Associate Principal Viola

David Marks

Last updated: January 23, 2024

In 2014, after 12 years living abroad, violist David Marks returned to Canada to accept the position of Associate Principal with the NAC Orchestra.  Born in Vancouver, David grew up in Virginia in the heart of a musical family.  From an early age he experimented with composing, writing, drawing, and painting; these passions have resulted in dozens of original songs, paintings, and murals.  Viola studies took him across the U.S. and Europe for lessons with Roberto Diaz, Atar Arad, Karen Tuttle, Gerard Caussé, Thomas Riebl, and Nobuko Imai; to the Banff Centre; L’Académie de Musique Tibor Varga; and Prussia Cove.  

In Europe, David performed as Principal Viola with L’Orchestre de Montpellier and L’Opera de Bordeaux, La Orquesta de la Ciudad de Granada, Holland Symfonia, and Amsterdam Sinfonietta.  He was Principal Viola of the London Philharmonic under the batons of Vladimir Jurowski, Christoph Eschenbach, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Marin Alsop.  As a fixture on the contemporary music scene, he performed across Europe with the Asko/Schonberg Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Mondriaan Quartet, Fabrica Musica, and Nieuw Amsterdamse Peil.  He was a member of the avant-garde Dutch contemporary music group, Nieuw Ensemble, with whom he toured China and recorded over 40 works.

As a folk musician, David has toured Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia singing his songs with The History of Dynamite.  His folk-opera The Odyssey was performed at the Banff Centre and subsequently at Theater de Cameleon in Amsterdam.  He plays fiddle and guitar and has performed with Van Dyke Parks, Bill Frisell, and Patrick Watson.  

He lives with his wife and four children in Wakefield, Quebec.

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