Broad gestures, rich textures, and narrative sweep are hallmarks of the “compelling” (New York Times), “shapely, melody-rich” (Wall Street Journal) music of composer Alex Weiser. Born and raised in New York City, Weiser creates acutely cosmopolitan music combining a deeply felt historical perspective with a vibrant forward-looking creativity. Weiser has been praised for having a “sophisticated ear and knack for evoking luscious textures and imaginative yet approachable harmonies.” (I Care If You Listen).
An energetic advocate for contemporary classical music and for the work of his peers, Weiser co-founded and directs Kettle Corn New Music, an “engaging” (New York Times) series acclaimed for capturing “all of the prestige” that contemporary classical music has to offer, with “none of the pomp,” (Feast of Music) and was for nearly five years a director of the MATA Festival, the “the city’s leading showcase for vital new music by emerging composers.” (The New Yorker). Weiser is now the Public Programs Manager at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research where he curates and produces programs that combine a fascination with and curiosity for historical context, with an eye toward influential Jewish contributions to the culture of today and tomorrow.
Upcoming projects include an extended work for eight cellos for Ashley Bathgate and an album of songs for Eliza Bagg. Recent projects include Three Epitaphs for singer Kate Maroney and chamber orchestra Cantata Profana, water hollows stone for HOCKET piano duo, disarm for the Soldiers Tale septet, Exceptet, and fade for pianist Kathleen Supové. Other 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, Momenta Quartet, 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 Avaloch Farm Music Institute, 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, Carlsbad Music Festival, 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.