“Portland’s eclectic bassoonist” began his professional career at age 15 with the Tacoma Symphony. Before graduating from the University of Washington, he had joined the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Opera where he performed for 10 years. His first gigs were as a rock musician that kept him busy through high school and college with Tacoma’s Galaxies, a band that is now enjoying a revival. Over his 33 years in Portland Mark appeared frequently as soloist with the Oregon Symphony where he was principal bassoonist as well as saxophone soloist. His last solo performance was in 2002 with the irreverent Bassoon Brothers quartet dressed as Hells Angels resulting in the premiere recording of Michael Daugherty’s Hells Angels for Bassoon Quartet and Orchestra with the Oregon Symphony.
Mark is the head deranger for the Bassoon Brothers quartet, who have the look of the Blues Brothers, have recorded three CDs, Wanted, Captured and Escaped. Mark has performed over the years with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Oregon Bach Festival, Portland Opera, West Coast Chamber Orchestra, San Francisco Ballet, the Grand Teton Music Festival, Britt Festival, Bumbershoot Festival, Sun River Music Festival, Chamber Music Northwest and as jazz recitalist at the International Double Reed Society conference. Mark has performed jazz bassoon with Gil Evans and Anthony Braxton along with the Seattle Composers and Improvisers Orchestra and the chamber jazz group Matrix as well as composing for both groups. He performed regularly at Portland’s Jazz Quarry until its closing with “Professor” Eddie Wied and the Sky Trio. He was often spotted after Symphony concerts sitting in with jazz and rock bands in Portland still dressed in white tie and tails in the 1980s with bands such as Sleazy Pieces and UPEPO and local jazz club jam sessions. Mark doubles on all woodwinds and has performed for many touring Broadway shows.
Mark created the Arundo double reeds which are sold widely throughout the U.S., and has several publications on reed making and tuning published by his company Arundo Research. He has given several reed making and adjustment seminars at Lewis and Clark College and other U.S. colleges and conservatories. He has lectured twice at the International Double Reed Society on bassoon reed tuning and design. Mark is also an expert on bassoon voicing and tuning. He has published 21 arrangements for bassoon quartet, trio, duo and solo bassoon with more on the way. View his CDs and publication and the latest news on the Bassoon Brothers at bassoonbrothers.com.
Mark was the producer for the Oregon Symphony’s radio broadcasts which were aired on NPR’s Performance Today and local and statewide network broadcasts on KBPS and KOPB from the 1990s until the Symphony’s broadcasting ceased in 2006. He is a freelancer recording producer specializing in chamber music.