Bryce David Dessner (born April 23, 1976) is an American composer and guitarist based in Paris, as well as a member of the rock band the National. Dessner's twin brother Aaron is also a member of the group. Together they write the music, in collaboration with lead singer / lyricist Matt Berninger.
In addition to his work with the National, Dessner is known for his independent work as a composer. His orchestral, chamber, and vocal compositions have been commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, ensemble intercontemporain, Metropolitan Museum of Art (for the New York Philharmonic), Kronos Quartet, Carnegie Hall, BAM Next Wave Festival, Barbican Centre, Edinburgh International Festival, Sounds from a Safe Harbour Festival, Cork City County, Cork Ireland, Sydney Festival, eighth blackbird, Sō Percussion, New York City Ballet, and many others. His work Murder Ballades was featured on eighth blackbird's album Filament, an album he also produced and performs on, and which won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Small Ensemble Performance.
Dessner has collaborated with artists such as Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Nico Muhly, Jonny Greenwood, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Justin Peck, Ragnar Kjartansson, Katia and Marielle Labèque, and Taylor Swift, among others. Dessner is the founder of the MusicNOW Festival, co-founder of Copenhagen's HAVEN festival, and co-curates the festival Sounds from a Safe Harbour. He is a founding member of the improvisatory instrumental group Clogs and co-founder of Brassland Records. In 2018, Dessner was named one of eight creative and artistic partners for San Francisco Symphony as part of incoming Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen's new leadership model for the orchestra from 2020. He has a master's degree in music from Yale University.
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