Associate Music Director and Collaborative Pianist
Originally from North Dakota, Mark Kurtz has lived and worked in Omaha since 2000. He has become known for being adept in an unusually broad spectrum of genres, including both art music and popular music. A sought-after performer and inventive creator, his work can be found in concert halls, churches, theaters, cabarets and convention centers.
His colorful, multi-stylistic compositions have been performed at GALA international choral festivals (Miami in 2008 and Montréal in 2004), regional conventions (Nebraska Choral Directors Association in 2016 and the American Guild of Organists – Southeast in 2011), many churches and community choruses from Washington, D.C. (2014 and 2012) to St. Paul, MN (2017) to Los Altos, CA (2006), and in his local vicinity of Omaha by organizations like Gallup (2017 and 2016), Circle Theater (2017), Résonance (2016), the American Guild of Organists (hymn festivals 2016 and 2015), Horizons of Faith (2011) and the River City Mixed Chorus (2014, 2008, and 2007). A choral piece was featured on the radio broadcast "Going Beyond Words." (2012)
Besides being the music director at First United Methodist Church (Omaha) and associate music director and collaborative pianist for Résonance, he frequently works with the Omaha Symphony as rehearsal pianist and substitute pianist/organist for concerts, and has performed chamber music alongside symphony members. He frequently receives commissions for new work, from organizations such as the Willa Cather Foundation (2017), the Anti Defamation League (2012), Why Arts (2011), the River City Mixed Chorus (2014 and 2008), as well as many churches and individuals, for example, poet Fred Zydek (2013) and Omaha Symphony members Craig and Mary Bircher (2012). He has received numerous scholastic, performance and composition awards, most recently from the American Guild of Organists (2018 and 2011) and Omaha Entertainment and Arts (2011).
His teachers have included organist and early music specialist John Mueller at the North Carolina School of the Arts, composer/organist William Albright at the University of Michigan, and composer Dominik Argento at the University of Minnesota. Significant mentors in his career have been composer/organist Robert Hebble, composer Alex Lubet, and conductor/composer Ernest Richardson.
A series of choral music is available from J.W. Pepper and more information can be found at markkurtzmusic.com.