Biography: Dr. Mark P. Malkovich, III

Mark Malkovich served as Artistic Director of the Newport Music Festival for 35 years. He can be credited with building the strong reputation this festival has earned.
Dr. Mark P. Malkovich, III was acknowledged as an expert in the field of chamber music. As Artistic Director (formerly General Director) of the Newport Music Festival for the past thirty-five years, he brought the Festival to national and international prominence. His avid awareness of the international music scene and his idea of a music-making community of artists created a festival that really felt like a festival. His thirty-sixth season directing the Festival was in July 2010.

The list of international artists who made their American debuts in Newport under his patronage is legendary—pianists Bella Davidovich, Andrei Gavrilov, Jean-Philippe Collard, François-René Duchable, Dimitris Sgouros, Maria-João Pires, Valery Afanassiev, Jean-Louis Steuerman, Michel Dalberto, Igor Zhukov, Mikhail Pletnev, Ekaterina Novitskaya, Andrea Lucchesini, Pietro De Maria, Peter Rösel, Pascal Devoyon, Hugh Tinney, Alain Jacquon, Mûza Rubackyté, Constantin Lifschitz, Nikolai Lugansky, Klára Würtz, Gérgély Bogányi and Alexander Romanovsky; violinists Dmitry Sitkovetsky, Peter Oundjian, Raphael Oleg, Augustin Dumay, Ilya Kaler, Stephan Milenkovic and Marat Bisengaliev; violist Gerard Caussé; cellist Alexander Rudin; flutists Patrick Gallois and Göran Marcusson; clarinettists Emma Johnson and Carl-Johan Stjernström; bassoonist Kim Walker; baritones Peter and Paul Edelmann and Detlef Roth; contrabassist Alberto Bocini and more than one hundred other stellar artists and groups. He brought back to America, after absences of many years, such luminaries as pianists Maria Tipo, Dubravka Tomšič, Sergio Fiorentino, Dame Moura Lympany, Fou Ts’ong, Magda Tagliaferro, Halina Czerny-Stefanska and Vlado Perlemuter. Finnish baritone Jorma Hynninen was heard in Newport on his very first American tour. Bolshoi Opera stars Makvala Kasrashvili and Zurab Sotkilava first appeared in America at the Newport Music Festival over a quarter century ago.

Dr. Malkovich was a pianist of note himself, having studied with Dorothy Crost Bourgin of the Chicago Musical College, William Beller, Chairman of the Piano Department of Columbia University, and Adele Marcus of the Juilliard School. He is the former Executive Director of the Palm Beach Festival and served as President of the Chopin Foundation of the U.S. He was a popular lecturer and TV and radio personality, appearing frequently on Boston’s WGBH, New York’s WQXR and the nationally syndicated “A Note to You.” His critique of the 1985 Chopin Competition in Warsaw appeared in
Musical America, and for two years Malkovich hosted a regional weekly radio program, “Sunday Morning at the Newport Music Festival.” He was Artistic Director of Regis College’s “President’s Series” and Bryant College’s “President’s Concert Series,” featuring many Newport Music Festival artists, and wrote a record review column for the nationally distributed Newport Life magazine. His lectures for Salve Regina University’s “Circle of Scholars” and his presentation “300 Years of Western Music” at the Naval War College garnered rave reviews as did those at the Boston Symphony, Brown University, the University of Rhode Island, Connecticut College and the South Coast Opera Club in Somerset, Massachusetts. Currently, he hosted a weekly one-hour radio program on Classical 95.9 WCRI-FM Rhode Island ( entitled “My Music,” Sunday nights from 8-9 p.m.
Born and raised in Eveleth, Minnesota, home of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Malkovich graduated as Salutatorian from the Eveleth Senior High School in 1948 and then attended the University of Minnesota. After serving in the Minnesota National Guard during the Korean crisis, he resumed his studies at Columbia University in New York City, completing his undergraduate work in chemistry and graduate studies in literature and languages. He studied under such renowned professors as Mark Van Doren, William Owens, Gertrude Lawrence, Padraic and Mary Colum, Babette Deutsch, Olga Ragusa, and Margaret Mead.

In 1959 he married the former Joan Shewring, and together they raised a family of three sons and a daughter. He was Manager of Morningstar, Paisley, Inc. and President of Chemical Gum Industries, Ltd. both of New York City. The Malkovich family spent five years in Belgium, where he served as Director of Development for an American chemical company which gave him the opportunity to travel extensively throughout western and eastern Europe. In 1974 they returned to America, moving to Newport, Rhode Island, where their three sons attended the Portsmouth Abbey School. Malkovich was immediately recognized for his interest in music, an avocation he had pursued throughout his many years as an international executive; he was offered the position as General Director of the Newport Music Festival in 1975, and subsequently brought it to world acclaim.

Malkovich has been visiting the former Soviet Union for over thirty years. Through his many contacts there with leading artists, he also befriended several elite Russian athletes. In January 1989 he formed Sports US
*A*SR, and as President became the exclusive agent for the Red Army hockey superstars Vyacheslav Fetisov, Captain, and the famed “KLM” line of Vladimir Krutov, Igor Larianov and Sergei Makarov. Malkovich was instrumental in bringing these first athletes out of the Soviet Union to join NHL teams in both the US and Canada. “Being a native son of Eveleth makes this a rather normal transition from impresario to agent,” said Malkovich. “After all, I grew up right next door to ‘America’s Hockey Ambassador,’ John Mariucci, and Frank Brimsek, ‘Mr. Zero’ of the Boston Bruins, lived only a block away. It is rather nice to return to ones childhood ties.”

An automobile accident in his native Minnesota in May 2010 took his life, just weeks before his 80th birthday, but his passion for music and people continue with the success of the Newport Music Festival and the special artists and supporters who make it all happen.

Visit the Mark P. Malkovich website for more information and history.
Malkovich’s personal record collection of more than 25,000 discs contains many rarities, especially of pianists, gathered from his travels around the world. He is listed in Who's Who in America, Celebrities in International Music, and Leading Personalities of the World. He has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Salve Regina University in 1993 and an Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Rhode Island in 1994. In 1997, he was invited as the sole American adjudicator to the First Tbilisi International Piano Competition in the Republic of Georgia.

In 1998, Business Volunteers for the Arts/RI presented him with the Individual Achievement Award. In 1999, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Music from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where the only other honoree was Justice Antonin Scalia of the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2000, he was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame, one of only 390 illustrious Rhode Islanders in the history of the State, from Roger Williams to the present. In 2001, he returned to Tbilisi, Georgia, to judge the Second Tbilisi International Piano Competition; in 2003 he adjudicated the First Uralsk International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan. In January 2004, Dr. Malkovich returned to Kazakhstan to judge the Second Uralsk International Violin Competition. In May 2004 he was presented with the Governor’s Tourism Achievement Award from the State of Rhode Island. In December 2004 he was awarded both an Honorary Professorship to the Tbilisi State Conservatoire and was made an Honorary Citizen of Tbilisi, Republic of Georgia. He returned in both March 2005 and December 2007 to judge the Uralsk International Violin Competition in Kazakhstan, and in October 2005 to oversee judging at the Tbilisi Piano Competition. He recently judged the International Horowitz Competition in Kiev, Ukraine in April/May 2007. He has accepted an invitation to the Competition Jury for the Chopin Foundation of the U.S. International Piano Competition in February 2010.

The Newport Music Festival’s prominence is acknowledged in Cadogan Publications’ “America’s Elite 1000—The Ultimate List.” The 1000 names are the editors’ choices of the finest shops, services and luxury goods in America. There are 50 different categories from Art Museums to Wealth Management. In the “Events” category there are only 19 such listings: The Metropolitan Opera, the Kentucky Derby, Miss America, The Academy Awards, U.S. Open Tennis and the Newport Music Festival. In describing the Festival the editors wrote, “Director Mark Malkovich runs the whole affair with the easy charm of a modern-day Gatsby.”

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