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.

© Trio Accanto 2021