Mark was born in Northampton and educated at Merton College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. On graduating, he was immediately appointed principal clarinettist with Welsh National Opera and subsequently with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. Since 2000 he has been principal clarinet with the Philharmonia Orchestra and was appointed principal with the London Sinfonietta in 2002.
As a soloist he has performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, London Chamber Orchestra (at La Scala, Milan), Thames Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra (on a major UK tour), Welsh National Opera Orchestra, English Classical Players, Arhus Orchestra, Belgrade Strings and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. He is particularly well known for his performances of contemporary music and has given many premières. Solo highlights have included a number of London premières in the Philharmonia’s Music of Today series, including Helen Grime’s Concerto, Enno Poppe’s Holz and Deirdre Gribbin’s Celestial Pied Piper; and elsewhere, the European première of George Palmer’s Clarinet Sonata in York, the Spanish première of the Elliott Carter Concerto in Madrid, Berio’s Sequenza at the Sydney Opera House, the UK première of Sir John Taverner’s Cantus Mysticus with the London Sinfonietta at the Proms, the London première of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Clarinet Quintet with the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place,Graham Fitkin’s Agnostic with the London Chamber Orchestra at St John’s Smith Square and the Mozart Concerto with the London Chamber Orchestra and the Mozart Festival Orchestra throughout the UK and in Switzerland.
Mark was principal clarinettist with the Composers’ Ensemble from 1992 to 2000, and has been principal clarinettist with the Endymion Ensemble since its formation. Chamber music highlights have included appearances with Pascal Rogé and Michael Dussek, and several performances of Bartok's Contrasts with Yefim Bronfman and Zsolt Tihamer-Visontay as part of the Philharmonia's Bartok series Infernal Dance.
Mark is also principal with the London Chamber Orchestra, since 1997. He appeared for several years as the clarinet and basset horn soloist in the production of Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. He has recorded chamber music for EMI, ASV, NMC and Finlandia records, and as a soloist for Olympia and NMC.
Mark’s services to music have been recognised with an Honorary Associateship from the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a Professor, and with an Honorary Doctorate from Northampton University.