MARK LATHAM - WSO MUSIC DIRECTOR
Born in Tanzania and educated in the United Kingdom and the USA, Mark Latham has been active as a violinist, violist, composer, conductor, chamber musician and teacher in the UK, Canada and the US, where he resides.
Mark Latham received his musical training at the Guildhall School (London), the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts, Brooklyn College Conservatory, and the University of Michigan, where he earned his Doctor of Musical Arts in Orchestral Conducting. Mark was privileged to have studied with some of the great musicians and pedagogues of the past century: violin with Masao Kawasaki, Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman; and chamber music with the Juilliard, Emerson and American Quartets, with Eugene Lehner of the Kolisch Quartet, and Zoltan Zekely of the Hungarian Quartet.
As a violinist, he was a member of the Atlantic String Quartet for 6 years in St. John's, Canada, with whom he made many recordings with CBC Radio. He has been a regular with Emmanuel Music in Boston and the New England Bach Festival, and previously was a member of the New Hampshire, Delaware and New Haven Symphonies. He is a founding member of the Aryaloka String Quartet, whose performances have included a UK tour. The quartet was lauded by the Boston Musical Intelligencer for its ‘instantaneous kinetic energy’. Mark is a member ‘in absentia’ of the Canadian contemporary improv ensemble "The Black Auks" with whom he made several recordings.
Mark’s primary conducting mentors were Kenneth Kiesler and Gustav Meier, Larry Rachlef, Marin Alsop and Helmuth Rilling. In Michigan, he was music director of the Gilbert and Sullivan Society. He has conducted the Cabrillo Festival Orchestra in Santa Cruz, CA, the Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, and the MIT Symphony Orchestra, and he has been music director of the Nashua Chamber Orchestra, the Cambridge Symphony, and the Avalon Chamber Ensemble.
Mark holds a deep belief that music is transformational and can be a broad and powerful educational and social medium for both children and adults. He has conducted many youth and community orchestras, and led music seminars and workshops at all levels in the US, Canada and Europe. He was music director of the New Hampshire Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Concord Academy Orchestra, and has taught composition and general music at MusicWorks in the UK, a chamber music program for Europe’s finest young string and piano players. Each summer he conducts and coaches amateur musicians at CAMMAC in Quebec, and directs the orchestra and gives master classes at the Iceberg Chamber Music Institute in Newfoundland.
Now in his eleventh season as Music Director of the New Hampshire Philharmonic, he continues also to lead the University Orchestra at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, where he serves as adjunct professor of conducting, violin and viola, and chamber music. At the Manchester Community Music School, in Manchester, NH he teaches violin and viola and is Chair of the string department.
Honored, delighted and humbled to have been named the successor to Max Hobart as the new Music Director of the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, Mark begins his first season with a joyful confidence in the vision and future of this orchestra ‘family’ – its players, its board, its audiences – and its ability to make a significant and uplifting contribution to the greater Wellesley community and beyond.