Mark Ortwein

Mark Ortwein's Biography

Las Vegas native Mark Ortwein joined the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Bassoon and Contra Bassoon in 2002. Prior to that, Mark was a member of the United States Air Force Band for eight years, and performed with many orchestras around the nation including the Pittsburgh Symphony, Dayton Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, Las Vegas Symphony, and Cincinnati Pops.

Mark was exposed to music from an early age, developing a love of both classical and jazz styles. He began his studies on piano at age 8, switching to saxophone at age 10. Later, at age 14 he started on the bassoon.

He received his bachelor’s degree from Boston University where he studied with Matthew Ruggiero, after spending two years at Loyola University working with saxophonist Paul McGinley and bassoonist Crawford Best. He later earned his master’s degree from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, studying with William Winstead. In 2003, Mark played John Williams's Escapades for Alto Saxophone and Orchestra with Williams conducting the Pittsbrurgh Symphony Orchestra. Since then, He has played it several times with different orchestras. 

When not onstage with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Mark performs as a member of a number of other musical groups including a jazz quintet, The Icarus Ensemble; a woodwind quintet, Circle City Winds; and his new jazz fusion group, HetWein Futet; as well as numerous recording projects.

On top of reed making, practicing, and performing, he and his wife have rehabbed an old church in Fountain Square to be their home as well as a local performance space. Grove Haus is becoming a very popular venue for music and dance as well as weddings and parties.

Mark is also Professor of Bassoon, and teaches the Woodwinds Methods class at the University of Indianapolis.

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