Mark Kirschenmann is a versatile author, composer, performer, teacher and theorist. His research interests include the musical confluences of composition and improvisation, electronic and acoustic, jazz with contemporary classical and popular, and the musical legacy of Finland.
Mark has recently appeared with pianist Thollem McDonas, bassist Henry Grimes, flutist Nicole Mitchell, cornetist Rob Mazurek's Chicago and Sao Paulo Underground groups, saxophonists Oliver Lake and Arthur Blythe, and pianist Iiro Rantala of Trio Töykeät. Mark is a pioneer of the electric trumpet, as evidenced by his recently released CD This Electric Trumpet. He also composes and performs with E3Q, a UM faculty trio that includes percussionist Michael Gould and cellist Katri Ervamaa. E3Q’s Songbook One was the premiere release of UM's recently formed Block M Records. Mark and others have performed his music in major venues of New York, Chicago and Europe. His recent composition premieres include Poison City for coloratura soprano and accordion, Hydroplane for tuba, trumpet and percussion, and Metamorfooseja Paavon virrestä for five cellos. An accomplished writer, Mark has collaborated on music theory textbooks, and has produced numerous articles pertaining to jazz theory and improvisation. The All Music Guide publishes many of his record reviews and artist biographies.
Dr. Kirschenmann holds degrees in composition and music theory from Carnegie Mellon University (B.F.A. with highest honors), the Eastman School of Music (M.A.), and the University of Michigan (Ph.D.), where he is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor. For the Department of Jazz and Improvisation, Mark teaches improvisation-based music theory, directs a large, creative improvisation ensemble, and coaches jazz combos. At the Residential College, a living-learning community within the College of Literature, Science and Arts, he teaches composition, theory, improvisation and electronic music. Mark also directs the Michigan Youth Jazz Improvisation program.