The Art of Improvisation with Mark Fewer

Tuesday, July 18, 3:00 – 4:30pm
Boyd Neel Room, Edward Johnson Building


Canadian violinist Mark Fewer’s career has spanned the classical and jazz worlds!  Mr. Fewer will be working with the TSM Academy Fellows and teaching them the art of improvisation.

Mark Fewer, violin

Known for his exceptional versatility, violinist Mark Fewer has been described as “genre-bending” (National Post), “intrepid” (Globe and Mail), “profound” (The WholeNote) and “freaky good” (The Gazette).  His performance career has seen him perform around the world in famous halls such as Carnegie, Salle Pleyel and Wigmore, to smaller venues such as Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), Bartok House (Budapest) and the Forum (Taipei).  As a soloist he has performed with the symphonies of Quebec, Edmonton, Vancouver, Toronto, San Francisco and Melbourne, as well as groups such as the Fodens-Richardson Brass Band (UK), the Zapp Quartet (Amsterdam), and the McGill Percussion Ensemble.  As a conductor he has directed I Musici de Montreal, l’Orchestre Symphonique de Laval, the Newfoundland Sinfonia, the Vancouver Symphony, the McGill Baroque Orchestra and the choir Capella Antica.  As a jazz violinist he has appeared with Phil Dwyer, Pekka Kuusisto, Brad Turner, Dave Young, and recently with Stevie Wonder and his band for the Songs in the Key of Life tour.

His prolific recording career has seen him featured on Prix Opus, Juno and Grammy award winning recordings in a variety of roles.  His recording of Phil Dywer’s Changing Seasons (written especially for him and his abilities as both a classical and jazz artist) was an iTunes bestseller, and his recording of the 1600 baroque gypsy violin sonatas of Pandolfi has been a bestseller at the Smithsonian since its release in 2009.

Over his 25 year career he has worked with and premiered works by composers John Adams, Barry Guy, George Tsontakis, Phillip Glass, Linda Catlin Smith and dozens of others.

Mr. Fewer is currently William Dawson Scholar at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University.  Prior to this he was Artist in Residence at Stanford University where he performed regularly as violinist with the St. Lawrence String Quartet.  He has been violinist with the Duke Trio for more than twenty years and a member of the Smithsonian Chamber Players for fifteen years.  He is artistic director of the SweetWater Music Festival in Owen Sound, Ontario.

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