|Photo credit: Emma Jane Geisler|
Associate Professor and Director of Orchestral Studies
Fields of Study:
Conducting, Pedagogy, Performance
Degrees and Studies:
DMA, Eastman School of Music
Mark E. Powell, DMA, a Ford Foundation American Conductor’s Award winner, joins the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York as Associate Professor of Orchestral Studies this fall. He is the founding music director of the American Radio Chamber Orchestra (ARCO) and has served on the faculty of the Eastman School of Music’s Institute for Music Leadership since 2010. Guest conducting and teaching activities have recently taken him to the Interlochen Arts Academy, the University of Alabama, the Boston Conservatory, and the Eastman School of Music. His recent pedagogy research has yielded a book length commentary and annotation of Nicolai Malko’s first text: The Conductor and His Baton: Fundamentals of the Technic of Conducting, while his most recent conducting students have gone on to successes at Peabody and the Cincinnati College Conservatory. Powell trained at Interlochen, the University of Michigan, Tanglewood, and Eastman.
The Plain Dealer praised his "exceptionally vivid" Cleveland debut, while Buffalo Philharmonic Music Director JoAnn Falletta has called Powell "a musician's conductor" of "deep musical understanding and insight.” The NRC Handelsblad (Amsterdam) noted at his Concertgebouw debut his "impressively expressive final movements of the Mussorgsky cycle [Pictures at an Exhibition].” A veteran of both the Malko and Besançon conducting competitions, he was the only American featured twice in the Kirill Kondrashin Series with the Netherlands Radio and Chamber Orchestras. As guest conductor, he has led the Fort Worth Symphony, the Korsholm Music Festival Orchestra (Finland), the Rochester Philharmonic, and the Cleveland Chamber Symphony. He counts among his mentors Brad Lubman, Jorma Panula, Peter Eötvös, and Elizabeth Green.
For the 2019-2020 concert season he will serve as the inaugural Lead Conductor for the New Conductors Orchestra in Manhattan, providing mentorship to both young conductors and civic musicians. He’ll also lead performances of the Rochester Medical Orchestra, based at the Eastman Community Music School in Rochester. This year he will present his lecture Conducting Ma: An Open Space for Music Making with an Implication for Conducting Pedagogy at the Oxford Conducting Institute’s conference at the Sydney Conservatory of Music in Australia.