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Mark Engebretson

Greensboro, NC      

My creative work is driven by long time interests in melody, timbre, virtuosity, digital and electronic media, multiple levels of associations and a desire for fresh, engaging forms of expression. Lately I have been trying to inject influences that stem from performers, family and friends directly into the fabric of my compositions. I have also developed a number of pieces that incorporate text, most often working with living poets (Maya Angelou, Brian Lampkin, Michael Basinski). Finally, I have unleashed a lifelong passion for pop music that manifests itself most explicitly in works such as Super Glue, RockStar and the Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra.


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 a North Carolina Artist Fellowship in Composition (for the Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and Orchestra), a Fulbright Fellowship for studies in France, and has received major commissions from Harvard University’s Fromm Music Foundation (Acrylic Waves), the University of Wisconsin-Madison (They Said: sinister resonance), the Thomas S. Kenan Center for the Arts (Deliriade) and the Barlow Foundation.


Current compositional projects include a new work commissioned by the Greensboro Symphony for the 60th birthday celebration of renowned violinist and conductor Dmitry Sitkovetsky. Performers who have championed his music include the Oasis, Vienna and Red Clay Saxophone Quartets, Due East, saxophonists Susan Fancher, James Romain, Steve Stusek, Jonathan Helton and Paul Bro, violinists Dmitry Sitkovetsky and Marjorie Bagley, trombonist Mark Hetzler and flutist Tadeu Coelho. Other significant performances have been given by the Orquestra Sinfônica da Universidade da São Paulo, the Cleveland Winds, the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra and the Greensboro Opera. Engebretson is the founder and director of the UNCG New Music Festival (2003-present), and has had performances of his works at SEAMUS, ICMC, Wien Modern, Third Practice, Festival of New American Music, ISCM, BGSU Festival of New Music and Art, Carnegie Hall, Sala São Paulo, Argentina, Albania, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Sweden, Norway, China, across America and throughout Europe. Over twenty of his compositions are recorded on the Albany, Innova, Lotus, Parma/Navona and Mark labels.


Mark Engebretson taught composition at the University of Florida, music theory at 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 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.