Photo Credit: Danielle Baskin
Broad gestures, rich textures, and narrative sweep are hallmarks of the “compelling” (New York Times) music of composer Alex Weiser. Born and raised in New York City, Weiser creates acutely cosmopolitan music combining a keen ear and deeply felt historical perspective with a vibrant forward looking creativity. Running the gamut from dramatic visceral power to thoughtful introspection, Weiser’s compositions often employ a colorful tonal language and repetition to create a discourse which is at once rich and abstract, and yet lucid and grounded.
An energetic advocate for contemporary classical music and for the work of his peers, Weiser co-founded Kettle Corn New Music, a series acclaimed for capturing “all of the prestige” that contemporary classical music has to offer, with “none of the pomp,” (Feast of Music) and is currently a director of the MATA Festival, the “the city’s leading showcase for vital new music by emerging composers.” (The New Yorker)
Commissions and performances have come from ensembles and musicians including Typical Music (Todd Reynolds, Ashley Bathgate, and Vicky Chow), Lisa Moore, Mellissa Hughes, Sandbox Percussion, JACK Quartet, Guidonian Hand, Argento Ensemble, Cadillac Moon Ensemble, Bearthoven, Fifth House Ensemble, bassoon quintet Dark in the Song, and the New Amsterdam Singers.
Weiser has completed residencies at Atlantic Center for the Arts, Wildacres, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Millay Colony, and his music has been heard at festivals including Bang on a Can, Norfolk, June in Buffalo, the European American Musical Alliance, Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, and highSCORE. Weiser’s music has recently received awards and support from New Music USA, ASCAP, the Lyrica Chamber Music Society, Iowa State University’s Carillon Festival, the University of Central Missouri, and the Mid Atlantic Foundation for the Arts.
Weiser’s musical education began in earnest while attending Stuyvesant High School writing pieces for the symphonic orchestra there, and studying theory and conducting with Joseph Tamosaitis, and composition with Paul Alan Levi. Weiser then continued his studies at Yale University and New York University where teachers and mentors included Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, Michael Klingbeil, Kathryn Alexander, Martin Bresnick, David Lang, Ingram Marshall, and Christopher Theofanidis.