Mark Winges
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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, the American Modern Ensemble, Earplay, Eight Strings and a Whistle, 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.

His Loki's Lair, written for 8 Strings & a Whistle was featured on the Festival of New American Music at Sacramento State University in November, 2018. 8SW subsequently gave its New York premiere at the Tenri Cultural Institute, and is recording the piece for CD release. Of a Rose, a setting of a 15th century carol text, was premiered by the San Francisco Choral Artists this past December.

Recent large-scale works include Breath & Hammers, a concerto for piano and wind ensemble, which was premiered in October, 2017 by pianist Blaise Bryski and the Cornell University Wind Symphony, conducted by James Spinazzola; it also received a performance at Yale University during the College Band Director's National Association Eastern Division Conference in March, 2018. His Pandora's Gift, a 35-minute staged work for unaccompanied treble choir and mixed choir, set to a libertto by Denise Newman with choreography by Erika Chong Shuch, lighting design by Allen Willner and costumes by Katherine Nowacki was premiered to great acclaim by Volti and the Piedmont Children's Choir in May, 2015.

2017 - 18 premieres included Leaves From Diana's Tree for soprano and piano quartet, premiered by the Empyrean Ensemble with soprano Shauna Fallihee, and The Tapestry of Unknown Islands for viola and piano, written for Kurt Rohde, who, along with pianist Jared Redmond, premiered the work in Davis, Sacramento, San Francisco and Berkeley, CA. His Last Ditch Fight of the Wish for treble choir, with choreography created by KT Nelson of ODC/Dance, was featured on the Piedmont Choir's summer, 2018 tour of Denmark and Germany, and was also performed at the Golden Gate International Choral Festival.

Other recent pieces include Letters for mixed chorus and string quartet (commissioned by Volti and the Left Coast Ensemble), The Moon Dreams of Jacqueline (commissioned by the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music for the Friction String Quartet), the textless choral works Toward the Horizon, amina gaia and Scherzo Diabolique (all commissioned and premiered by the SF Choral Artists), ShapeShifter (performed by the American Modern Ensemble), and Local Colloquies (commissioned by Earplay). His You Already Did for wind ensemble, written for the Pomona College Band and conductor Graydon Beeks, was premiered in May, 2016.

His most recent CD is Night-Voiced, a collection of his chamber works for viola. An earlier 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)

Mark Winges

Mark Winges

Mark Winges

Prizes, Grants, Awards

  • Dumler Prize
  • American Music Center
  • California Arts Council Grant
  • Continental Harmony Commission
  • (American Composers Forum / NEA)
  • UNESP Organ Competition Prize (Brazil)
  • Meet the Composer
  • (California, Texas, New York)
  • Piteå Musikhögskolan Lecture Grant (Sweden)
  • Rice University Lecture Grant (Texas)
  • Kathaumixw Choral Festival Citation (Canada)


  • Subito Music (MuPro Music, Inc.)
  • Treble Clef Music
  • Alliance Music Publications
  • Trinitas (distributed by OCP)