Since debuting with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at the age of fifteen, pianist Mark Tollefsen has fashioned an international career as both a soloist and chamber musician, performing in Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, and Spain and as well as across the United States.
His performances have been presented within numerous concert series and festivals, collaborating with Grammy Award-winning ensemble eighth blackbird as well as members of the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Lexington Philharmonic, and New World Symphony. Recent highlights included a solo recital in New York at Steinway Hall, a collaboration with the Cincinnati Ballet, a performance of Janacek’s Capriccio with the CCM Brass Choir, and a performance of Loeffler’s Deux Rhapsodies with Lon Bussell and Christian Colberg at the 2012 IDRS Conference. He has recorded six discs for Ablaze Records, Blue Shore Music, Rick Sowash Publishing Co., and MARK Records.
Dr. Tollefsen’s talents are frequently called upon for concerto performances, including in an appearance at the 2010 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic and as part of the University of Cincinnati’s 2011 Chamber Music Series with the CCM Chamber Players. Other concerto engagements have occurred with the CCM Wind Symphony, the Washington University Symphony and Chamber Orchestras, the Belleville Philharmonic Orchestra, the Accent09 Ensemble, and the Queen City Quartet.
Praised for his “tremendously lucid and effortless performances” and as an “exciting discovery” by Fanfare Magazine, Dr. Tollefsen has been a strong advocate of new music. This advocacy has included performances of nearly one hundred works by living composers and more than a dozen world or regional premieres. Prior to UNCP, he taught piano to undergraduate and graduate music majors at CCM, served as a Visiting Lecturer in Music at Ohio Northern University, was an Assistant Professor of Piano and Music Theory at Kentucky State University, and was an Assistant Professor of Music at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin. A native of St. Louis, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a Masters of Music and Doctor of Music degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, under the guidance of Michael Chertock.