Max Giteck Duykers is a composer whose work is dedicated to unusual beauty, unique forms, and collaborative projects. He frequently incorporates technology in performance in a manner which gives the performers room for individual expression. A veteran of multidisciplinary performance, Duykers is also interested in reworking developmental processes for artists to find their collective "sweet spot" and produce work which is personal, confronting, and starkly beautiful.
An album of his music featuring Ensemble Ipse, was released on New World Records in May 2019, with producer Judith Sherman. Duykers was also recently commissioned by the National Parks Service, New Music USA and the Jerome Foundation to create a chamber opera for tenor, soprano, baritone, electro-acoustic percussionist (performing the Marimba Lumina) and mixed ensemble with the Paul Dresher Ensemble. Featuring a libretto by acclaimed playwright and filmmaker Philip Kan Gotanda, the piece is a comment on the internment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The piece has been workshopped across the U.S. over the past several years, and will be premiered near several Japanese American Confinement sites in 2019-20.
His numerous other commissions and premieres include the Avian Orchestra, The Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the Oakland Youth Orchestra, the Seattle Chamber Players, Third Angle New Music, The BEO String Quartet, The Glass Farm Ensemble, PUBLIQuartet, Anti-Social Music, The Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, and numerous individual performers. Duykers' Glass Blue Cleft was recently released by the Escher String Quartet on Bridge Records. Of the piece, Three Village Patch writes "[Glass Blue Cleft] is a piece for lovers of the string quartet, those amazed by how fiery and how dulcet these four-stringed instruments can range in expression." This and other pieces have been featured at music festivals throughout the U.S. and abroad, including the Seattle Chamber Players’ Icebreaker IV, curated by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross.
Duykers is a founder and co-director of Ensemble Ipse, a contemporary music performance group based in NYC. Ipse is dedicated to showcasing the wide variety of practices in the current new music scene. The ensemble presents concerts of recent music that transcends aesthetic categorization and strives to create a forum for composers on the edges of the mainstream of contemporary music. With this in mind, Ensemble Ipse is committed to performing and commissioning the music of emerging composers, as well as composers who have been traditionally under-represented in the larger new music community, including women, LGBTQ, and people of color. In its first three seasons, Ipse has done four calls for scores which have collectively received over 700 submissions, performed dozens of pieces including 21 premieres, (five of them commissions), and received grants from New Music USA, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Queens Council on the Arts, the Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University.
Duykers has also been commissioned to compose music for over 35 theatrical, dance, film, and multimedia projects in the New York City area. With the theater group Prototype he was an artist-in-residence at HERE Arts Center in 2002-2004, and in 2000-2001 he worked for Philip Glass’ The Looking Glass Studios and Dunvagen Music Publishers, where he did studio recording, Pro-Tools post-production, music sequencing, music copying and music editing for the Philip Glass Ensemble, film scoring projects, and operatic works. He received a BM from Oberlin Conservatory where he studied composition with Randy Coleman, and has recently completed his Ph.D. at Stony Brook University where he studied with Sheila Silver. At Stony Brook he was also honored with the 2012 Ackerman Award for Excellence in Music. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Rebecca and sons Quinlan and Liev.