ORCHESTRA | MARK WOOD
"Mark, you are ALWAYS welcome to come back to Houston any time you like. We love having you come here to ‘inspire’ our kids to follow their dreams and to show them that orchestra CAN rock and be ‘cool’. THANKS for showing people a new side of orchestra other than the traditional classical side. THANK YOU for sharing your time, talent, and inspiring our kids. YOU ARE AWESOME … I wish there were more people like you."
Mark has dedicated his career to inspiring your students with the cutting-edge methods he’s developed over the years. He expands the horizons of young musicians by demonstrating these techniques, helping them to apply them on their own, and building a bridge to help them connect the classical and contemporary musical worlds.
Mark is recognized as a true leader in the music education field and premiered his curriculum at the prestigious Ohio State University, at the invitation of Dr. Robert Gillespie.
Mark was honored to have served a wonderful term as a proud board member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA).
As the innovator of the first solid body electric violin, he not only brings a level of experience with his musicianship, but with his expertise and innovation in the world of electric strings.
FULL BIO (if you would like a shortened version for print purposes, please contact us)
Mark Wood’s dexterity, ferocity, texture and attack of playing almost invariably lead to comparisons with some of the rock era’s most renowned guitarists. Comparisons, however, cannot come close to capturing the electricity, passion, and innovation exhibited in all of his very unique music.
In an industry where originality is a highly prized commodity, recording artist, performer, producer, inventor, Emmy award-winning composer, and music education advocate Mark Wood is truly an original.
Mark Wood has spent the past four decades electrifying the orchestra industry – literally. Dubbed ‘The Eddie Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix of the Violin World’ by PBS, Wood is the premier electric violinist of his generation who pioneered and innovated the entire genre.
Wood is a world-renowned performer who rose to fame as string master and original founding member of the internationally acclaimed Trans Siberian Orchestra; selling over 10 million records with them. A successful solo artist in his own right, Wood writes and records original music for film and television, has released seven solo albums, and tours with his band The Mark Wood Experience (MWE) which features his partner and wife, vocalist Laura Kaye.
In addition to his continued solo and commission work, Wood has collaborated with and appeared alongside some of the biggest names in music such as Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Roger Daltry, Lenny Kravitz, Dee Snider, and more. He also starred in a Kanye West produced national Pepsi TV commercial and has appeared on the world’s most venerable stages including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden. His commission credits include The Juilliard School and extensive TV broadcast music including The Winter Olympics and The Tour de France (for which he won an Emmy). He is featured on his own TED talk. His YouTube channel (markwoodtv) has over 4 million views.
Wood began his career with a full scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard School in New York and had the privilege of studying under Maestro Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Music Program. He first turned the string establishment on its head in the early 1970’s with his invention of the first solid body electric violin. His company Wood Violins is the premier manufacturer of electric violins, violas and cellos worldwide, and he holds the patent for the first-ever self-supporting violin. The company stands behind its claim to have made the most important change to the violin in 400 years and is often referred to as the “Stradivarius of electric violins.” Mark’s signature electric violin invention, the Viper, is the instrument of choice for many of the world’s top string players.
But Mark’s true passion is music education. His groundbreaking program Electrify Your Symphony (EYS) celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2020 and, pivoted entirely to support music teachers by providing empowering online experiences during the pandemic. Offering in-person and online options, EYS is an immersive workshop and concert series for school music departments that boosts student self-esteem and helps raise much-needed funds. Mark and his team of Artist Mentors visit upwards of 75 schools per year. EYS has been featured on NBC-TV’s The Today Show, CBS Evening News, CBS Morning News, and regional media outlets.
Mark has dedicated his career to providing educators with the opportunity to ignite their students’ passions and to inspire students to open their minds and unlock their potential. His book “Electrify Your Strings: The Mark Wood Improvisational Violin Method” is regarded as the definitive electric violin method book. Wood is passionate about providing educators and students with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and beyond. His new curriculum, “Rockin’ Strings,” developed with assistance from Dr. Bob Gillespie from Ohio State University, is changing the way prospective music educators are taught at the college and university level.
As his latest endeavor, Mark is extremely honored to be partnering with Alfred Music and SmartMusic with his music, arrangements, and performances.
A genuine family man, Wood runs his operations alongside his wife, business partner, and longtime collaborator Laura Kaye out of their home in New York. In addition to EYS, Wood and his family run the annual Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp and Festival, now in its 12th year, as well as The Mark Wood Music Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to supporting music and the arts in America’s underserved communities.
With hundreds of thousands of students reached, millions of dollars raised to help high school music departments across the US, and countless school orchestra programs saved from the chopping block because of funds raised through his efforts, Mark Wood has proven himself a man of ideas, action and results. Showing no signs of slowing down, the multi faceted visionary continues to write, perform, record, invent ,and inspire.
As a matter of fact, Mark Wood is just getting started.
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“Thank you so much, Mark. You and Laura have completely changed my life. I never thought that I could possibly have such an amazing opportunity to perform with not just amazing performers but also amazing people. You have inspired me to follow my passion and dream and you have both helped me to believe in what I truly love. Thank you again for the “Mark Wood Experience.” It is an experience that I will never forget and treasure for the rest of my life.”