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(PC: Vincent Mentzel)

Russian Conductor Lev Markiz has Died, Aged 92

Markiz was an influential violinist and conductor both in Russia and the Netherlands


Born in Moscow in 1930, Lev Markiz studied violin with Yuri Jankelevitstj and chamber music with Maria Joedina at the Gnessin State Academy of Music. Later, he also studied orchestral conducting with Kirill Kondrasjin.

Upon completion of his studies, Markiz was appointed concertmaster of the newly-formed Moscow Chamber Orchestra, which at that time was conducted by Rudolf Barschai. Markiz remained in this position until 1964, when he left to found his own orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, which comprised some of Moscow's best players — and allowed Markiz the opportunity to conduct more regularly.

As the conductor of this orchestra, Markiz made more than 70 recordings, including those made for broadcast on state radio. In this role, he collaborated with musicians, including Sviatoslav Richter, David Oistrakh, and Emil Gilels.

In 1982, Markiz immigrated to the Netherlands, where he was to remain for the rest of his career. Here, he founded the Nieuw Sinfonietta Amsterdam, and was its Chief Conductor and Artistic Director until his retirement in 1997.

Under Markiz's direction, the 22-player chamber orchestra toured the United States, the Soviet Union, Germany, France, and Italy. 

Now called the Amsterdam Sinfonietta, the ensemble is conducted by Candida Thompson and is considered to be one of the top string orchestras in the Netherlands. The group's success forms a significant part of Markiz's legacy. 

Our condolences to Markiz's family, friends, and colleagues.

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