“A daring and unique musical spectacle…Dessner’s well-crafted music deftly unites text and image. Triptych is Dessner’s most arresting and provocative work to date; the musical lines reveal the symbolic subtleties that the show explores.”  – San Francisco Chronicle
“A remarkable achievement – sleek, engrossing…Director Kaneza Schaal stages the piece with a keenly alert sense of how to fit all the jigsaw pieces together…a calm, almost effortless virtuosity…Dessner has crafted a score of striking versatility and expressive power…sends the audience out of the hall in a jumble of emotion and faith.”  – Boston Classical Voice
“Dessner has proven himself capable of intensity and innovation…Isaiah Robinson, a simmering force of a tenor with a falsetto to die for, lined out a keening hymn while vocal band Roomful of Teeth backed him up with haunting, laser-precise harmonies. Singing a velvety spiritual, Alicia Hall Moran wielded her mezzo voice like a knife made of rose petals.”  – The Boston Globe
“Taps into liminality by combining multiple mediums to create a sensory experience of sound, sight and pure emotion…Complex stories demand complex performances, and the construction of “Triptych” pushed the boundaries of sight and sound to explore Mapplethorpe and his subjects.” – Daily Californian
“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
“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
“A re-examination and an exaltation of the photographer’s enduring imagery, with its classical beauty and raw eroticism. – ArtNews
“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 catalogue of works commissioned by leading ensembles across the world.  A curator and vital force in the flourishing realm of new creative music, Bryce is known to many as a guitarist with The National. Dessner’s orchestral, chamber, and vocal compositions have been commissioned by the likes of Los Angeles Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Metropolitan Museum of Art (for the New York Philharmonic), Kronos Quartet, BAM Next Wave Festival, Barbican Centre, Edinburgh International Festival, Carnegie Hall, Sydney Festival, eighth blackbird, Sō Percussion, New York City Ballet, and many others. He collaborates across art forms with some of the world’s most creative and respected artists, including Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Alejandro Iñarritú, Paul Simon, Sufjan Stevens, Caroline Shaw, Johnny Greenwood,Bon Iver, Justin Peck, Ragnar Kjartansson, Jennifer Koh, Kelley O’Connor and Nico Muhly.Dessner’s work Murder Ballads, featured on eighth blackbird’s album Filament won the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. He also co-wrote the score, along with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto – and was Grammy and Golden Globe nominated – for Alejandro Iñárritu’s Oscar Award-winning film,The Revenant. Aheym, commissioned in 2009 by Kronos Quartet, served as the centerpiece of a 2013 Kronos disc devoted to Dessner’s music on the Anti- label. St. Carolyn by the Sea followed in 2014 on Deutsche Grammophon, featuring the lyrical title work and two other Dessner compositions performed by the Copenhagen Philharmonic under Andre de Ridder. May 2015 marked the release on Brassland of Music for Wood and Strings, an album-length work performed by Sō Percussion on custom-built “Chord Sticks” that lend a shimmering, hammer dulcimer-like quality. In 2015, MusicNOW, the Cincinnati-based contemporary music festival he founded celebrated its tenth anniversary. He is also co-curator of HAVEN, Copenhagen’s annual festival ‘for the senses, merging experiments in art, music, beer and food’ which launched in 2017 and PEOPLE, which launched officially in Berlin in 2018. Other recent notable projects include Quilting, a 17-minute score co-commissioned with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and The Most Incredible Thing, a ballet created by Dessner, Justin Peck and Marcel Dzama, and Dessner’sConcerto for Two Pianos, written for Katia and Marielle Labèque, recerntly released by Deustche. Further commissions include: Voy a Dormir (2018) written for mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and St. Luke’s Orchestra; Skrik Trio, commissioned by Steve Reich and Carnegie Hall for the Three Generations Series; No Tomorrow(a ballet by Ragnar Kjartansson, Margrét Bjarnadóttir and Bryce Dessner) winner of Iceland’s Griman Award;and the soundtrack for Death of Marsha P. Johnson,the Netflix documentary about the LGBT rights activist. Dessner earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Yale University and resides in Paris.


featuring Katia & Marielle Làbeque, Bryce Dessner & David Chalmin
North American Premiere Tour Produced by ArKtype

Bryce Dessner & the Labèque Sisters bring their latest incarnation for premiere North American tour in the 2022-23 season – two pianos and two guitars, featuring collaborator David Chalmin (La Terre Invisible) with new works by Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Aphex Twin, Brian Eno, Hildur Guðnadóttir (Oscar winner for Best Score for Joker), Anna Thorvaldsdottir, Philip Glass, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, Caroline Shaw, Timo Andres and David Chalmin. Thom Yorke’s compositions include Don’t Fear The Light and newly generated Gawpers, these pieces for two pianos, electronics and modular synthesizer are Yorke’s first compositions for classical music artists and concert halls.

Personnel: 6
Availability: April 2023


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 Jennifer Newman & 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, Brooklyn, NY
June 18-19, 2019 Holland Festival, Amsterdam, NL
June 26, 2019 Summer Nostros Festival, Athens, GR
September 20, 2019 Texas Performing Arts, UT Austin, TX
September 28, 2019 CalPerformances, UC Berkley, CA
October 3, 2019 Stanford Live, Stanford, CA
October 9, 2019 The Moore Theatre, Seattle Theatre Group, Seattle WA
October 30 – November 3, 2019 ArtsEmerson, Boston, MA
April 14, 2020 Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH

Plus more to be announced soon!

Worldwide Touring 2019-2021 OPEN