Marc Mellits was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1966, and is one of the leading American composers of his generation, enjoying hundreds of performances throughout the world every year. His unique musical style is an eclectic combination of driving rhythms, soaring lyricism, and colorful orchestrations that all combine to communicate directly with the listener. Mellits’ music is often described as being visceral, making a deep connection with the audience. “This was music as sensual as it was intelligent; I saw audience members swaying, nodding, making little motions with their hands” (New York Press). He started composing very early, and was writing piano music long before he started formal piano lessons at age 6. He went on to study at the Eastman School of Music, Yale School of Music, Cornell University, and Tanglewood. Mellits often is a miniaturist, composing works that are comprised of short, contrasting movements or sections. His music is eclectic, all-encompassing, colourful, and always has a sense of forward motion. Mellits’ music has been played by major ensembles across the globe and he has been commissioned by groups such as the Kronos Quartet, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Sergio and Odair Assad, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Eliot Fisk, Andrew Russo, Canadian Brass, Nexus Percussion, Debussy Quartet, Real Quiet, New Music Detroit, Musique En Roue Libre (France), Fiarì Ensemble (Italy), the Society for New Music, LEMUR, Kathy Supove, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, and the Albany Symphony’s Dog’s Of Desire. Marc remains active within the acclaimed Common Sense Composer’s Collective, a group he helped found, which seeks new and alternative ways of collaborating with performance ensembles. Mellits also directs and plays keyboards in his own unique ensemble, the Mellits Consort. He was awarded the prestigious 2004 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Award. On CD, there are over 31 recorded works of Mellits’s music that can be found on Black Box, Endeavour Classics, Cantaloupe, CRI/Emergency Music, Santa Fe New Music, Innova, & Dacia Music. Marc Mellits is on the music faculty of the University of Illinois-Chicago where he teaches Composition and Theory. He lives in Chicago with his wife and two daughters, and spends significant time in Romania.