MARCUS WEISS - saxophone

Marcus Weiss was born in Basel, Switzerland and studied there with Iwan Roth, subsequently studying with Fred Hemke in Chicago. An internationally acclaimed player, he has played a crucial role in developing the repertoire for the saxophone, through his numerous premieres of a wide range of new works, as well as his teaching and through his book The Techniques of Saxophone Playing (Bärenreiter 2010). Aside from his work with Trio Accanto, his premieres have included works by Aperghis, Baltakas, Cage, Clementi, Furrer, Gervasoni, Globokar, Hidalgo, Hosokawa, Jarrell, Kyburz, Kôndô, Lachenmann, Lang, Netti, Pauset, Rihm, Sciarrino, Sharp, Sotelo, Stockhausen, and Zimmermann. Internationally known as a saxophone soloist, he has premiered concerti by Georg Friedrich Haas, Hanspeter Kyburz, Mauricio Sotelo and Manuel Hidalgo, as well as by Johannes Maria Staud (with percussion). He is highly active as a chamber musician, above all in his two groups, XASAX and Trio Accanto. He has also extensively played as an ensemble player and soloist with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, ensemble recherche, Ensemble Modern and Contrechamps.

Since 1995, Marcus Weiss has been professor for saxophone and chamber music at Basel's Hochschule für Musik, and since 2006 responsible for the saxophone classes at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für neue Musik, and at IMPULS Graz.

Marcus Weiss is one of the leading international saxophone players. His repertoire includes all epochs of his instrument’s short history, from the beginnings in impressionistic France to the present. He is passionate about establishing the saxophone as a solo instrument in today’s classical music world. He regularly plays the great – and unfortunately often neglected – saxophone concertos and has played a crucial role in increasing the repertoire for the saxophone with numerous premieres of new works. Besides many others, the following contemporary composers have written solo and chamber works for him: Georges Aperghis, Vykintas Baltakas, John Cage, Aldo Clementi, Beat Furrer, Stefano Gervasoni, Vinko Globokar, Erhard Grosskopf, Manuel Hidalgo, Toshio Hosokawa, Michael Jarrell, Thomas Kessler, Hanspeter Kyburz, Jô Kôndô, Helmut Lachenmann, Detlev Müller-Siemens, Giorgio Netti, Brice Pauset, Salvatore Sciarrino, Elliott Sharp, Mauricio Sotelo, Johannes Maria Staud, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Walter Zimmermann...

As a soloist, Marcus Weiss worked with many European orchestras, including Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Ensemble Modern, Muisk-Fabrik, Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, Berliner Sinfonie-Orchester, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Contrechamps, ensemble recherche and others. He was been invited to festivals such as Wien Modern, Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik, Donaueschinger Tage für Neue Musik, Festival d’Automne de Paris, Märzmusik Berlin, Biennale Munich, Tage für Neue Musik Zürich, Salzburger Festspiele, Edinburgh Festival, Eclat in Stuttgart, Darmstädter Ferienkurse, Warschauer Herbst and to festivals in Austria, France, Italy, Spain, England, Russia, Poland, Ukraine, USA and Japan.

In chamber music, Marcus Weiss is primarily working with his two ensembles, Trio Accanto, and the saxophone ensemble XASAX in Paris. Their repertoire includes not only contemporary music, but also early renaissance works and music from other epochs. In this connection, cooperating with composer Salvatore Sciarrino has proved extremely inspiring for XASAX. 

Marcus Weiss is teaching saxophone and chamber music at the University of Music Basel (Hochschule), where he also directs a Masters Program for contemporary music. He is regularly giving masterclasses at various international universities including Royal Academy of Music London, Universidad de Alcala Madrid, Universität der Künste in Berlin, Universität für Musik in Wien, a number of universities in the USA, including in Boston, New York, Chicago, and at the Takefu International Composition Workshop in Japan. He is a regular teacher at the Darmstädter Ferienkursen für neue Musik as well as at IMPULS (ensemble academy) in Graz (Austria).

Marcus Weiss was born in 1961 in Basel, Switzerland. He studied with Iwan Roth at the Hochschule für Musik Basel and Frederick L. Hemke at Northwestern University Chicago. In 1989, he was awarded the soloist’s prize of the Swiss Tonkünstlerverein.


An active repertoire that encompasses such composers as Beethoven, Berg, Brahms, Debussy, Schubert and Stravinsky reinforces pianist Nicolas Hodges’ special prowess in contemporary music. As Tempo magazine has written: “Hodges is a refreshing artist; he plays the classics as if they were written yesterday, and what was written yesterday as if it were already a classic.” Born in London, and now based in Germany, where he is a professor at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart, Hodges approaches the works of Classical, Romantic, 20th century and contemporary composers with the same questing spirit, leading the Guardian to comment that: “Hodges' recitals always boldly go where few other pianists dare ... with an energy that sometimes defies belief.” As a concerto soloist, Nicolas Hodges past and imminent engagements include performances with US orchestras such as the Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, MET Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, St Louis Symphony, and with European orchestras such as the Berliner Philharmoniker, Bamberger Symphoniker, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Chamber Orchestra of Europe, City of Birmingham Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, hr-Sinfonieorchester Frankfurt, London Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Melbourne Symphony, ÖRF Symphony Vienna, Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España, Philharmonia, Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Tokyo Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, and ensembles such as ASKO/Schoenberg Ensemble Amsterdam, Basel Sinfonietta, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Ensemble Kontraste Hamburg, Contrechamps Geneva, International Contemporary Ensemble Chicago and the Remix Ensemble in Porto. Among the distinguished conductors with whom Nicolas Hodges has collaborated are Thomas Adès, Marin Alsop, Daniel Barenboim, George Benjamin, Martyn Brabbins, Hans Graf, Oliver Knussen, James Levine, Susanna Mälkki, Jonathan Nott, Tadaaki Otaka, Emilio Pomarico, David Robertson, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Leonard Slatkin, Ilan Volkov and Ryan Wigglesworth. In recent seasons, Hodges has become especially closely associated with the piano concertos of Elliott Carter (in 2004), Beat Furrer and Thomas Adès, with Hodges giving the premiere of the British Composer’s In Seven Days in London in April 2008. Other recent premieres include concerti written especially for Hodges by Georges Aperghis, Francisco Coll, Hugues Dufourt, Pascal Dusapin, Isabel Mundry, Brice Pauset, Rolf Riehm, Rebecca Saunders, Salvatore Sciarrino and Miroslav Srnka. As a recitalist, he has performed at such venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), IRCAM (Paris), Wigmore Hall (London) and his festival appearances have included the BBC Proms, Berlin’s Ultraschall Festival, Brussels’ Ars Musica, Cologne’s Acht Brücken, Hamburg’s Ostertoene, Lucerne Festival, Madrid (INAEM), Melbourne International Arts Festival, New York’s Mostly Mozart, Paris’ Festival d’ Automne, Salzburg Festival and Biennale, Schwaz’ Klangspuren, Strasbourg’s Musica, Stuttgart’s Eclat, Tanglewood, Tokyo, Vienna’s Wien Modern and Zurich’s Tage für Neue Musik. In chamber music Nicolas collaborates regularly with the Arditti Quartet, Adrian Brendel, Colin Currie, Ilya Gringolts, Anssi Karttunen and as a member of the Trio Accanto. Highlights of the current season are the premieres of Gerald Barry’s Piano Concerto at the Herkulessaal Munich as part of Musica Viva Munich with the Sinfonieorchester des BR and Peter Rundel and later on at Symphony Hall in Birmingham and at the Aldeburgh Festival, both with the City of Birmingham Symphony and Thomas Adès and the premiere of Luca Francesconi’s Piano Concerto at the Casa da Musica in Porto with the Orquestra Sinfonica do Porto and Jonathan Stockhammer. Nicolas Hodges will give his debuts as a soloist with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Luxemburg and Juraj Valcuha (Shostakovich), Iceland Symphony and George Benjamin (Ligeti), Sydney Symphony and David Robertson (Ligeti) and return engagements with BBC Symphony and Ilan Volkov (Dufourt) and with the BBC Scottish Symphony and Ryan Wigglesworth (Carter). In recital and chamber music he will appear at the Philharmonie Cologne, Glasgow, Helsinki, South Bank London, Luxemburg, Prague, Stuttgart and at the Arcana, Acht Brücken Cologne and Huddersfield Festivals Future plans include return concerto engagements to New York Philharmonic and David Robertson (Turangalila), SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden and Freiburg (Steen Andersen) and debuts with Finnish Radio Symphony and Jukka-Pekka Saraste (Lindberg), Stuttgart Opera and Sylvain Cambreling (Carter) as well as recitals and chamber music in Berkeley (Cal Performances), Cologne, Glasgow, Helsinki, London (Wigmore Hall) and Melbourne. Nicolas Hodges’ discography includes solo and concertante works by Adams, Adès, Birtwistle, Carter, Finnissy, Ferneyhough, Furrer and Rolf Riehm. Future CD releases include discs of Brian Ferneyhough on Neos, Walter Zimmermann on Mode and Harrison Birtwistle on Metronome.


Christian Dierstein has established himself among the most interesting performers in the contempory music of our time. He studied under Bernhard Wulff at the Freiburg Musikhochschule and under Gaston Sylvestre in Paris. He is the winner of numerous competitions and received scholarships from the Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes and the Akademie Schloß Solitude, Stuttgart. He is the percussionist of the ensemble recherche since 1988. Together with Marcus Weiss and Yukiko Sugawara he formed the Trio Accanto in 1993. In addition to his performances of new music, he has focused on non-European music and free improvisation. He has given solo concerts throughout Europe in the Rising Stars series. Important appearances include: Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Athens, Berliner Festspiele, Brussels Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage, Huddersfield Festival, Lucerne Festival, Monday Evening Concerts Los Angeles, Rachmaninov Hall Moskau, Festival d`Autome Paris, Ircam Paris, Rome, Salzburg Festival, Schleswig Holstien Festival, Suntory Hall Tokyo, Wien Modern, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Zürich Festival für neue Musik. He has recorded for several labels, including Kairos, col legno, Stradivarius, Winter & Winter, neos and his recordings have been the recipients of numerous awards. Christian Dierstein works together regulary with several of the greatest living composers, figures such as Hans Abrahamsen, Beat Furrer, Hugues Dufourt, Helmut Lachenmann, Rebecca Saunders, Salvatore Sciarrino. Since 2001 he has been professor for percussion and new chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Basel, Switzerland. He has given masterclasses in Buenos Aires, Berlin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Genf, Madrid, Moskau, New York, Oslo, Peking, Valencia, Tiflis and others.

© Trio Accanto 2017