Alex Weiser

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Alex Weiser is an American composer of contemporary classical music.


Weiser was born in New York City[1] to a Jewish family. He attended Stuyvesant High School[2] and Yale University[3], and received a master's degree in Music Theory and Composition from New York University. He studied with Paul Alan Levi[2], Martin Bresnick,[4] Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe among others.[5][6]

Weiser's debut album, and all the days were purple, was released by Cantaloupe Music in April 2019[7]. The album features singer Eliza Bagg singing songs set to poetry in Yiddish and English by poets including Anna Margolin, Rachel Korn, Abraham Sutzkever, Emily Dickinson, and William Carlos Williams[8]. Probing contemporary Jewish identity, the album grew out of Weiser's work as the Director of Public Programs at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research[9][10][11][12][13]

Other of Weiser's works explore Jewish themes as well including a new opera, State of the Jews, which is a historical drama about Theodor Herzl[14][15], and after shir hashirim for chamber orchestra which takes its inspiration from the biblical Song of Songs.[16] Common themes in Weiser's work also include death and transience as exemplified by his work Three Epitaphs[17]. Other major works have included shimmer for eight spatially arrayed cellos written for and recorded by Ashley Bathgate as a companion piece to Steve Reich's Cello Counterpoint[18][19], and water hollows stone for piano four hands, written for HOCKET Piano Duo[1]

In addition to his work as a composer and at YIVO, Weiser is co-founder and artistic director of Kettle Corn New Music,[20][21] and worked for about five years as the Director of Operations and Development at the MATA Festival.[22][23]


  1. ^ a b Norton, Nick. "HOCKET Interviews Composers, round 4: Alex Weiser". New Classic LA. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Clarity and Awe: Spotlight on Composer Alex Weiser". YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. YIVO. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  3. ^ Tommasini, Anthony. "New Tunes, Old Friends and Poems Set to Song". New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  4. ^ Pfitzinger, Scott (March 1, 2017). Composer Genealogies: A Compendium of Composers, Their Teachers, and Their Students. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 71. ISBN 1442272244.
  5. ^ Delarue. "An Auspicious Portrait of Emerging Composers Fjola Evans and Alex Weiser". Lucid Culture. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  6. ^ Weiser, Alex. "Biography". Alex Weiser Official Website. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Alex Weiser". Cantaloupe Music. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  8. ^ Oltuski, Ilona. "And All The Days Were Purple". Sequenza 21. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  9. ^ Portnoy, Eddy (27 March 2019). "From Alex Weiser, A New Musical Home For Yiddish". The Forward. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  10. ^ delarue. "Alex Weiser Resurrects a Brilliantly Obscure Tradition of Jewish Art-Song". New York Music Daily. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  11. ^ Haber, Gordon. "Jewish But Not Judaic: Alex Weiser's New Album". LABA Journal. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  12. ^ Weiser, Alex. "A Homecoming to a Jewish World I Never Knew Existed". YIVO. Retrieved 21 April 2019.
  13. ^ Pisano, Steven. ""and all the days were purple": Music by Alex Weiser at Roulette". Feast of Music. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  14. ^ Grudo, Gideon (11 May 2019). "For Some Jews, Yiddish History Is Sanctuary. For Others, It's 'Dangerous.'". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 13 May 2019.
  15. ^ Smith, Steve (10 June 2019). "Recitals: Alex Weiser". The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  16. ^ "Cantata Profana Performs Gustav Mahler's Das Lied Von Der Erde - Concert Program" (PDF). YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. YIVO. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  17. ^ Kriegeskotte, Christian. "Kettle Corn New Music Closes 4th Season with Epitaphs and Fairytales". I Care If You Listen. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  18. ^ da Fonesca-Wollheim, Corinna (22 June 2017). "Cellist in an Echo Chamber, Echo Chamber". New York Times. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  19. ^ Andrews, Matthew Neil. "Spontaneous Combustion reviews 2: sublime solos, dynamic duo". Oregon Arts Watch. ArtsWatch. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  20. ^ Allen, David (8 June 2015). "Review: Lisa Moore at DiMenna Center". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  21. ^ Meyer, Jack. "Kettle Corn Pops at The DiMenna Center". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  22. ^ Oteri, Frank. "MATA at 20". New Music Box. New Music USA. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  23. ^ Smith, Steve (10 June 2019). "Recitals: Alex Weiser". The New Yorker. Retrieved 8 June 2019.

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