Carl J. LaMark’s work as a composer, pianist, and collaborator has been described an exercise in “sustained intensity”. Coming from a long line of Chicago natives, he received the majority of his training as a pianist at the Music Institute of Chicago at Winnetka and Northwestern University under primarily under Dr. Soo Lee. He received his degrees in Philosophy and English Literature from Lake Forest College in 2010, mentored by the poet Joshua Corey, the poet-critic Robert Archambeau, and experimental writer Davis Schneiderman. He also studied improv performance and music direction at iO (formally Improv Olympic) under Dave Asher, The Annoyance Theatre, and The Second City, where he performs regularly.
He received his Master Certification in orchestration and arranging from the Berklee College of Music in 2014 and his MFA in composition in 2019 from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, studying under Rick Baitz, John Mallia, and Don DiNicola. On February 2, 2020, he became the first America pianist to perform Erik Satie’s Vexations to completion solo. Most recent composition collaborations include White Stockings with the Canadian-Lithuanian poet-visual artist Lina Romona Vitkauskas and a forthcoming chamber work for piano and string quartet commissioned by The Chicago Arts Club. His past work as production assistant and actor can be seen in NBC’s Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Mind Games, Showtime’s Shameless and Average Joe.