Biography of Denza Mark:
Mark Denza is a great-grandson of Luigi Denza, composer of the ubiquitous Neapolitan song Funiculì, funiculà; and achieved youthful success in that field himself as winner of the Bach Choir’s competition for an original Christmas carol, in 1982 and 1984. Both carols received their first performance at the Royal Albert Hall, and were subsequently published by Oxford University Press. A graduate of the London College of Music, where he studied conducting with William Webb, singing with John Cameron, and organ with Margaret Phillips; he also holds ARCO and CHD diplomas. His freelance career presently incorporates conducting, singing, arranging, teaching, and performing on organ, piano, and violin.
Alongside his work with the Hampstead Singers, Mark has frequently been invited to conduct other choral and instrumental groups. He was musical director for BBC2’s Election Night Armistice programme, and has also directed Radio Four’s Daily Service. In 1997, he sang as one of the soloists in a performance of Stravinsky’s The Nightingale at the Royal Festival Hall, conducted by Pierre Boulez, which was broadcast live on BBC2. This rôle was subsequently repeated in Brussels, Rome, Lisbon, and elsewhere. Additional televised solos have featured on Songs of Praise, and in a live relay celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations, together with several appearances for radio.
Mark is organist and director of music at two Hampstead churches: Emmanuel, West End Green, and St. Mary’s, Holly Place, where his arrangements have become part of the musical fabric. His work as an organ accompanist has encompassed a prodigious assortment of instruments throughout London: he has given solo and duet recitals, and played in orchestral works such as the Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony. As a pianist, he has performed for the Canal Café Theatre’s long-running satirical show NewsRevue, while on the violin, he has played with the Young Musician’s Symphony Orchestra, Hampstead Sinfonia, and Camden Chamber Orchestra. In an ostentatious display of versatility, he has also made cameo concert appearances on harmonium, celesta, and percussion!