Mark Anthony Cruz earned his M. M. in guitar performance at Texas State University – San Marcos, where he is now Professor of Guitar.
As a composer, Cruz’s music “…shares similarities with Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Lennox Berkely but with an American accent” according to a review by Soundboard Magazine. Cruz has been published by Shawnee Press, Soundboard Magazine, MelBay and Clear Note Publications while managing his own company, MAC Publications. He was the first prize-winner of the Austin Classical Guitar Society sponsored composition competition in 2006, ’07, ’08 and in ’10. In 2008, Mr. Cruz was commissioned by University Baptist Church in Austin to compose an Anthem for choir and organ for their 100th anniversary celebration. He was commissioned by the Classical Minds Guitar Festival to compose a pair of guitar ensemble works for their 2009 conference. Mr. Cruz’s Triptych for solo guitar has been performed internationally by guitar virtuoso, Adam Holzman. Such notable artists as the Presti Trio, TxGQ and the Hanser/McClellan Duo have also performed his work in addition to many highschools and universities across the country and abroad.
As a performer, Mark Cruz was a two-time feature artist with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He placed 1st in the 2013 Winfield International Fingerstyle Competition. He was a feature artist at the Eastfield Guitar Festival in Dallas, TX in 2008 and in the Classical Minds Guitar Festival in Houston, TX in 2009 and 2014. He also did a lecture/recital at the Brownsville Guitar Ensemble Festival and Competition in 2014. Two of Cruz’s all-original CDs have been featured on the internationally syndicated radio program Classical Guitar Alive hosted by Tony Morris. Both Cds received positive reviews in the scholarly periodical, Soundboard.
Cruz resides in Austin, TX with his wife and two children.