BASS AND TREBLE VIOL
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Mark Levy won a mathematics scholarship to Cambridge University but soon succumbed to his other great passion and graduated with a first class degree in music, going on to a Masterís in historical musicology at Kingís College, London, and on a Dutch Government scholarship to the Royal Conservatory in the Hague. Having taken up the viol as a teenager, he spent several formative years working with violinist Andrew Manze and harpsichordist Richard Egarr in The Cambridge Musick, performing at venues ranging from the Wigmore Hall in London to the Berlin Philharmonic.
Now known as one of Britainís leading ambassadors for the viol, Mark divides his time between solo and chamber recitals, directing his own ensemble Concordia, working with both leading symphony orchestras and early music groups, and recording early and new music for CD, radio, television and film. Appearances in the past couple of seasons have included solo and chamber recitals at the Bruges Festival, the Wigmore Hall, the Covent Garden Festival, the Spitalfields Festival, the Bath Festival, the York Early Music Festival, the Leipzig Bach Festival, the Innsbruck Festival, the Handel House in Halle, and for the Dutch Early Music Network, and concert tours have taken him to Belgium, Holland, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Iceland, while recent broadcasts have included concerts for the BBC, Belgian and German Radio.
Mark has recorded for Decca, DG, Harmonia Mundi, Hyperion and most of the smaller British labels, recently completing a complete Gibbons series with Concordia for the prize-winning Metronome label. The first disc in the series won several awards including the Choc de Musique from Le Monde de la Musique (France), an Outstanding rating from BBC Music Magazine, and an award from Fonoforum (Germany), while the newly-released second CD has just received the Diapason díOr (France) and is an Editorís Choice in Gramophone magazine. Markís innovative progamming with Concordia has led to performances combining music with newly-commissioned dance, poetry and drama: most recently a set of monologues for Elizabeth I premiered by the well-known actress Penelope Keith at the Covent Garden Festival. Other collaborations have included work with Will Kemp of the Adventures in Motion Pictures dance company and the poet Glyn Maxwell, and future plans include a performance with Vanessa Redgrave at the Globe Theatre.
Mark has been invited to be artistic director of the Wigmore Hallís William Lawes 400th anniversary concert series in 2002, and he will also appear in a two-part BBC TV series on Lawes. During the Bach 2000 festivities he appeared with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall and Symphony Hall in Birmingham and other work outside the world of early music has included contributions to the soundtracks of recent movies such as The Governess, Titus and The Knightís Tale. With Concordia Mark regularly performs and commissions new music for viols, and plans include new pieces from John Tavener and Gavin Bryars.
In 2000-1 Mark was a guest Lecturer at Southampton University, and he has also taught at Nottingham University, at the Dartington International Summer School, and on courses in Israel and Poland. He devotes a part of his time to researching and editing 16th- and 17th-century music, and his edition of the complete Songs of Matthew Locke was published in 1996 by Stainer and Bell, who have asked him to write a tutor for the viol.
Written by Laurie Stras.
Last updated 21 January, 2002.
The views expressed in this document are those of the author and not those of the University of Southampton.