Mark WeiserDescribed as “brilliantly expressive” (Washington Post), composer Mark Lanz Weiser explores his passion for the combination of music and drama through his operas, art songs and concert music.

Mark recently completed his sixth opera, Galaxies in Her Eyes, libretto by Amy Punt. Galaxies will be premiered at the Culp Planetarium, Highpoint University, NC in August of 2021. The Place Where You Started, Mark’s fifth musical dramatic work, received its Los Angeles premiere in May of 2018 after its debut in Portland and Shanghai in 2016. James Bash of Northwest Reverb described it as “a remarkable opera” while Brett Campbell praised the opera for showing “there’s more to immigrants thank any stereotype about occupation and ethnicity can encompass.” Where Angeles Fear to Tread, Mark’s opera based on the novel by E. M. Forster was premiered by Opera San Jose in 2015. Where Angeles Fear to Tread was described by the San Francisco Chronicle as “potent and well-made” and “ravishing” by the San Jose Mercury News. Both publications included the opera on their top 10 lists of 2015 musical events. Purgatory, Mark’s opera based on the W. B. Yeats play of the same name, was described by the Baltimore Evening Post as “evocative, complex, and beautiful.”

Mark’s recent CD Music for Saxophone featuring members of the Capitol Quartet was praised by The Saxophonist as containing “four breathtaking works” exhibiting Mark’s “unique and emotive compositional voice.” In the Journal of the North American Saxophone Alliance Julia Nolan describes the music on the CD as “delightful,” “challenging,” and “wonderfully reflective.”

Mark received the ASCAP Foundation Rudolf Nissim Prize for his second symphony (Sinfonia Magalhães), a musical evocation of Magellan’s circumnavigation of the globe. Other awards include the Ithaca College International Heckscher Composition Prize (High Velocity, for piano), the NATS National Art Song competition (An Anthem for a Doomed Youth, for baritone and piano) and residencies at the Yaddo colony in New York, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. His music is been published by Boosey & Hawkes, Editions Bim International Music Publishing, and New Music Shelf.

Mark is a proud co-founder of New Opera West, an opera company dedicated to the creation and promotion of new operatic works. He received his bachelor’s degree in piano performance and master’s degree in composition from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. Mark is currently Assistant Professor in Composition and Director of Music Theory at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music.