Appearing on Main Stage

during Arabian Nights, December 12, 2010

and during Kids to Concerts

Mark Cheikhet, Violinist, was born in 1973 into a family of two professional violinists. Mark’s father played in the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra for over 40 years and his mother was one of the leading violin teachers in Moscow.

Mark began his music education at the age of 5 in a school for gifted children in Moscow, Russia. By the end of his schooling, he had become the concertmaster of its orchestra. In 1991, Mark was offered a full scholarship to attend Southern Methodist University in Dallas TX, where he became the concertmaster of the University’s Orchestra and studied with Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony, Emanuel Borok. He was invited, with a full scholarship, to study at the University of Southern California with Ellis Shoenfeld. While in Los Angeles, Mark founded and was first violinist in the “International String Quartet,” which played in Hollywood and became well known for imaginative interpretations of new works by modern composers in the Los Angeles area.

While in the U.S., Mark won prizes in numerous competitions, “ …his warm and beautiful sound transforms the listener to another world. … Mark’s clarity of musical thought and virtuosity are truly remarkable. … ”

In 1995, Mark chose to study in the Moscow Conservatory where he became the orchestra concertmaster. His teachers were Professors Maya Glezarova, Eward Grach and Sergei Girshenko. At the same time, Mark took classes from Spivakov, Oistrakh and Dihterev. Mark graduated from the Moscow Conservatory in 2000.

Mark has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout Russia, Germany, France, Mexico and the USA. Among his recent performances are: Festival in Bressia Italy, Festival of the Russian Art in Marseille, and Festival “Oldenburg Promenade” in Germany. In 2008 he performed for the Russian National Musical Project “Generation of the Stars.” Recently Mark has performed more often in Russia with symphony orchestras such as the Vladimir County Orchestra, Orchestra of Kavkas Philharmonick, and others.

His remarkable sensitivity has earned him such prestigious collaborators as Denis Mazuev, Valery Grohovski, Boris Andrianov, Oleg Ogrinchuk, Methew Hinsley, Daniel Alberty, Michelle Burdoncle and Elena Nogaeva. In addition to his classical career, Mark has performed many jazz concerts of his own compositions.

Mark plays frequently with his wife, Elena Portnaya, Russian pianist and winner of numerous international competitions.