Mark Rush, Violin Professor at the University of Arizona

About Mark Rush

About Mark Rush


Mark Rush enjoys a diverse musical career encompassing many interests and genres. He has performed extensively on the concert stage and for radio and television throughout the United States, in Canada, Europe and in China. Equally active as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician, he performs a far-flung repertoire ranging from J.S. Bach to Jimi Hendrix.

Rush counts among his musical mentors many of the finest artists and teachers of the 20th century; he has studied with Ivan Galamian, Dorothy Delay, Itzhak Perlman, Szymon Goldberg, Nathan Milstein and Arthur Grumiaux. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Music.

Recent solo engagements include concerto appearances with the Shanghai Radio Orchestra, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, the Catalina Chamber Orchestra, and the Mesa Symphony Orchestra. He has presented violin recitals throughout the U.S. and also participated in many summer festivals including the Bath International Music Festival, the Banff Festival for the Arts, the Killington Music Festival, Weekend of Chamber Music Festival, Bang on a Can Music Festival, Sunflower Music Festival, and the Sedona Chamber Music Festival.

Since 1981, he has collaborated with his wife and long time duo partner Tannis Gibson in many recitals and in chamber music ensembles including the Monticello Trio and, more recently, the Lorenzo Trio and Coyote Concert. As co-artistic directors of the chamber group Coyote Consort, they have presented innovative concerts incorporating multi-media effects and innovative staging techniques. Together they have worked closely with many composers and performers, premiering and performing numerous new works.
Rush has recorded for ASV and CRI and was nominated for a Gramophone Award in 1994.

Rush, an associate professor of violin in the School of Music at the University of Arizona’s College of Fine Art has also been on the music faculty of the University of Virginia and the Killington Music Festival.

Featured in performances at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Corcoran Gallery and the National Gallery of Art, Fullbright scholar Rush is a recording artist who is frequently heard on National Public Radio as well as an author.

His recent concerts include a chamber music collaboration with Metropolitan Opera star Stephanie Blythe. He recently toured China with Eastman School of Music faculty performers

He plays the “ex-Zimbalist” Lorenzo Guadagnini from the year 1743.

About Playing The Violin: An Illustrated Guide

About this title: Drawing on twenty years of teaching experience, author Mark Rush systematically builds the fundamentals of violin playing from the ground up. Over 200 beautiful photographs demonstrate the concepts discussed and make this book especially accessible to beginners and their teachers. The book focuses on proper set up from how to stand, to holding the violin, to the best way to move the bow. These are the fundamental components necessary for success. The earlier these good habits are established the better.

Over 200 photos showing the fundamentals of posture, how to hold the violin and bow, proper angle of the fingers through the positions and more! A must for beginners, this illustrated guide will also benefit intermediate and advanced players who need a refresher to help remember good habits. 100 pgs, paperback


Summary of review by Kathryn Lucktenberg, Eugene, Oregon

 This book is a small mini guide to playing the violin.  For those not big in text book style information, this easy-to-read slim book will facilitate violin playing in many ways.  Many issues are brought up with posture and technique that many other books in the past have tried to cover, and leaves the student in the dark.  This book is successful in explaining aspects with pictures and text to bring light to many challenging violin issues.

 Ensemble teachers who have not had formal training in stringed instruments can appreciate this book.  It easily explains such issues so teachers can be a help to their students, not a hindrance.


Table of Contents


The elements of good posture



Holding and violin



The left hand and arm



Holding the bow



Putting right and left together



More on bowing






On practicing



"Playing the Violin" is designed as a textbook for music education students in String Pedagogy courses. Elementary and secondary level music teachers are all involved with leading orchestras, and thus have to be conversant with basic techniques on a number of instruments, most notably the violin. Yet few understand the importance of "setup" for establishing proper technique. "Setup" refers to the basic physical elements of violin playing: How to hold the violin and bow; posture and position; movements left and right; and so forth. These are the fundamental components necessary for success. The earlier these concepts are established, the better. Unfortunately, many students reach the university level with bad habits and poor technique, and need to be re-educated about how to perform-and teach-proper violin technique.
While there are other violin pedagogy books on the market, most are very dense with text and give little step-by-step information. They are often aimed at advanced performers, rather than beginners or teachers charged with helping beginning players. "Playing the Violin" takes students and teachers step-by-step through the basics, with an equal emphasis on clear, easy-to-understand photographs as with the text itself. The author assumes no previous knowledge about violin playing. For this reason, the book should appeal not only to violinists and their teachers but to all educators faced with the task of helping string players perform to their maximum potential.
"Playing the Violin" promises to set a new standard for string technique courses. It will appeal to college and university students but also will be useful for independent violin teachers and those learning "ontheir own."

Provides the fundamentals of violin playing from the ground up. This book features over 200 beautiful photographs that demonstrate the concepts discussed. It focuses on proper set up from how to stand, to holding the violin, to the best way to move the bow, and presents the fundamental components necessary for success

Excerpt from the book " For a violinist, good posture includes the feeling of suspended arms.  Unfortunately, this is not a particularly natural thing to do.  It takes years, in fact, for a violinist to develop the muscles to the point at which holding the arms aloft becomes comfortable.  When we play, the deltoid muscles in both arms must work to suspend the arms.  For less experienced players, this usually represents..."

Click here to buy this book