The Kennedy Center

Bryce Dessner


Bryce Dessner is one of the most sought-after composers of his generation, with a rapidly expanding catalog of works commissioned by leading ensembles. Known to many as a guitarist with The National, he is also active as a curator--a vital force in the flourishing realm of new creative music. His orchestral, chamber, and vocal compositions have been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Metropolitan Museum of Art (for the New York Philharmonic), Kronos Quartet, BAM Next Wave Festival, Barbican Centre, Edinburgh International Festival, Sydney Festival, eighth blackbird, S? Percussion, New York City Ballet, and many others. He has worked with some of the world's most creative and respected musicians and visual artists, including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Jonny Greenwood, Justin Peck, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Matthew Ritchie, among others. His work Murder Ballads, featured on eighth blackbird's album Filament--an album he also produced and performs on--won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. Highlights this season included the premiere of his chamber concerto, Wires, for Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris as part of a weekend celebration of his music at the Philharmonie de Paris. This past fall Dessner was tapped, along with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto, to compose music for Oscar-winning director Alejandro Gonzáles Iñárritu's film, The Revenant, which received a 2016 Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Score.
Bryce Dessner


  • Murder Ballades