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Mark Portolese Associate Principal

Mark Portolese

Born In Chicago, IL
Resides In Kalamazoo, MI

Mark Portolese is an active violinist and pianist in the Western Michigan area. He is Acting Concertmaster of the South Bend Symphony for the 2017-18 season and will return to his normal position of Associate Concertmaster for the 2018-19 season. He is also Associate Principal Second Violin of the West Michigan Symphony and a member of the Kalamazoo Symphony. As pianist, he was a member of Crescendo Trio and was the studio accompanist for the violin studio of Dr. Gregory Maytan at Grand Valley State University. He has also served as staff accompanist for the ballet courses at Western Michigan University and has accompanied students in such events as the All-State Solo-Ensemble Contest, the Stulberg Competition Master classes, the MTNA regional competition, the Walgreens Midwest Young Artists Concerto Competition and many others.


Mark teaches both instruments at the Crescendo Academy of Music where he maintains a private lesson studio of over 30 students, accompanies the student recitals and coaches various groups that participate in the chamber music program. Through Crescendo he also runs the Vicksburg String Program, which is a beginner group class for violinists, violists, and cellists grades three through five that attend Tobey, Sunset Lake, and Indian Lake Elementary schools.


Mark Portolese received a Bachelor of Music in Orchestral Instrument Performance and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Illinois Wesleyan University where he graduated summa cum laude. There he studied violin with Vadim Mazo and piano with Lawrence Campbell. He also received a Masters in Music in Violin Performance and Chamber Music from the University of Michigan where he studied violin with Stephen Shipps and piano with Louis Nagel.