Mark Zukerman has been writing and playing music almost all his life. He was 11 when he gave his first public performance. His formal music studies began at Juilliard and continued at the University of Michigan, Bard College, and Princeton University. His teachers included David Epstein, George B. Wilson, Elie Yarden, Milton Babbitt, and J. K. Randall.
He earned a Ph.D. from Princeton, won prizes for his music, had pieces recorded and published, held teaching positions at Princeton and Columbia, and published articles on music theory and computer music.
He wites, “For a while, I wrote exclusively 12-tone music. I still value the theoretical background I absorbed while at Princeton, and admire much of the 12-tone music written today. However, I found my most convincing personal expression after leaving academe in a new musical language I invented and developed that uses many sonorities from tonal music woven into structures found in atonal and twelve-tone music.” On occasion, he also writes tonal music, especially for student ensembles. And says he may yet write some more 12-tone music.
He is very proud to have been awarded a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship. He has written “a bunch” of a cappella choral music (including some 20 arrangements of Yiddish songs), virtuoso music for solo instruments, chamber music, band music, and music for orchestra and string orchestra. He enjoys composing music for both professional and amateur performers ― especially student groups ― and for all kinds of audiences, from modern music aficionados to children.
Zukerman’s choral music has achieved an international reputation with choruses and at festivals in The Netherlands, Great Britain, Canada, and Turkey as well as in the United States. It’s been performed and recorded by the Gregg Smith Singers, Chicago A Cappella, The Goldene Keyt Singers, the New Yiddish Chorale, The Workman’s Circle Chorus, and Di Goldene Keyt/The Yiddish Chorale.
His instrumental music has been recorded by the Rutgers University Wind Ensemble, the Rutgers University Symphony Band, the Chicago Brass Ensemble, the Nevsky String Quartet, the NJ Saxophone Quartet, Tales and Scales, Ilya Itin, the Seattle Sinfonia, Peter Vinograde, and James Winn.