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Praising Mark Powell's "exceptionally vivid" Cleveland debut, The Plain Dealer joins in the admiration of critics and colleagues alike, with JoAnn Falletta calling Powell "a musician's conductor" of "deep musical understanding and insight, excellent technique, and wonderful podium manner" and the NRC Handelsblad (Amsterdam) noting at his Concertgebouw debut his "impressively expressive final movements of the Mussorgsky cycle [Pictures at an Exhibition]."
Peter Eötvös, commenting on Powell's work with the Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, noted that "His musical and personal contact with the musicians and composers left a deep impression on me. His approach to music is extremely serious and penetrating, his appreciation of structure as well as his sensibility towards the character of the pieces were remarkable."
Winner of the Walter Hagen Conducting Prize, Powell served as the sabbatical replacement for Professor Brad Lubman in the Conducting and Ensembles department of the Eastman School of Music for the spring semester of 2019 and returned as Visiting Associate Professor in the Conducting and Ensembles Department for the 2020-2021 academic year. Powell is currently Senior Lecturer in Music and Director of Orchestral Activities in the Arthur Satz Music Department at the University of Rochester, where he conducts the Chamber and Symphony Orchestras and teaches seminars in conducting and new music. He has also served on the faculty of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, CUNY.
The Ford Foundation recognized Powell’s unique contributions to American music with their Young American Conductor’s Prize, while Houston's professional new music ensemble, Musiqa, followed by awarding him their VIP Award for his founding of The Discovery Series, a music and arts exploration series for elementary and secondary students at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts that, to date, has served over 150,000 Houston area students.
Engagements with the Fort Worth Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Symphony, the Korsholm Music Festival in Finland, the Rochester Philharmonic, and Da Camera of Houston have rounded out an increasingly busy schedule. He is represented in the U.S., Europe, and Asia by Modern Musical Arts.