John Marcus, violin

John Marcus is a native New Yorker, and a graduate of The Juilliard School, where he received his pre-college division diploma, and his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. He also holds a postgraduate certificate from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. His teachers include Dorothy DeLay and David Takeno.

As a member of the Grammy-nominated Enso String Quartet, John has performed extensively as a chamber musician throughout the United States, Latin America, and Europe. He gave his first public performance at the age of nine at the Mozarteum in Salzburg; and at fifteen, he performed at Lincoln Center as the winner of the Julliard Violin Competition. For the 1993 gala opening of the Harris Concert Hall in Aspen, Colorado, John appeared as a soloist alongside Pinchas Zukerman and the Aspen Chamber Symphony. For this occasion, the Stradivarius Society of Chicago lent John the 1742 “Burmeister” Guarnerius del Gesu violin.

John has frequently toured Germany as a recitalist, and recently premiered the John Corigliano Sonata for Violin for Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Germany’s leading public radio network. In his hometown of New York City, John has performed for numerous concert series, including LPR, Barbes, BargeMusic and in collaboration with members of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Project. John has also performed with the Mark Morris Dance Group, and the New Juilliard Ensemble. As a member of the New York-based chamber music group “The Knights” he has toured throughout the United States and Europe.

John has performed at many festivals, including Ravinia, Aspen, Tanglewood, Interlochen, San Miguel de Allende, Campos do Jordao International Winter Festival, Verbier, and Spoletto. Musicians with whom John Marcus has worked include James Dunham, Vera Beths, Ursula Oppens, Sam Rhodes, Peter Oundjian, and Cho-Liang Lin.
John loves to cook for his family, and plays on a Joseph Ceruti violin, made in 1816.

John: My parents always said that music was my first language – that even before I could communicate verbally or even walk properly, I was able to express myself though music and dance (in the latter case, probably more a wobble). That’s what my parents remember; what I remember is simply that music was something I always loved. I recall at the age of five seeing an episode of Sesame Street, when Itzhak Perlman came to the set and started playing the violin, as the children, and some of the Muppets, sang along – even Oscar the Grouch! And I thought to myself, "Wow, look how much fun that violinist is having. And those children playing along with him. It looks like even Oscar the Grouch is having a great time. I want to do this!” At that moment, I then understood why my parents would sit in our living room and listen to record after record of string quartets, operas, and piano and violin soloists, and were moved to smile or even sometimes to cry. And so before long I went to my mother and told her that I wanted to play the violin or cello (as I recall, Yo-Yo Ma also paid a visit to Sesame Street). That year, I entered the preparatory division of the Manhattan School of Music.

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