite for solo unaccompanied violin as part of her recital program. Performances have been worldwide, including Barbican Centre in London, Warsaw Philharmonic Hall, Carnegie Hall in November 2005 and Ravinia Festival in the summer of 2006. As well, she recorded the recital program for Warner Classics, released April 2005. In the summer of 2006, Ms. Josefowicz premiered Grey’s violin concerto titled Elevation at the Colorado Music Festival with conductor Michael Christie, and then at the Cabrillo Music Festival with conductor Marin Alsop.
In April 2009, Molly Morkoski premiered a new solo piano work titled A Rax Dawn at Symphony Space in New York City. In August 2009, Areon Flutes premiered a new flute quartet titled The Alluring Wave at the 2009 U.S. National Flute Convention.
In July 2005, Michael Christie premiered a new work for orchestra titled Pursuit. The work was performed as part of the Colorado Music Festival.
Grey’s music can be heard on Naxos (Enemy Slayer), Joan Jeanrenaud’s debut CD Metamorphosis on New Albion Records, NPR/Nonesuch Records/Carnegie Hall radio series Creators at Carnegie, and Warner Classics (Josefowicz, San Andreas Suite).
Over two decades as a sound designer, professional relationships have led Grey to work with such artists and organizations as John Adams, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Terry Riley, Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers, Kronos Quartet and The Paul Dresher Ensemble. He has premiered major concert and opera works for composers John Adams, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, Peter Eotvos
and Paul Dresher.
Grey was the first sound designer in history to design for The New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in 2002 (Adams’ On the Transmigration of Souls), The Lyric Opera in Chicago in 2007, Disney Concert Hall in 2003 and is the first to design for The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, for Adams’ Doctor Atomic (2008), Nixon in China (2011) and The Death of Klinghoffer (2014). His sound design creations have been seen and heard throughout most major concert halls, theatres and opera houses worldwide.