Mark Bridges, Cello

Mark has been a member of the Madison Symphony Orchestra cello section since 2016 and was appointed Assistant Principal Cello in September 2018, a position they also hold with the Madison Opera. They perform frequently with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and many other local groups and festivals. Outside of performing with the orchestra, Mark is passionately involved in advocating for colleagues as chair of the Madison Symphony Players Committee and ROPA delegate for the orchestra.

As a chamber musician, Mark has worked and performed with principal musicians of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and members of the Guarneri, Juilliard, Muir, Pro Arte, Borodin and Brentano String Quartets. They are a core member of Madison's acclaimed Willy Street Chamber Players, have performed frequently at John Harbison’s Token Creek Festival since 2016, and have been an artist-in-residence at the Banff Centre (2008, 2014). As a member of ambient-electronic duo High Plains with composer Scott Morgan (Loscil), Mark attended the Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts where they composed and recorded their debut album, Cinderland (Kranky). Music from Cinderland has been featured in short films and major motion picture trailers.

A native of the Boston area, Mark received their bachelors degree in cello performance from Boston University where they studied cello with David Soyer and Leslie Parnas. They received a Masters degree and Orchestral Studies Diploma from the Eastman School of Music where they studied with Steven Doane and Rosemary Elliot and served as an orchestral fellow and member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. Mark holds a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where they were a student of Uri Vardi.

Mark is passionate about teaching and has been running a diverse private studio in Madison, since 2010. Mark’s private students have been principals in WYSO orchestras as well as the WSMA State Honors Orchestra and Mark has been an enthusiastic chamber music and occasional sectional coach for the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras for over ten years. At the collegiate level, Mark has taught cello at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

Mark plays on a beautiful modern cello made by Michele Ashley receiving generous support from friends and family in making the acquisition of this cello a reality.


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