“A radical new work…there was no singular emotional direction a work of this scope could portray, and composer Bryce Dessner fluidly swept us from the awe-inspiring cathedral, to the cold and calculating courtroom, to the intimate bedroom with a score that surged with electricity, sparkling clarity, and biting poignancy.” – artseen
“A re-examination and an exaltation of the photographer’s enduring imagery, with its classical beauty and raw eroticism. – ArtNews
“Witty and wicked…forbidding and seductive…The language is stylized and extravagantly poetic, matching the photographs’ explicit sexual content while meeting their cool elegance with punk Romanticism. – The New York Times
“Dessner’s music was melodically involving and wonderfully performed…like ghostly mournful cries, which underscored the serious intent…two thrilling soloists…not just about Mapplethorpe’s legacy but also a statement about how we suspiciously live in America.” – CityBeat
“Beautifully crafted and performed – San Francisco Classical Voice
“What came through most clearly – often thrillingly – was the score…Gorgeous vocal sound for its own sake…Moran delivered the goods with authority…My overall impression was one of the sheer joy of singing.” –  Classical Voice North America
“Dessner personifies what appears to be a generational shift in musicians. – The Washington Post
“A man who slips in and out of musical guises with disarming ease…this is gorgeous and full-hearted music.” – NPR


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, Kronos Quartet, BAM Next Wave Festival, Barbican Centre, Edinburgh International Festival, Sydney Festival, eighth blackbird, Sō Percussion, New York City Ballet, and many others.


Composed by Bryce Dessner
Libretto by Korde Arrington Tuttle, Featuring the Words of Patti Smith & Essex Hemphill
Directed by Kaneza Schaal
Featuring Roomful of Teeth
Music Direction & Conducting by Brad Wells
Set & Costume Design by Carlos Soto
Lighting Design by Yuki Nakase
Video by Simon Harding
Associate Director Lilleth Glimcher
Associate Music Director  William Brittelle
Dramaturgy by Talvin Wilks & Christopher Myers

Produced by ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann
In Cooperation with The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

World Premieres:
March 5, 2019 – LA Phil (Concert Premiere)
March 15-16, 2019 – University Musical Society, Ann Arbor, MI (World Premiere)

Robert Mapplethorpe shook the world with his striking images of S/M, still lifes and Black and interracial subjects –  thrusting the artist into the national eye within the unfolding drama of culture wars and obscenity trials. Thirty years after his death we still cannot turn away. Inspired by Mapplethorpe’s challenge of the ideals of artistic expression, human sexuality, and public decency, Bryce Dessner, one of the most sought-after contemporary composers of his generation, has set an original and soaring oratorio. This genre-melding theatrical event also features the poetry of Essex Hemphill, a poet, and activist working at the forefront of Black, Gay liberation throughout the 1980s and 90s and poet and muse Patti Smith. Filtered through the lens of a uniquely intergenerational and cross-cultural team of visionary artists including Librettist Korde Arrington Tuttle, Director Kaneza Schaal and Designer Carlos Soto in collaboration with the renowned vocal ensemble, Roomful of Teeth, Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) is an unblinking, present-day meditation on images that reject being relegated to the past. This multi-disciplinary mash-up of photography, music, and poetry asks us to reconsider what it is to see and be seen, putting the audience inside the artist’s viewfinder, to witness Mapplethorpe’s beautiful, bold, voracious interpretation of how nature and humans look, touch, feel, hurt and love one another.

Produced in Residency with and Commissioned by University Musical Society, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI. Co-produced by Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gustavo Dudamel Music and Artistic Director. TRIPTYCH was co-commissioned by BAM; Luminato Festival, Toronto, Canada; Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, Athens, Greece; Cincinnati Opera, Cincinnati, OH; Cal Performances, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; Stanford Live, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; Adelaide Festival, Australia; John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts for performance as part of DirectCurrent 2019; ArtsEmerson: World on Stage, Emerson College, Boston, MA; Texas Performing Arts, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX; Holland Festival, Amsterdam; Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; the Momentary, Bentonville, AR, Celebrity Series, Boston, MA, and residency development through MassMOCA, North Adams, MA.


Artist Press Kit
Artist website


Triptych (Eyes of One On Another)

March 5, 2019 LA Phil, Disney Hall, Los Angeles, CA (CONCERT PREMIERE)
March 15-16, 2019 University Musical Society @ Power Center, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (WORLD PREMIERE)
March 22, 2019 – Big Ears Festival, Knoxville, TN
April 6, 2019 – Direct Current, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington DC
June 6-8, 2019 Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brookyln, NY
June 18-19, 2019 Holland Festival, Amsterdam, NL
June 22, 2019 Luminato, Toronto, ON
June 26, 2019 Summer Nostros Festival, Athens, GR

Worldwide Touring 2019-2021 OPEN