Mark Sobol Biography
Mark Sobol immigrated to the United States from Odessa, Ukraine, in 1989. He attended Odessa’s School of Stolyarsky, the internationally known boarding school for gifted children named after eminent violin pedagogue Professor Pyotr Stolyarsky and known for its world renowned alumnus, David OIstrach, Emil Gilels, Evgeny Mogilevsky, Alexander Vinitsky, Oscar Feltsman and many others. He later graduated from the Ukraine’s Odessa State Conservatory of Music.
While the Conservatory provided his classical musical training, Mark also showed an early interest in jazz and later in Jewish music. During his Conservatory years (thanks to perestroika), he was able to start his first Jazz trio and a Klezmer Band.
Immediately upon his arrival in the United States, Mark began performing as a jazz musician. In time, he became a member of the Jewish ensemble Klez Mechaye led by Cantor Karen Braunstein. After Cantor Braunstein moved to Florida, Mark became the band’s leader and changed the Band’s name to “Klez with Class.”
Since 1995, Mark has served as an organist, pianist, accompanist and the choir director at Har Sinai Temple, the historic Reform congregation now located in Pennington, NJ. There, Mark met and started collaborating with the legendary Cantor David Wisnia, child prodigy, Holocaust survivor, and celebrated soloist. Together, they released a CD featuring liturgical music and Yiddish folk songs. Currently, Cantor Wisnia, 85, is semi retired and still performs with Mark at many different events and functions.
IN 2008, Mark Sobol accompanied Har Sinai’s newly appointed Cantor, Emily Wigod Pincus, a former opera singer who had sung with the Israeli Philharmonic and many opera companies, in the creation of a High Holiday Music CD. The CD was praised by both the congregants and the critics.
Currently, Mark Sobol is working with internationally known composer Cantor Leon Sher, now the Cantor at Har Sinai Temple. Mark leads Har Sinai’s choir and accompanies special creative and High Holiday services. In addition, he appears frequently, most notably at Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glenn, Pennsylvania, at area synagogues as an accompanist, choir conductor and band leader. At Congregation Beth Or, Mark and his band have been accompanying renowned Cantor David Green, an adjunct professor at Gratz College. Their collaboration earned highest praise from congregants for both Hazzanut and contemporary Jewish music.
As a jazz musician, Mark has appeared at numerous festivals and clubs throughout the area such as the Kimmel Center, Philadelphia Art Museum, and on Penn’s Landing as well as many other venues. His recording of “Over the Rainbow” on You Tube has been listened to by over 31,000 people internationally. He has also appeared at numerous private functions performing background piano for celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Michael Feinstein, Luciano Pavarotti and many others.
Mark and his wife Sylvia, who is also a musician and educator, reside in the Washington Square West, Philadelphia, area with their three children, Michelle,15; Paul-Simon, 5; and Isabella, 2-1/2.
Mark is looking forward to reaching out to more people through his new website Jewishmusik.com. Even though his schedule is very busy, he is always anxious to meet new people and share his love of music with others.
To book Mark and his band, please call 215-677-0572.