Born in Pensacola, Florida, pianist Mark Markham made his debut in 1980 as a soloist with the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra and, that same year, was invited by Boris Goldovsky to coach opera at the Oglebay Institute. After studying for 10 years at the Peabody Conservatory, where he received bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees, he won several competitions, including First Prize and the Contemporary Music Prize at the 1988 Frinna Awerbuch International Competition in New York. He has given solo recitals at the National Gallery in Washington, DC; the New York Public Library; the Baltimore Museum of Art; and the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
In 1987 Mr. Markham was appointed pianist of the Contemporary Music Forum in Washington, DC; he has also performed with the the Baltimore Woodwind Quintet as well as the Brentano, Mozarteum, Glinka, and Castagnieri quartets. Appreciated for his improvisational skills, he collaborated with Sir Peter Ustinov for a live television broadcast at Expo 2000 in Hannover, Germany.
Mr. Markham has been the recital partner of Jessye Norman since 1995, giving more than 150 performances in 22 countries including at Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, La Palau de la Musica in Barcelona, London’s Royal Festival Hall, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Salzburg Festival, Bunka Kaikan in Tokyo, Mann Auditorium in Tel Aviv, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus in Greece, and at the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize presentation to President Jimmy Carter in Oslo. This season he gives recitals with Ms. Norman in Hamburg, Frankfurt, Berlin, Munich, Paris, Aix-en-Provence, New York, Detroit, and Los Angeles.
In 1990 Mr. Markham was invited to join the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory, where he served for 10 years as a vocal coach and professor of vocal repertoire and accompanying. A former faculty member of Morgan State University, the Britten-Pears School in England, and the Norfolk Chamber Festival of Yale University, he has presented master classes for pianists and singers throughout the US, Europe, and Asia; in addition, he has been a guest lecturer for the Metropolitan Opera Guild and Johns Hopkins University. Last fall he joined the faculty of Grand Valley State University as assistant professor of piano.