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Known for his boundary-defying and cross-genre works, Bulychev-Okser’s compositions are multidisciplinary, fusing contemporary music with original text, which focus on mythology, historical events, folk elements, and laws of physics. His style can be best described as “kaleidoscopic”, as it constitutes an amalgamation of stylistic elements of classical harmonies and traditional forms with jazzy rhythms and scales with occasional influxes of atonality. 

Critically-acclaimed 7 Ways of Inertia is an example of such a work, exploring the movement of inertia laws within the context of a large-scale orchestral work. His other orchestral work, The awakening of Ilya is based on the Russian legend of Ilya the Great. Written in a form of Concertino, it alternates solo sections of Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Horn in F, full array of Percussion, Piano, String Quintet, and Soprano solo with various chamber combinations, in addition to a screen projection.  ​

Bulychev-Okser has also composed vocal music, including songs, choral works, and pieces for voice and large ensemble. Highlights include The Journey Cantata, written in 2012 for the Baltimore Choir to support the life of American troops in Iraq, Three poems by Emily Dickinson, commissioned in 2016 by the Helix Ensemble, and romances in Russian and Spanish, based on the poems by Marina Tsvetaeva and Garcia de Lorca. Bulychev-Okser has also produced a large body of solo and chamber works. Of these, particularly stand out The Acrobats, a piano 4 hands work, exploring the limits of technical virtuosity, Hermes and Satire, jazz work, based on a Greek mythology, and Clarinet and Thunder, an experimental work, exploring the clarinet solo with a responsorial computer generated sounds through Logic Software. In recent seasons, Michael Bulychev-Okser has collaborated with orchestras, ensembles, and institutions throughout the United States and internationally. Commissions included That Queer Blind Silence, theatrical play in 3 acts, commissioned by The Garden of Avangaard, based on a play by Sophia Romma (New York, 2016), Spider and Butterfly, incidental movie music in a collaboration with the Dance Department of Rutgers University, the rock song Come to me! (2 rock guitars, percussion and soprano with own poetry), and Marsh-Intermezzo Fantasy for the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra (2018). An avid transcriber, Michael Bulychev-Okser arranged Danse Macabre by Camille Saint-Saens for violin and cello duo, commissioned by the Dutch virtuoso violinist Anastasia Kozlova for Brain Research/Music concert, organized in collaboration by the Eesti Kontsert and Foundation Gooisch Klassiek (October, 2018, Tallinn, Estonia). His ongoing project was commissioned by the Changsha International Academy and involves transcriptions of Chinese Folk Songs for violin and piano, representing all provinces of China.

Michael received numerous awards in Composition, including an Award of Excellence in Composition by Richard Kimball, offered twice: in 1997 and 1998. The 1998 Award was followed by the debut recital, featuring a 2-hour concert of Michael’s compositions. The fellowship to study composition at Rutgers University followed in 2014. Subsequently, Bulychev-Okser has obtained Master’s of Arts degree in Composition from Rutgers University. 

Bulychev-Okser received his early studies in composition at Moscow Conservatory (studio of Tikhon Khrennikov), with Philip Lasser in La Schola Cantorum, (Paris, France), and at Manhattan School of Music with in New York with Christopher Vassiliades.

Works for Orchestra

2018  7 Waves of Inertia. Orchestration: 2 Flutes + Piccolo, 1 Oboe, English Horn, Clarinets: 2 B-flat,

Bass Clarinet, 2 bassoons; 4 Horns in F, 2 trumpets in C; 3 trombones, Tuba; Glokenspiel, Timpani, Snare Drum, Bass Drum; Strings. [6]

2017  Marsh-Intermezzo. Orchestration: 2 Flutes + Piccolo, 2 Oboes, English Horn, Clarinets: 2 B-flat, E-flat + Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons + Contrabassoon; 4 Horns in F, 4 trumpets in C, 3 trombones, Tuba; Timpani, Snare Drum, Hi-Hat, Cymbals, Bass Drum; Harp; Piano; Strings. [6]

2015  Concertino in C Major. Orchestration: Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Horn in F, Percussion, Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Double Bass with Soprano soloist. Commisioned by Helix Ensemble. [6]

2012  Cantata “The Journey”. Orchestration: 2 Flutes + Piccolo, 2 Oboes, English Horn, Clarinets: 2 B-flat, 2 bassoons; 4 Horns in F, 2 trumpets in C; 3 trombones, Tuba; Glokenspiel, Timpani, Snare Drum, Crotali, Claves, Bass Drum; Strings; SATB soloists and mixed chorus. [15]


Works for Voices

2016   Three poems by Emily Dickinson: A Word, The Returning, Mother Nature. Chamber Ensemble and Soprano soloist; commissioned by Helix Contemporary Ensemble. Orchestration: Flute, Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano. [8]

2014   20 Children Songs. Soprano and Piano. Commisioned by the Roslyn Enrichment Center. [25]

2014   Romance de la Luna: from the Poetry by Garcia de Lorca. Soprano and Piano. [4]

1997   Old Moscow Houses: from the Poem by Maria Tsvetaeva. Soprano and Piano. [4]



Works for Chamber Ensemble or Solo Instrument 

(including transcriptions and arrangements)

2020   5 transcriptions of Chinese folk songs; commissioned by Changsha International Academy, China. [10]

2019   2 Chinese Melodies: Jasmine flower & Lift your veil. Violin, Piano. [4]

2018   Danse Macabre transcription on music by Camille Saint-Saens. Violin, Cello. Commissioned by Eesti Kontsert, Estonia. [5]

2017   Flower Dream. Flute, Clarinet, Piano, Percussion with Dancer. [4]

2015   Variation on a Theme by A. Diabelli. Piano. [2]

2014   Acrobats. Piano 4 Hands. [3]

2004   Scherzo in A Major. Clarinet, violin, piano. [5]

2003   25 Preludes. Piano. [17]

1999   American Suite in 4 movements. 2 Pianos. [23]

1999   Areadna’s Thread: Theme with Variations. Piano. [12]

1999   6 Myths. Piano. [16]

1998   Fugue in E-flat Major. Piano. [2]

1997   Circle. Saxophone and Piano. [4]

1997   Sonata in D Major. Cello, Piano. [20]

1996   Hermes and Satyre: Jazz Fantasy. Piano. [4:40]

1996   2 Contrasting Preludes: The Sun and The Moon. Piano. [4:30]

1995   Lullaby in E-flat Major. Violin, Piano. [3]

1992   Sea Landscape. Piano. [2]

1991   Melody in C Major. Violin, Piano. [3:40]

1992   Rondo a classica in c minor. Piano. [2]

1990   Sketches of Spring. Piano. [3]

1989   Dreary Rain. Piano. [2]


Dramatic Works

2018  Spider and Butterfly: incidental movie music. Orchestration: Flute, Trumpet in C, Tuba, Timpani, Piano, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello. [2]

2016  That Queer Blind Silence: theatrical play in 3 acts. Speaker, piano. Commisioned by The Garden of Avangaard, based on a play by Sophia Romma.[45]

2016  Clarinet versus Thunder. Clarinet and electronic effects. [2]

2013  Come to me! For 2 bass guitars, percussion set, and piano. [4]

1990-1992   3 Poems on religious subjects: Kiji – the dying church; Near the ancient walls of Jerusalem, Clouds over the Sergei’s Trinity Cathedral. Piano. Commissioned by Alexander Men University - Moscow, Russia. [6]

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