Mario Diaz de Leon

Core Lecturer, Music Humanities

Mario Diaz de Leon, Core Lecturer in Music Humanities, is a composer, performer, and educator, whose creative work encompasses modern classical music, experimental electronic music, extreme metal, and improvised music.

Noted for their bold combination of acoustic instruments and electronics, his compositions have been documented on several recordings, often produced in collaboration with the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE). A debut album, "Enter Houses Of" was released in 2009 on John Zorn's Tzadik label, and praised by the New York Times for its "hallucinatory intensity".  A second album, entitled "The Soul is the Arena", was released in 2015 on Denovali, and was named a notable recording of 2015 by New Yorker Magazine.  Pitchfork wrote that the album "combined his interests seamlessly into music that throbs with snarling exuberance."

Recent live performances include events at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Donaufestival (Austria), CTM Festival (Berlin), Chicago Symphony Center, Hakuju Hall (Tokyo), Venice Biennale, Lucerne Festival (Switzerland), Musica Nova Helsinki, National Gallery of Art (DC), Ojai (California), and Roulette (Brooklyn), and commissions from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, ICE, Talea, TAK Ensemble, and Chamber Music America. 

From 2012-2016, his solo electronic project Oneirogen (o-NI-ro-jen) toured internationally and released three full length LPs and two EPs on the Denovali label.  He currently leads the metal band Luminous Vault as vocalist and guitarist (Profound Lore Records).  Alongside Jeremiah Cymerman and Toby Driver, he is a member of Bloodmist, a trio devoted to electroacoustic improvisation.  

Born in Minnesota in 1979, he played guitar in local hardcore punk and metal bands before attending the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where he studied electronic music and composition.  He has lived in in New York City since 2004, and received his doctorate in music composition from Columbia University in 2013, where he studied with George Lewis and Fabien Levy.

 

 

 

Columbia Degrees: 
DMA, Composition
2013