Residing in the United States since 1991, Mark Menzies has established an important, world-wide reputation as a new music violist and violinist. He has been described in a Los Angeles Times review, as an 'extraordinary musician' and a 'riveting violinist.' At 39 years, his career as a viola and violin virtuoso, chamber musician and advocate of contemporary music, has seen performances in Europe, Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and across the United States, including a series of appearances at New York's Carnegie Hall.
Mark Menzies is renowned for performing some of the most complex scores so far written and he has been personally recommended by composers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Roger Reynolds, Michael Finnissy, Vinko Globokar, Philippe Manoury, Jim Gardner, Elliott Carter, Liza Lim, Christian Wolff, Richard Barrett and Sofia Gubaidulina for performances he has given of their music. An early success was performing at the Lutoslawksi Festival in London (1989) and subsequent highlights have included appearances at the Ojai Festival 2000, at the June in Buffalo 1996/9 and 2000 festivals, the Mirror of the New Festival in Hawai'i 1997, and as featured guest soloist in the 09/03 International Festival (of new music) in Auckland, New Zealand, 2003. In October of 2005, with bassoonist John Veloz, he performed a duo recital of new music for the ‘New Spaces’ festival at the American Academy in Rome, Italy, a recording of which will be released on the nine-winds label.
There has been considerable international critical applause for Mark Menzies' leadership in ensembles formed to perform contemporary and twentieth century, such as the Bloomington-based New Vienna Ensemble, Los Angeles's Southwest Chamber Music, San Diego's Sirius Ensemble and the New York-based Ensemble Sospeso. It was with Ensemble Sospeso that he organized a joint venture with California Institute of the Arts to present the first professional concerts in the US dedicated to Brian Ferneyhough’s music in December 2002.
Mark Menzies has a considerable reputation as a chamber music performer. He is the director of a new collective ensemble based in Los Angeles, called inauthentica; with members drawn from the Southern California area, including young musicians and recent graduates from CalArts, inauthentica has been featured on an innova CD release of Mark Applebaum’s recent compositions. inauthentica’s recording of Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire has recently been released on MSR Classics label. In the spring of 2007, he led a newly formed string quintet belArtes Quintet (formely Ensemble du Monde) in a rapturously received tour in Germany, France and Poland, which featured the Ravel Duo Sonata with renowned Los Angeles cellist John Walz, along with quintets by Schubert and Boccherini.
Mark Menzies is featured on a large number of CD recordings. This includes "Process and Passion," a Pogus label release of chamber music by Roger Reynolds, as well as the world premiere recording of "...above earth's shadow" by Michael Finnissy to be released shortly. Mark Menzies is a National Recording Artist of Radio New Zealand for whom he has made numerous studio recordings and he is featured on a further dozen chamber and contemporary music releases.
Mark Menzies is currently viola and violin professor at California Institute of the Arts where he also coordinates their chamber orchestra, new music ensembles and conducting studies. Drawing from his innovative professionalism and artistic leadership, he initiated a successful collaborative series called Chamber Music Wednesdays that has contributed to the programming content of concerts presented by CalArts at their new theatre REDCAT at the Disney Hall complex. He currently curates a series called Classics at CalArts, a chamber music series presented annually at the Valencia campus.