Composer and producer Marcus Norris was called a “New Musical Talent in our Midst” by Chicago’s N’digo Magazine in response to his “When Composer’s Lose Composure” concert. He earned his Bachelor of Music in Composition at Columbia College Chicago and subsequently earned his Master of Music in Composition at Florida International University. He expects to earn his Ph.D. in Music at UCLA where he was awarded a prestigious Cota-Robles fellowship. He has participated in masterclasses with Augusta Reed Thomas and Italian composer Ferdinando Lazzaro.
Marcus won 1st prize in the 2017 Southeastern Composers League Philip Slates Memorial Competition. He has premiered works in Cuba, Russia, China, the U.K., as well as across the United States. His first violin concerto, GLORY, was commissioned by the Jackson Symphony Orchestra and premiered in March 2019 to three sold-out nights of performances. His compositions have been either performed or read by the Russian String Orchestra, Spanish pianist José Menor, the Chicago Composers Orchestra, the Las Vegas Young Artists Orchestra, Chris Wild of Dal Niente, Hopera & The Hip Hop Orchestra, and Afro-Cuban cello quartet Ache-lo. He currently works as composer and sound designer for WACO Theater Center in North Hollywood, owned and operated by Richard Lawson and Tina Knowles-Lawson.
Marcus has produced or collaborated on music with artists including the Grammy-Award-winning Rhymefest, Tink, Drama Duo, Jean Deaux, and many more. Billboard named the “Winter’s Diary 2” project he produced on as one of the top 10 R&B Albums of 2014. He also worked as a studio instructor, engineer, and producer at Kanye West’s and Rhymefest’s nonprofit musical development program Donda’s House. The Donda’s House program, now known as ‘Art of Culture’, provides a safe place and learning opportunities for under-served communities of black and brown youth on Chicago’s south side.
In 2019 Marcus expects to launch his newest project, South Side Symphony. South Side Symphony is a Los Angeles-based chamber ensemble, championing modern music inspired by modern experiences, with an emphasis on works by composers of color. They specifically aim to engage audiences that would not consider themselves classical music fans, presenting diverse works in exciting ways that are accessible for all.
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