Christopher Weiss

Christopher Weiss’ music has been praised as “wonderfully fluid [with a] cinematic grasp of mood and lighting.” (New York Times) His opera Service Provider, written with librettist John de los Santos, was commissioned by Washington National Opera and hailed as a “crowd pleaser” (Washington Post) following its Kennedy Center premiere. It has had subsequent performances by Amelia Island Opera, Arizona State University, Fort Worth Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre, Helios Opera, The Modern Opera Company, Opera Idaho, Opera Memphis, Painted Sky Opera, Seagle Music Colony at the Lake George Music Festival, Small Opera at TEDxCharleston, Texas Christian University, Towson University, UrbanArias, Virginia Opera, and Westminster Opera Theatre.

Christopher’s opera In a Mirror, Darkly, written with librettist S. O’Duinn Magee, was awarded a Domenic J. Pellicciotti Prize by SUNY Potsdam. Excerpts have been performed by Crane Opera Ensemble and Orchestra, Fort Worth Opera, New York City Opera, University of North Carolina Greensboro at the National Opera Association, and the Virginia Arts Festival.

His sung drama Fragments from an Explanation for voice, bassoon, and strings was commissioned by Twickenham Fest and premiered by soprano Susanna Phillips and bassoonist Matthew McDonald. In it, the poems of Richard McCann “coalesced into a deeply personal lament over a dying loved one. […] The composer’s sparse-textured scoring released a flood of profound emotions.” (Huntsville Times)

Christopher’s orchestra and chamber music has been commissioned and performed by Alarm Will Sound, Boston Chamber Orchestra, Columbia Orchestra, Curtis Symphony Orchestra, Gainesville Symphony, Huntsville Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Lancaster Symphony, Nu Deco Ensemble, and Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic.

He has been composer-in-residence at Twickenham Fest, young composer-in-residence at Music from Angel Fire, and a resident composer at the Mizzou International Composers Festival. Christopher has been in residence at the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Yaddo. He was a recipient of a Theodore Presser Foundation Career Grant, and in 2006 was the youngest competitor ever to win the Jacksonville Symphony’s “Fresh Ink” competition.

Born in New Hampshire in 1980, Christopher was raised primarily in northeastern states. His paternal grandfather, a fisheries biologist in Missouri, was an amateur violinmaker who enjoyed experimenting by constructing violins using unconventional woods. At the age of five, Christopher’s grandfather presented him with a handmade, one-quarter-size violin, and he began taking his first music lessons. At the age of twelve, Christopher taught himself to play the piano, and he developed an interest in composing during high school. He holds degrees from the Curtis Institute of Music, Rollins College, and the University of Michigan.

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