Bryce Dessner (born April 23, 1976) is a Brooklyn based composer, guitarist, and curator primarily known as a member of The National. Bryce works with his twin brother Aaron Dessner and singer Matt Berninger to write much of the music for the band. In addition to his work with The National, he is a founding member of Clogs, and the founder of the MusicNOW Festival. Bryce has a master's degree in classical guitar from Yale University.
Aaron and Bryce Dessner
Aaron and Bryce write and play guitar for The National. The brothers both graduated from Cincinnati Country Day School in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1994. The brothers are co-founders, alongside Alec Hanley Bemis, of Brassland Records,  a label that has released early albums from The National, the Clogs catalog and releases by Doveman and Nico Muhly.
The two Dessners also write, produce, and perform contemporary music internationally in collaboration with many artists. In August, 2008, Aaron and Bryce performed a collaborative concert with David Cossin, and Luca Tarantino as a part of Soundres, an international residency program for contemporary music and art in Salento, Italy and at the Guitare Au Palais Festival Perpignan France. They also performed at Matthew Ritchie's Ghost Operator opening at the White Cube Gallery in London.
Dark Was the Night
In 2009, brothers Aaron and Bryce Dessner produced an extensive AIDS charity compilation, Dark Was the Night, for the Red Hot Organization. The record features exclusive recordings and collaborations from a long list of artists including David Byrne, Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Feist, Sharon Jones, Cat Power, Grizzly Bear, Antony Hegarty, My Morning Jacket, and Spoon. Dark Was the Night has raised over 1.6 million dollars for AIDS charities as of May 2012. 
On May 3, 2009 4AD and Red Hot produced Dark Was the Night - Live, a concert celebrating the newest Red Hot album. The show took place at Radio City Music Hall and featured several of the artists that contributed to the compilation.
Following the production of Dark Was the Night, Bryce was commissioned by the internationally renowned, Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet, to compose a piece in honor of Steve Reich’s 75th birthday. That piece, “Aheym,” Yiddish for “homeward,” premiered March 12, 2009 at the MusicNOW Festival, and July 18, 2009 in Prospect Park, Brooklyn.
In 2011, Bryce was commissioned by Kronos Quartet to compose a piece for the Barbican Centre's “Reverberations: The Influence of Steve Reich” festival in London. That piece, “Tenebre”, is based on the traditional Holy Week service, in which 15 candles are gradually extinguished. Dessner, in his own words, “inverts the service,” drawing the listener from darkness into light. “Tenebre” premiered May 7, 2011 at LSO St. Luke’s and featured the pre-recorded vocals of Sufjan Stevens.
The Long Count
The Long Count was a large commission for the BAM Next Wave Festival that found Bryce Dessner working alongside his brother Aaron and visual artist Matthew Ritchie. Together they created a work loosely based on the Mayan creation story ‘Popol Vuh’ that includes a 12 piece orchestra and four guest singers; Kim Deal, Kelley Deal, Matthew Berninger, and Shara Worden. The work had its world premiere on September 11, 2009 at The Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, as part of the Ellnora Festival, and its New York premiere in October 2009 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. It has since been performed at the Holland Festival and the Barbican. Tunde Adebimpe, a member of the band TV on the Radio joined Dessner, Aaron, and Ritchie for the Barbican Centre performance.
Bryce and Johnny Greenwood performed "The Music Of Johnny Greenwood And Bryce Dessner" as part of the 2012 Holland Festival. For the performance, Bryce composed a piece entitled "Lachrimae" as well as performed two other pieces with his brother Aaron Dessner and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta. The program was performed at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ in Amsterdam and the Muziekgebouw Frits Philips in Eindhoven.
Planetarium is a song cycle celebrating the solar system created by Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly and Sufjan Stevens. The piece was co-commissioned by Muziekegebouw Eindhoven, the Barbican Centre and the Sydney Opera House and had its first run of European shows in March 2012. Planetarium has been performed at the Barbican Centre in London, Muziektheater in Amsterdam and the Sydney Opera House in Australia. It was performed in Paris at Salle Pleyel in July 2012 and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in April 2013.
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
Crossing Brooklyn Ferry was a music festival curated by Bryce and Aaron Dessner that took place May 3-5 2012 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The festival showcased the contemporary Brooklyn music and film scene and included performances by the Walkmen, St. Vincent (musician), Beirut (musician), The Antlers (band), yMusic, So Percussion, Jherek Bischoff and newly commissioned films by Jonas Mekas, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Tunde Adebimpe, among others.
The MusicNOW Festival was founded by Bryce Dessner in April 2006. The festival is an annual showcase of the best in contemporary music held in Cincinnati, Ohio, featuring a variety of contemporary musicians from around the world.  The festival is held at the 100-year old Hamilton County Memorial Hall where artist Karl Jensen has created an art installation for the event. Each year's festival has included world premieres of new works commissioned by the festival. These include a collaboration between David Cossin and Glenn Kotche, new arrangements for string quartet from Sufjan Stevens, new work from Clogs and new music by Richard Reed Parry (of Arcade Fire).
The 2007 festival featured Amiina, My Brightest Diamond and more. Vincent Moon documented performances from the 2007 festival for a Take-Away Show on the French website La Blogothèque in a 30 minute video special. 
In 2008, Andrew Bird, fresh from recording shared many of the songs from his recent release. The first evening of festival featured world premieres from Doveman and Aaron Dessner, Nico Muhly, and Sufjan Stevens.
For 2009, the Kronos Quartet was in residence. Acclaimed kora player, Toumani Diabate performed a solo concert at the Cincinnati Zoo. The Books made a return appearance previewing material from their 2010 release. Festival commissions included two pieces for the Kronos Quartet, one from Richard Reed Parry and one from Tyondai Braxton.
In its sixth year, the MusicNOW Festival featured performances from The National, Sharon Van Etten, Little Scream, Owen Pallett, Tim Hecker, Shara Worden & yMusic, and Sounds of the South, a collaboration between Megafaun and Fight the Big Bull.
In its seventh year, the 2012 MusicNOW Festival was held on March 28th-30th and featured performances by Sandro Perri, eighth blackbird with Philip Glass, Sam Amidon, Pedro Soler and Gaspar Claus, and a workshop presentation of the Planetarium song cycle from Nico Muhly, Sufjan Stevens, and Bryce.
Bryce Dessner is also a frequent collaborator with artists including Philip Glass, Bang on a Can All-Stars, and Glenn Kotche. Dessner served as the musical director for Matthew Ritchie's The Morning Line installation, collaborating with Ritchie and a number of contemporary composers, including Lee Ranaldo, Evan Ziporyn.  In 2011, Bryce collaborated with Ritchie again, composing a song entitled "To The Sea," which was used for Matthew Ritchie's performance art piece 'Monstrance.' ‘Monstrance’ was performed in November 2011 on Venice Beach in Los Angeles, California. The performance was accompanied by a multi-media exhibition at L&M Arts, LA.
On July 2 2009, Bryce performed Steve Reich's "2x5" premiere alongside Reich at the Manchester International Festival. In March 2010, Dessner co-curated the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville Tennessee. On Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at Stanford University and Friday, January 27, 2012 at Carnegie Hall, Bryce performed the world premiere of David Lang's new composition "Death Speaks" with Nico Muhly, Shara Worden, and Owen Pallett.
- "Memorial" for the 2006 New York Guitar Festival
- "An evening of music" for the Kitchen, NYC, March 2007
- "Propolis" for The Morning Line, co-composed with David Sheppard and Evan Ziporyn, 2008
- "Lincoln Shuffle" for the 21st Century Abe Project, 2009
- "Aheym" for the Kronos Quartet at Celebrate Brooklyn, 2009
- "The Long Count" for the 2009 Brooklyn Academy of Music Next Wave Festival
- "O Shut Your Eyes Against the Wind" for Bang on a Can All-Stars, 2010 Ecstatic Music Festival
- "Tour Eiffel" for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, 2010
- "Tenebre" for Kronos Quartet, 2010
- "Long Winter" for cellist Zachary Miskin, 2010
- "St. Carolyn by the Sea" commissioned by ACO and Muziekcentrum Eindhoven, 2011
- "Lachrimae" commissioned by the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the Scottish Ensemble, and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, 2012
Each commission is linked to a larger story or inspiration. For the "Lincoln Shuffle" Dessner visited the Rosenbach Museum & Library and used historical material to inspire the set of pieces, "Long Summer", "Rose of Lincoln", "Lincoln's Dixie", "Uncle Bob Ledbetter", "Uncle Bob's Union Guitars", and "Lincoln's Triumph (A Funeral March)." In January 2012, Bryce signed to Chester Novello Publishing for his concert music.