Lev Markiz

Lev   Markiz   began   his   career   as   a   virtuoso   violinist,   but   like   many talented   soloists,   gradually   turned   toward   conducting.   In   both   roles he   has   enjoyed   much   success,   though   he   will   likely   be   remembered as   a   conductor   first.   He   was   a   friend   of   both   Shostakovich   and Schnittke,   two   composers   with   whose   music   he   is   closely   identified. Markiz'    choice    of    repertory,    however,    extends    well    beyond    the sphere   occupied   by   these   two   icons,   as   it   takes   in   the   disparate   likes of      Mozart,      Bloch,      Mendelssohn,      Elgar,      Schumann,      Haydn, Tchaikovsky,    Stravinsky,    Prokofiev,    and    many    others.    Markiz    has focused    largely    on    music    for    chamber    orchestras    (often,    too,    in works   scored   for   strings   only)   and   has   made   nearly   100   recordings over   the   years.   Many   of   these   were   first   issued   on   the   Russian   label Melodiya,   though   since   1981   his   recordings   have   appeared   on   BIS, Globe, Brilliant Classics, and others. Markiz   was   born   in   Moscow.   His   first   advanced   studies   were   at   the   Moscow   Conservatory,   where   his   most   important   teachers   were   pianist Maria   Yudina,   who   instructed   him   in   chamber   music   performance,   and   Yuri   Yankelevich,   who   taught   him   on   violin.   Markiz   later   studied conducting with Kiril Kondrashin. From   1955   to   1964   Markiz   served   as   concertmaster   for   the   Moscow   Chamber   Orchestra.   After   his   departure   from   this   post   he   founded   his own   ensemble,   the   Moscow   Soloists.   This   spirited   Markiz-led   group   quickly   drew   attention   at   home   and   abroad,   and   around   70   recordings of theirs would be issued over the next decade and a half on the Melodiya label in considerably varied repertory. In   1981   Markiz   emigrated   to   the   Netherlands,   where   he   has   since   lived.   He   immediately   began   to   freelance   as   a   conductor   with   a   number of   orchestras   there,   elsewhere   in   Europe,   and   in   Canada   and   Israel.   In   1988   he   was   appointed   principal   conductor   of   the   Nieuw   Sinfonietta Amsterdam,   another   group   with   whom   he   made   a   number   of   recordings.   Among   their   more   important   recording   projects   was   a   1993 complete set of the Mendelssohn string symphonies on the BIS label. In   1997   Markiz   left   his   post   with   the   Nieuw   Sinfonietta   Amsterdam,   but   continued   to   conduct   and   record   with   the   group.   That   same   year he   accepted   the   appointment   of   chief   conductor   of   the   Chamber   Orchestra   of   Geneva.   In   the   new   century   Markiz   was   active   as   a   guest conductor   throughout   the   Netherlands,   Europe,   and   overseas.   Among   Markiz's   later   recordings   is   a   2004   release   on   Challenge   Classics   of Shostakovich's chamber symphonies.
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