MARC NEIKRUG is a unique and multi-faceted artist. A world-renowned composer whose works have been programmed by leading orchestras and opera houses, he is also an esteemed pianist who has performed duo recitals with Pinchas Zukerman for over 20 years. Neikrug has recently expanded his artistic activities even further, serving his third critically acclaimed season as Artistic Director of the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.
Credited with rejuvenating the Festival, Neikrug has brought its focus back to small, high-caliber chamber groups since becoming Artistic Director in 1998. He has been commended for his imaginative programming and community outreach efforts, combining a strong commitment to contemporary music with an interest in Santa Fe’s Spanish and American Indian heritages. He has also established an exceptional mentoring program which pairs young musicians with distinguished artists including Pinchas Zukerman, Leon Fleisher, Michael Tree, and Ralph Kirshbaum.
Marc Neikrug’s 2000/2001 season as a pianist includes recitals with Pinchas Zukerman in Philadelphia, Ottawa, Toronto, Hawaii, and Australia; the two artists will also perform in Italy, Spain, Austria, and the Netherlands. Together the duo has made numerous recordings for CBS, Philips, and BMG, including the complete sonatas for piano and violin of Mozart and Beethoven, as well as works by Brahms, Fauré, Debussy, Franck, Schumann, Stravinsky, Paganini, Falla, Ravel, Albéniz, Strauss, Prokofiev, Elgar, Kreisler, and Bartók.
Ranging from chamber music to symphonies and operas, Neikrug’s own works have been commissioned by Lincoln Center, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Frankfurt Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, and London’s South Bank Festival. The New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, as well as Christoph von Dohnányi, Christoph Eschenbach, Lorin Maazel, Zubin Mehta, David Zinman, Pinchas Zukerman, James Galway, Shlomo Mintz, and the Tokyo and Vermeer String Quartets have performed his works. He has also conducted performances of his works with the Victorian State Symphony (Melbourne), Tonhalle Orchestra (Zurich), Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, and Liège Orchestra (Belgium) and performed his Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Barcelona Symphony.
Neikrug has written for both opera and musical theater, and has produced two important works in the genres: Through Roses and Los Alamos. Through Roses, an “extraordinary achievement” (The New York Times) that blends music with a dramatic text (also written by Mr. Neikrug), has been translated into eleven languages. It has received hundreds of performances in England, North and South America, Austria, Germany, Israel, Scandinavia, Australia, and Japan, has been recorded for Deutsche Grammophon, and is the subject of a prize-winning documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nupen. A feature film version of Through Roses was recently produced for worldwide release featuring Academy Award winners Maximilian Schell (Best Actor, Judgment at Nuremberg) and cinematographer David Watkin (Out of Africa). An opera about the formation of the atomic bomb, Los Alamos was the first American work commissioned and premiered by the Deutsche Oper Berlin. The North American premiere of the opera was given at the Aspen Music Festival in 1992. In 1998 the world premiere of “Suite from Los Alamos” was given in Brussels by the English Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Pinchas Zukerman. The Suite was also featured in the Orchestra’s North American tour and received its New York premiere at Carnegie Hall. Marc Neikrug’s compositions are published by Theodore Presser Company and Chester Music Limited.
Born to a musical family in New York, Neikrug is a fourth-generation musician on his mother’s side; both his parents were cellists. He served for seven years as Special Consultant for Contemporary Programs to the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, during which time the Orchestra received three annual ASCAP awards for adventuresome programming. In addition, he served three terms as Director of Melbourne Summer Music, an Australian festival which commenced in 1986 under his direction. Marc Neikrug lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.