The Gist (100 words):
Described as “superb partner,” pianist Mark Bilyeu passionately engages in music as a committed performer, inspiring teacher and enterprising curator. As a performer, he was the only American finalist in the 2015 Das Lied Song Competition, and maintains a busy concert schedule. As an educator, he has served as faculty at several universities, most recently at the University of Northern Iowa as a Visiting Artist in Vocal Coaching and Collaborative Piano. As a curator, his pride and joy is the Source Song Festival: a weeklong celebration of words and music in Minneapolis.
Short Bio (250 words):
Described as “superb partner,” pianist Mark Bilyeu passionately engages in music as a committed performer, inspiring teacher and enterprising curator.
He was the only American finalist in the 2015 Das Lied Song Competition, and maintains an active performing schedule. He has served as faculty at Viterbo University and was the Visiting Artist in Vocal Coaching and Collaborative Piano at the University of Northern Iowa. He is also the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the Source Song Festival. Held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Source is a week-long celebration of words and music which includes public concerts and masterclasses by international artists for pianists and singers, as well as a composer institute led by Libby Larsen.
Bilyeu has performed at such venues as the Grand Théâtre de Tours (France), the Schubert Club of St. Paul, the Everson Museum (New York), PianoForte Foundation, and the Belle Sylvester Recital Series of New York. He has been heard via live radio broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio with soprano Lori Phillips, and on WFMT via the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series.
He holds degrees from the Chicago College of Performing Arts and the University of Minnesota, studying with Timothy Lovelace and Chicago Symphony Orchestra pianist Mary Sauer. He has studied at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Britten-Pears, Vancouver International Song Institute and l’Academie Françis Poulenc. Additional studies with Malcolm Martineau, Roger Vignoles and Susan Manoff.
Upcoming recording projects include “The Transmodernist Troubadour,” a recording of music by Australian composer Nicholas Vines with baritone Aaron Engebreth on the Navonna label and a Winterreise recording on Leaf Records with tenor Jon Valender.
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Described as “superb partner,” pianist Mark Bilyeu passionately engages in music as a committed performer, inspiring teacher and enterprising curator. He was the only American finalist in the 2015 Das Lied Song Competition directed by Thomas Quasthoff, held in Berlin Germany, and continues to be a sought-after partner of musicians across the country for engagements around the globe.
As a recitalist, Mark is committed to the idea that communication, community and context are necessary to engaging and energizing audiences. He is continually developing ways to expand the genre to create meaningful and challenging experience for his audiences. He has performed at such venues as the Grand Théâtre de Tours (France), the Schubert Club (Minnesota), MacPhail Center for Music (Minnesota), the Everson Museum (New York), PianoForte Foundation (Illinois), and the Belle Sylvester Recital Series of New York. He has been heard via live radio broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio with soprano Lori Phillips and tenor Matthew Vickers, and on WFMT via the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series with mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski.
He has been selected to study at the Aspen Summer Music Festival, Britten Pears Young Artist Programme, the l’Académie Françis Poulenc, the Roger Vignoles Mentoring Program, the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, the Vancouver International Song Institute, Musique sur mer en Acadie studying with pianist Susan Manoff and was a 2017 Crear Scholar studying with Malcolm Martineau in Scotland. He has participated in master classes given by Graham Johnson, Warren Jones, Julius Drake, Christoph Prégardien, Martin Katz, Jeff Cohen, Irwin Gage, Margo Garrett, Sir Thomas Allen, Joan Rogers, and François Le Roux.
With a passion for art song and a dedication to creating educational experiences for others, Bilyeu serves as Founding Artistic Director of the Source Song Festival. Founded in 2014 with Clara Osowski, Source is a weeklong festival based in the Twin Cities, where Bilyeu calls home. Source brings in world-class vocalists, pianists and composers to offer master classes, workshops and performances for local audiences and the students selected to study from across the country, while actively working to showcase Minnesota’s vibrant community. Over the course of its three years, Source has engaged such artists as baritones Håkan Hagegård and François Le Roux, mezzo-soprano Adriana Zabala, tenor Michael Slattery, soprano Maria Jette, pianists Martin Katz, Arlene Shrut and Olivier Godin, composer Dominick Argento and Source Composer Mentor Libby Larsen.
An advocate for new music, Bilyeu has premiered solo piano woks by David Evan Thomas and Justin Rubin, and songs and song cycles by Paul John Rudoi, Eric Reda Kala Pierson, and Justin Spenner. He was a Featured Guest Artist at Southern Illinois University- Carbondale’s ‘Outside the Box New Music Festival’ where he gave the American premiere of Brian Rosen’s “L’oiseau libre” and the world premiere of Jacob Tews’ sonata for violin and piano “the roar of the lion and other fine children’s stories” with violinist Erik Rohde.
He has served as music director with Chicago Opera Vanguard, Chicago Folks Operetta, and ensemble113, and has been seen as pianist with Minnesota Concert Opera, VocalEssence, Silver Swan, Chicago Choral Artists, and served as Associate Keyboardist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony.
A graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts, he holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts where he studied with pianist Meng-Chieh Liu and vocal coach Dana Brown. Following graduation, he had the privilege of studying with Chicago Symphony pianist Mary Sauer. He completed a master’s degree in Vocal Coaching & Accompanying from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with Norriko Kawai and Timothy Lovelace.
Upcoming recording projects include “The Transmodernist Troubadour,” a recording of music by Australian composer Nicholas Vines with baritone Aaron Engebreth on the Navonna label, and a Winterreise recording with tenor Jon Valender for Canada’s Leaf Records.