Mark has appeared as soloist with the Philharmonia (under conductors such as Vladimir Ashkenazy and Edward Gardner), the London Sinfonietta, and the LCO (including a solo appearance at La Scala, Milan). Noted for performances of contemporary music, Mark gave the world premiere performance of Joseph Phibbs’s Clarinet Concerto which he jointly commissioned with the Philharmonia and Malmö Live Konserthus. Mark also performed the world premiere of the Van der Aa concerto Hysteresis, commissioned for him by the London Sinfonietta. He has given several London premieres in the Philharmoniaʼs Music of Today series, and elsewhere the Spanish premiere of the Carter Concerto, the UK premieres of the Carter Clarinet Quintet and of Tavernerʼs Cantus Mysticus (at the BBC Proms), and the London première of Graham Fitkinʼs Agnostic. He played Boulezʼs Domaines at the Proms and Berio’s Sequenza in the Sydney Opera House.
Mark has been the clarinettist with the Chamber Music Ensemble Endymion since its formation in 1980. Other chamber music collaborators have included the Quarteto Camargo Guarneri of São Paolo, the Dante Quartet, and the Brodsky Quartet, with whom he gave the London premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Daviesʼs Hymn to Artemis Locheia. Recordings include the Nielsen Concerto with the Philharmonia and Paavo Järvi, the Phibbs and Mozart Concertos with the Philharmonia, LCO and Christopher Warren-Green, Bartokʼs Contrasts for Violin, Clarinet and Piano with Zsolt-Tihamer Visontay and Yefim Bronfman on Signum, Messiaenʼs Quartet for the End of Time on Psalmus, and a disc of chamber works by Alissa Firsova on Vivat.
Born in Northampton and educated at Merton College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music (studying with Colin Bradbury), Mark was appointed principal clarinettist with Welsh National Opera and subsequently with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. For several years, he was the clarinet and basset horn soloist in Mozartʼs La clemenza di Tito at the Bayerisches Staatsoper. Mark is an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a Professor, and has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Northampton University. He is the clarinet professor for the I, Culture Orchestra, and for the British Isles Music Festival. Mark is a committed teacher, with ex-students holding principal positions in a number of major orchestras. He gives masterclasses worldwide.
The Philharmonia's Principal Clarinet Chair is endowed by the Philharmonia Orchestra and Friends of the Philharmonia Orchestra in memory of Clem Relf.
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