“Zaki’s Fantasie Deconcertante turned out to be one of the most affecting pieces on the bill, neatly sidestepping the various traps of 12-tone modernism while remaining true to its skewed vision. Obviously written to Zaki’s strengths as a violinist, his sure and supple playing enabled him to both subvert and reinforce the concept of bravura performance.”
~Peter Spencer – NJ Star Ledger
Building on his many diverse interests, composer and violinist Mark Zaki’s work ranges from historically-informed and traditional chamber music to electroacoustic music, intermedia composition, and music for film. A regular performer of his own work for violin and interactive audio/video, Mark has received awards and recognition from the International Society of Contemporary Music, Musica Nova (Prague), and a Mellon Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012-13 he was a visiting professor at the University of Sheffield as the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Award to the United Kingdom.
His intermedia and video work often considers how modes of perception are changing in modern life. Probing subjects such as authenticity of identity, self-curation, and virtual anonymity question our view of personal interaction in a contemporary world. Many of his pieces are populated with uncanny characters that become fragmented in their relationships to their environment and their own identity. His work is influenced by visual music and electroacoustic practice, aesthetically referencing minimalism and abstraction, non-conventional film techniques, and montage.
Zaki’s music has been presented by the NY Philharmonic Biennial, National Sawdust, New Adventures in Sound Art (Toronto), the Boston and NYC Visual Music Marathons, the NYC Electroacoustic Music Festival, Third Practice (Richmond, VA), iFIMPaC (Leeds, UK), the Los Angeles Sonic Odyssey Concert Series, the Comunidad Electroacoustica de Chile (Santiago), the Not Still Art Festival (NYC), Nuit Bleue (France), the Seoul International Computer Music Festival, SEAMUS, Primavera en La Habana (Cuba), the New Music Miami ISCM Festival, the Cycle de Concerts de Musique par Ordinateur (Paris), and the Pulse Field International Exhibition of Sound Art (Atlanta). Recordings of his work appear on New Focus Records, SEAMUS Records, CEC Records (Canada), KSpace Records and his own ZAKI Intermedia label.
Commercial credits include work on more than 50 films, television programs, theater productions and recordings for companies such as PBS, Paramount TV, Disney, Touchstone Pictures, Buena Vista Pictures, Sony/Classical, and Chandos. His most recent score was for the 2021 docu-series Missing Kenley for Terra Incognita Films. Other notable projects include original scores for the dramatic feature film The Eyes of van Gogh – which was featured during a year-long celebration of the 125th anniversary of van Gogh’s Death at the van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and the Peabody award nominated documentary The Political Dr Seuss for PBS.
Zaki is currently Professor of Music at Rutgers University-Camden, where he has been a member of the faculty since 2008. In 2013 he was honored with the Rutgers University Board of Trustees Research Fellowship for Scholarly Excellence - Most Distinguished Faculty Award, and again in 2017 when he was selected as the 3rd annual Rutgers Camden Faculty of Arts and Sciences Research Fellow.
He divides his time between Princeton, NJ and New York City.