Marcus Weiss was born in Basel, Switzerland and studied there with Iwan Roth, subsequently studying with Fred Hemke in Chicago.
An internationally acclaimed player, he has played a crucial role in developing the repertoire for the saxophone, through his numerous premieres of a wide range of new works, as well as his teaching and through his book The Techniques of Saxophone Playing (Bärenreiter 2010).
Aside from his work with Trio Accanto, his premieres have included works by Aperghis, Baltakas, Cage, Clementi, Furrer, Gervasoni, Globokar, Hidalgo, Hosokawa, Jarrell, Kyburz, Kôndô, Lachenmann, Lang, Netti, Pauset, Rihm, Sciarrino, Sharp, Sotelo, Stockhausen, and Zimmermann.
Internationally known as a saxophone soloist, he has premiered concerti by Georg Friedrich Haas, Hanspeter Kyburz, Mauricio Sotelo and Manuel Hidalgo, as well as by Johannes Maria Staud (with percussion). He is highly active as a chamber musician, above all in his two groups, XASAX and Trio Accanto. He has also extensively played as an ensemble player and soloist with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, ensemble recherche, Ensemble Modern and Contrechamps.
Since 1995, Marcus Weiss has been professor for saxophone and chamber music at Basel's Hochschule für Musik, and since 2006 responsible for the saxophone classes at the Darmstädter Ferienkurse für neue Musik, and at IMPULS Graz.