Award Recipient 2005



In 1981, aged ten, Mark began his musical studies as a flautist. In 1986 he was invited to play Mozart’s Concerto in D major with the ‘Philharmonia of Melbourne’ and in 1987 played Mozart’s Concerto for flute and harp with Marshall McGuire, harp and the Ballarat Symphony Orchestra. Moving to Melbourne in 1988 he began studies at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School. In 1990 he won the Woodwind Section of the Musical Society of Victoria’s ‘Hepzibah Menuhin Musical Awards’ and in 1992 graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with the ‘Gwen Nisbett Award for Outstanding Musical Achievement’.

Mark is a passionate advocate of the benefits of Kenja training for musicians young and old. It was through opportunities given to him at the Kenja Sport and Hobby Club that Mark was encouraged to pursue his childhood dream of conducting.

Formal conducting studies began with Graham Abbott through Monash University and Mark is currently completing his Masters in Conducting with John Hopkins at Melbourne University.

In late 2003 Mark conducted the premiere, season and ABC recording of Matthew Hindson’s new opera on the life of Baron Ferdinand von Mueller, Love, Death, Music and Plants.

Mark’s 2004 performances included the Victorian Youth Symphony Orchestra, Ballarat Symphony Orchestra, Zelmann Memorial Orchestra, Monash Chorale and as principal conductor the Melbourne University Symphonic Wind Ensemble. He also conducted the Australian premiere of Don Freund’s Life of the Party – A concerto for bassoon and 16 friends with international soloist Kim Walker at the International Double Reed Society Conference as well as conducting 3 performances of Bicycle Couriers – a new opera by Melbourne composer Martin Greet. In August Mark conducted for the film score of soon to be released Australian film, You and Your Stupid Mate.

In October 2004 on his return from conducting Così fan Tutte in Sydney with Director Patrick Nolan and the Conservatorium’s Postgraduate Opera Department, Mark was awarded a specially created Encouragement Award at the Melbourne International Festival from the Brian Stacey Memorial Trust, acknowledging his work as an emerging Australian Conductor. In 2005 he returned to the Sydney Conservatorium to direct a contemporary music program.

Mark is currently the principal conductor of the Frankston Symphony Orchestra and Melbourne University’s New Audience Ensemble. He has been working again with the Ballarat Symphony, Zelmann Memorial Orchestra and the Monash Chorale during 2005.

Mark’s own vision & creation, MELBOURNE NEW ORCHESTRA made it’s debut last month. In Mark’s own words in accepting the 2005 Brian Stacey Award, “performances in Melbourne’s Hamer Hall and BMW Edge Theatre are seeing this orchestra not so much launch as explode into existence.”

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