Mark Ortwein

Mark grew up in Las Vegas then attended Loyola University in New Orleans for two years, majoring in bassoon and jazz saxophone. After transferring to Boston University, Mark received a Bachelor of Music degree in Bassoon Performance, graduating Magna Cum Laude. While in Boston, he won the Alan Mark Roberts Performance Competition, and was the top woodwind finalist for the Boston Pops Concerto Competition on bassoon. Mark played for one season with the Las Vegas Symphony Orchestra then joined the United States Air Force Band at March Air Force Base in California as saxophone soloist (and woodwind doubler), and four years later moved to the Air Force Academy where he was the principal bassoonist with the United States Air Force Band of the Rockies for four years. He moved to Cincinnati to study bassoon at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and completed his Master’s Degree.

Over the last 20 years, Mark has performed in many different musical projects including professional recordings, musical theater, chamber ensembles, jazz and R&B groups, as well as many orchestral performances, including being a member of the Saxophone section for the Cincinnati Pops under Erich Kunzel. In June 2003, Mark was the featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the baton of John Williams, playing the second live performance of Williams’ “Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra.” Mark is an active studio musician and records regularly for the Hal Leonard Publishing Company as well as many other projects. He teaches Bassoon at the University of Indianapolis and is a founding member of the Icarus Ensemble – a jazz quintet made up of ISO musicians Dean Franke on violin, Peter Hansen on bass, Jon Crabiel on percussion, and Gary Walters on piano.