Baroque On BeaverClassical Music on Island Time


Mark Ortwein

Mark Ortwein (2019)

Bassoon, Principal

What are your most important educational and musical moments?
My most memorable musical experience was playing John Williams’ alto sax concerto with him conducting. 

Why did you choose music?
I don’t know why I chose music, I keep asking myself that!  It was the only interest I had that I was good at.  I grew up in Las Vegas and the employability in music was good at that time.

Why did you choose your instrument?
I started on piano.  After fifth grade I went to music camp and played many instruments.  I was set to play trumpet but loved the sax.  I played a bassoon solo on the sax, which created an interest in bassoon.  I went on from there to school in New Orleans and Boston.  My first full-time job was playing in the Air Force Band, where I played all different instruments. 

Tell us about your family.
My wife Carrie is a Nurse Practitioner with IU Health Physicians. I have two children, Nicholas (Olas) and Catherine, and two stepchildren, Myles and Channing. Olas went to Indiana University for Jazz Bass and is currently living in New Orleans working as a bassist.  Catherine is living in Rockford, IL working as a freelance artist. Myles and Channing attend the International School of Indiana and are very active in sports and take private music lessons.

What are you currently doing?
I play in the Indianapolis Symphony; bassoon, contra bassoon, and sax.  I get called to do Broadway shows which I fit in my schedule when I can; playing flute, clarinet, bass clarinet tenor sax, baritone sax. 

Any non-musical interests or hobbies?
For fun I play ping-pong and play with my dogs.  I have an English bulldog and a chihuahua.  I like to attend concerts and visit Cordry Lake, south of Indianapolis. When I hang out with people who are non-musicians, they are amazed that a musician is a real person!

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