Mark Winges was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and currently resides in San Francisco, where he is composer / advisor for the chamber choir Volti. He was also composer-in-residence for the San Francisco Choral Artists for the 2012 / 13 season. He is a graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music - University of Cincinnati, SF State University, and has studied at the Musikhögskolan in Stockholm, Sweden. His principal teachers were Ellsworth Milburn, Henry Onderdonk, and Arne Mellnäs. His works have been performed by the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, the New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Verge Ensemble, Earplay, Works-in-Progress: Berlin, the Empyrean Ensemble, Volti, the Piedmont Children's Choir, the San Francisco Girl's Chorus, the Pharos Music Project (NY), The Crossing, Carmina Slovenica (Slovenia), the Guangdong Choir (China), Aarhus Pigekor (Denmark), the Marin, Berkeley and Piteå (Sweden) Symphonies and many others.
Night-Voiced, a CD of his chamber works for viola, was just released by Ravello Records. Premieres in the 2013 - 14 season include All Night for mixed chorus (commissioned by Volti), and chamber works ShapeShifter (commissioned by the Verge Ensemble), Local Colloquies (commissioned by Earplay) and Heart-Spells (commissioned by the Peninsula Women's Chorus .
Other recent pieces include textless choral works Toward the Horizon, amina gaia and Scherzo Diabolique (all commissioned and premiered by the SF Choral Artists), Diverted Vignettes for solo viola (recorded by Ellen Ruth Rose), the song cycle Discover & Reveal for alto, viola and piano (premiered in Boston by Elizabeth Anker), and his San Francisco Stopover for guitar, viola and cello, written for the Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in San Francisco. His most recent large-scale projects are A Weaving of Peace for chorus and chamber orchestra, commissioned by Symphony NH, and pax penetralis (inner peace passing through) for chorus and string orchestra, commissioned by the San Francisco Choral Society.
A CD of his chamber music titled But This Is This is available on the Centaur label. In a review of that CD, Jason Victor Serinus characterizes Winges as “a composer who, while serious in intent, enjoys writing music that enables performers to indulge in and relish their instrumental back-and-forths”. Freed From Words, a CD of his choral music, was lauded by Amanda MacBlane of the American Music Center's New Music Box with these words: “the choral music of San Francisco-based composer Mark Winges probes deeply into the spiritual and sonic depths of the chorus.”
Mark is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony, where he has had multiple residencies. He has also had residencies at Fundación Valparaiso, in Mojácar, Spain (2010) and the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, IL (2013)
Articles by Mark Winges:
There's always room for new good literature in any genre, but composing for chorus can be particularly rewarding. Shouldn't your composing diet include choral music?