From 1971 to 1992, Mark Butler was a founding member of the Chilingirian String Quartet, touring world-wide and making over 30 recordings for Chandos, RCA Gold Seal, EMI, CRD and Nimbus Records. The quartet’s recordings of the six “Haydn” quartets by Mozart have become well-known and received the coveted Gramophone award.
Mark taught chamber music at London’s Royal College of Music and at chamber music courses in Norway, Finland and Britain. He has a violin duo with the Czech violinist Iva Fleischhansová, which has given concerts in the Czech Republic, Canada and the UK.
Born in England, Mark Butler emigrated to Canada at an early age and holds dual British and Canadian citizenship. He studied with the violinist Leonard Hirsch and pianist Ruth Dyson at the Royal College of Music, giving his BBC début in 1971 and Wigmore Hall (London) début in 1972. Mark returned to Canada for a short spell from 1992 to ’96, where he worked with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet and Victoria Symphony Orchestra. On returning to Britain he joined the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, rejoining the Chilingirian Quartet in 2018.
Describe your approach to teaching
Most of my teaching has been ensemble-based, and I prefer to take a pragmatic approach enabling those I coach to perform at their best and to experience the wealth of possibilities which I have been learning throughout my career.
What inspires your own work?
Although music of the finest quality is where inspiration is found, my greatest inspiration comes from those who were my mentors and those with whom have I have worked and played. The enlivening situation of working with or coaching a team of players helps bring to the fore everything that is good and worthwhile.