Mark Richardson is an Associate Professor of Music Theory and Composition at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC where he has taught since 1999. He earned his B.M. in music theory and composition from the University of Kansas, and his M.M. in composition and Ph.D. in music theory from Florida State University. Prior to arriving at ECU, Dr. Richardson taught graduate and undergraduate theory and composition at the University of Oklahoma (1997-99). His interests include both analysis and composition, which lead him to divide his time between the analysis of contemporary music, composing new works, and encouraging students to develop an interest in exploring and creating new music. His research interests include the study of harmony and voice-leading in the music of Stravinsky, and particularly the incorporation of Renaissance dance rhythms in Stravinsky’s ballet Agon. In 2002 he was awarded a research grant from the Paul Sacher Foundation to continue his research and study of Stravinsky’s sketches and source materials at the Paul Sacher research facilities in Basel, Switzerland. His article, “A Manual, a Model, and a Sketch: The Bransle Gay Dance Rhythm in Stravinsky’s Ballet Agon” was published in the Mitteilungen der Paul Sacher Stiftung (Spring 2003), and further research has been presented at the SMT annual meeting in 2003 (Madison, WI) and more recently in his published article “A Bow to the Past: Seventeenth-Century Dance Rhythms in Stravinsky’s Ballet Agon,” in The Musical Quarterly (2014). He has served as an AP Music Theory grader for the College Board for several years, and in 2009 was awarded the UNC Board of Governor’s Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award.
As a composer, he has written for a variety of chamber ensembles, both vocal and instrumental. He was most recently invited as a guest composer for the Missouri State University 2018 Composition Festival in Springfield, MO where his chamber work A Garden Path was performed, and his orchestral work Prairies Ablaze was performed by the MSU Symphony Orchestra. His Croatian Folksongs (for soprano voice and piano) was commissioned and premiered by soprano Louise Toppin at UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014, his composition Arcs and Spirals (for trumpet and piano) was selected for performance at the International Trumpet Guild conference in Velley Forge, PA in 2014, and his work Moonscape (2001, for flute, clarinet in A, and cello) was performed at the 2001 national College Music Society conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Other chamber works include Clickstone (1998, for 4-voice vocal ensemble, guitar and percussion); Places I Remember (1999, for bassoon and piano—inspired by themes by the Beatles); Remembrance (1999, for Bb clarinet, horn, and piano); A Garden Path (2006, for horn and piano) which has been performed throughout the U.S. and is published by Brass Arts Unlimited; Credo (2019, for tenor and bass trombones), and Capriccio (2019, for flute, oboe, and bassoon). In 2013, Dr. Richardson was commissioned to write incidental music for a performance of Sophocles’ play Oedipus Rex at ECU, and he is currently working on a choral mass and several instrumental chamber works. Recent large ensemble works include Spin Cycle (2008, for orchestra), Media Cycle (2010, for symphonic wind ensemble), Concerto for Tuba and Orchestra (2012, written and performed by ECU Tuba Professor Tom McCaslin), and Prairies Ablaze (2015, for chamber orchestra). Dr. Richardson is a registered member of ASCAP and SCI as well as long standing member of CMS, SMT, and MTSE.