Mark Arnest is a composer, pianist, and writer on musical topics. He teaches at the Colorado Springs Conservatory, is music director at All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, and frequently can be heard churning out diminished seventh chords at the Iron Springs Chateau’s melodrama.
His most recent piece is Panels for string quartet, commissioned by Green Box Arts and the Bee Vradenburg Foundation and premiered by the Veronika String Quartet in 2015. Other major compositions include the musical melodrama The Notorious Nugget, with libretto by Lauren Arnest (2015); Ludlow: Four Scenes for Orchestra, premiered in 2014 by the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs; My Cousins’ Cats (2014), suite for piano; Prelude for Diana/Canyon Fanfare (2012) for large orchestra, premiered in 2013 by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic; Towards the Garden (2009), commissioned by the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs and winner of a 2009 Pikes Peak Arts Council award; Pike’s Dream (2006), an opera about Zebulon Pike; Theme and Meditations (2001), premiered by the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs; and All About Love(1997), a musical based on Plato’s Symposium, written with Lauren Arnest and Murray Ross and premiered by UCCS Theatreworks. Mark has several published essays on 19th Century piano performance practice, including Why Couldn’t They Play With Their Hands Together and liner notes for Marston’s sets of Leopold Godowsky, Josef Hofmann, and Raoul Koczalski