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Jethro Marks

Jethro Marks

principal viola

Vancouver-born violist Jethro Marks was Associate Principal Viola of the National Arts Centre Orchestra from the beginning of the 2003-2004 season to spring 2011, when he was appointed Principal Viola. He has performed as soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, and Canada, and is a frequent collaborator with many artists and ensembles. Jethro is first violist of the Zukerman ChamberPlayers, a string ensemble led by Pinchas Zukerman that has completed highly acclaimed tours of festivals in Canada, the U.S., Europe, South America and New Zealand. The ensemble released its fourth CD in 2008.

An avid chamber musician, Jethro has collaborated with some of the most illustrious artists and chamber groups of our day including Lynn Harrell, Gary Hoffman, Jaime Laredo, Michael Tree, Itzhak Perlman, Yefim Bronfman, and the Orion Quartet, and has participated in festivals around the world including the Verbier Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Festival de musique de St. Barthelemy, Banff Festival of the Arts, Lanaudière Festival, Agassiz Festival, Ravinia Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Festival, Musica Mundi in Belgium, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, and Mostly Mozart, as well as the Jupiter and Lyric Chamber Music Societies in New York City.

Jethro Marks began his studies in Vancouver on the piano at the age of six but switched to the violin soon after, studying with his father and subsequently with Kenneth Sarch. Accepted into Indiana University at Bloomington, he studied violin with Levon Ambartsumian and then with Yuval Yaron. Intrigued by the rich, dark sound of the viola, he began to switch his focus and started studying with violist Atar Arad. Awards included first prize in the Kuttner Quartet Competition, first prize in the Concerto Competition, and receiving the prestigious Performers Certificate. In 1998, Jethro Marks was accepted into the Zukerman Program at the Manhattan School of Music as the only violist and he won first prize in the MSM Concerto Competition. Jethro first participated in the National Arts Centre’s Young Artists Program in 1999, returning the following summer. He returned to the NAC Summer Music Institute in 2000 and 2001 as a mentor. Since arriving in Ottawa in 2003, Jethro has frequently been featured in chamber music concerts at the National Arts Centre. He made his CBC Radio debut in 2003 performing the Paganini 24th caprice on viola, and his debut with the National Arts Centre Orchestra in 2004, playing Harold in Italy. In 2007 he premiered the Steven Gellman Viola Concerto with the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra and in February 2010, he performed as soloist with Thirteen Strings.

Jethro plays a Helmuth Keller viola and, in his free time, a Wilson Pro-Staff.

April 2011