Mark Applebaum has built an instrument out of doorstops and combs, as well as composed a piece of music to be performed by a florist.

Why you should listen

Don’t ask Mark Applebaum the question, “Is this music?” A composer and performer, he takes great joy in challenging the conventional boundaries of musical ontology. His solo, chamber, choral, orchestral, operatic and electroacoustic work has been performed throughout the world. He is also an accomplished jazz pianist and the founding director of the Stanford Improvisation Collective.

An associate professor of composition at Stanford University, Applebaum received the Walter J. Gores Award for excellence in teaching in 2003. He was also recently named the Hazy Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and the Leland & Edith Smith Faculty Scholar.

What others say

“Crazy and wild, this is a typical Applebaum work, entertaining yet daring.” —

Mark Applebaum’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Mark Applebaum


The unusual musical stylings of Mark Applebaum: 5 examples

August 3, 2012

Composer Mark Applebaum is bored by the standard rules of music. In a madcap talk given at TEDxStanford, the associate professor of composition shares how he began thinking far outside the box — as well as outside of the violin and piano — when writing music. But explaining Applebaum’s pieces in words won’t make very […]

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