Composer Mark Carlson's lyrical, emotionally powerful, and stylistically unique music has earned him the admiration of audiences and musicians throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. A versatile composer, his approximately 100 works include art songs, chamber music, choral music, concertos and other large ensemble works, and songs for musical theater. He is currently working on an opera on The Scarlet Letter with librettist Bruce Olstad.
The recipient of more than 50 commissions, he has been commissioned by the National Shrine in Washington, DC, and the New West Symphony, among other organizations, as well as by many individual musicians and private parties. One of his thirteen CDs, The Hall of Mirrors, was a winner of the Chamber Music America/WQXR Record Awards for 2001. His works Sueños y canciones, Intermezzo, Two Ballads, Sonata for Cello and Piano, For Those Silenced, On the Coming of War, and Night Music have all been released on CDs over the past few years.
His music is published by Yelton Rhodes Music, Pacific Serenades Music, C Swigart Music, Black Squirrel Music, and Thorpe Music. A member of the music theory and composition faculty at UCLA for many years, he also taught for fifteen years at Santa Monica College and is active as a private teacher. The Founder and Artistic Director of the Los Angeles chamber music ensemble Pacific Serenades, and he recently retired as a flutist, after a lifetime of performing primarily chamber music, much of which was written for him.
Born in 1952 in Ft. Lewis, Washington, Carlson grew up in California, attended the University of Redlands, graduated from CSU Fresno, and received MA and PhD degrees in composition from UCLA. His principal teachers were Alden Ashforth and Paul Reale (composition) and Roger Stevens (flute).