Lauded as a “superb partner” by schubert.org, pianist Mark Bilyeu has proven himself a talented and versatile musician. With a passion for words, engagement, and collaboration, the Chicago native is in-demand as a recital partner, and his dedication to Song has resulted in the Source Song Festival. He has been seen on stages throughout the Midwest, across the country, and around the globe.
A committed recitalist, Mark has been seen at the PianoForte Foundation in Chicago, Schubert Club of Minnesota, the Alliance Francaise, the VOICES! at St. Matthews, and the Fran Randall series in Chicago, across the Midwest with his piano-horn-voice ensemble Trio Pastiche, and internationally as part of the Stamford Chamber Music Festival (Stamford, UK).
He has participated in the Aspen Summer Music Festival, the l’Académie Françis Poulenc, the Baldwin-Wallace Art Song Festival, the Vancouver International Song Institute, and Musique sur mer en Acadie in Caraquet, NB Canada where in spent a week studying with pianist Susan Manoff. He has participated in masterclasses given by Roger Vignoles, Graham Johnson, Warren Jones, Martin Katz, Jeff Cohen, Irwin Gage, Margo Garrett, Sir Thomas Allen, Joan Rogers, and François Le Roux.
An advocate for new music, Bilyeu has premiered works by Paul John Rudoi, Eric Reda, Justin Spenner, and was a Featured Guest Artist at Southern Illinois University- Carbondale’s ‘Outside the Box New Music Festival where he gave the American premiere of Brian Rosen’s “L’oiseau libre” and the world premier of Jacob Tews’ sonata for violin and piano “the roar of the lion and other fine children’s stories” with violinist Erik Rohde.
His work with mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski has taken him across the country and around the world, with recitals throughout the Midwest, an engagement at the Everson Museum of Syracuse, the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, and the Netherlands, where they were one of only twenty teams selected world-wide to compete in the International Vocal Competition’s inaugural Lied Duo competition. In February of 2015, they were the only Americans to advance to the finals of the Das Lied International Song Competition, directed by Thomas Quasthoff and held in Berlin, Germany.
He has served as music director with Chicago Opera Vanguard, Chicago Folks Operetta, and ensemble113, and has been seen as pianist with Minnesota Concert Opera, VocalEssence, Silver Swan, Chicago Choral Artists, and served as Associate Keyboardist of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony.
A graduate of the Chicago College of Performing Arts (2009), he holds a Bachelor of Musical Arts degree with emphases in German and the Humanities. There, he studied with pianist Meng-Chieh Liu and vocal coach Dana Brown. Following graduation, he had the privilege of studying with Chicago Symphony pianist Mary Sauer. He completed a master’s degree in Vocal Coaching & Accompanying from the University of Minnesota (2013), where he studied with Norriko Kawai and Timothy Lovelace.