“Dedicated to Gershwin”

Tour of Russia, June 2017

Sponsored by the US Embassy in Russia


“The program ‘Dedication to Gershwin’ was performed at the “Amber Necklace” Festival by Russian musicians – the Kaliningrad Philharmonic Orchestra which successfully, and with apparent creative pleasure, "sang" Gershwin's scores under the guidance of the "protagonist" of the evening - the American maestro Mark Mandarano, who conquered the audience with his professional skills, temperament and artistry.” June 5, 2017 Russia News Today


“The concert marked an important date –­ the 80th anniversary of the death of George Gershwin – with a program of his blues and jazz compositions [Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and excerpts from Porgy and Bess], accompanied by the Central Symphony Orchestra “обороны” of Russia lead by the American conductor, Mark Mandarano...afterward, the audience erupted with applause and loud cheering.” June 6, 2017 RU NEWS 


“The concert program "Dedication to Gershwin", revealed the full creativity of the great American composer, uniting artists from different countries, became one of the brightest events of the VII Platonov Festival. Highlighting Gershwin's music in its entirety, the program included all the musical genres that Gershwin managed to translate for his talented life. In addition to jazz, Gershwin created music for plays and movies, wrote songs, symphonic and operatic works. Together with the Voronezh Academic Symphony Orchestra, the ambitions of conductor Mark Mandarano (USA) were realized, performing brilliantly before Voronezh residents and guests of the Chernozem region capital.” June 9, 2017 RUSSIAN GAZETTE, Tatiana Tkacheva (Voronezh)

New World Serenade

Albany Records, 2016; Sinfonietta of Riverdale, Mark Mandarano

Byron ADAMS Serenade for Nine Instruments; Oliver CAPLAN  Lunastella Fuga; John CORIGLIANO  Snapshot: Circa 1909; Walter PISTON Divertimento for Nine Instruments; Ellen Taaffe ZWILICH Prologue and Variations for string orchestra

Fanfare Magazine

“The Sinfonietta of Riverdale under the direction of Mark Mandarano brings all of the music off exceedingly well, with stellar playing…Considering the quality of the music, the performances, and the recorded sound, this CD comes highly recommended all around.”

 Texas Public Radio

“Every now and then I drop a new classical release in the player and find myself instantly delighted by new music. Such was the case earlier this summer when I lifted the Albany Records release “New World Serenade” off the stack, with its picturesque cover painting of the aurora borealis by 19th Century American landscape painter Frederic Edwin Church.”

 Music Web International

“This delightful and splendidly planned disc pulls together music from the younger (Caplan), middle (Adams) and older (Corigliano and Zwilich) generations of living US composers. It then adds an acknowledged 20th century American master who nonetheless seems somewhat in danger of disappearing between the cracks of history (Piston)… lithe playing and vivid sound. A lovely disc.”

MPR interview

Minnesota Public Radio with Alison Young (2012)

Conductors Show Off Their Training With The National Symphony

Mandarano lifted Copland's asymmetrical Latin rhythms right off the ground, uniting all his forces with big, bold strokes. {El Salon Mexico}

Washington Post, May 25, 2005

National Conductor Institute {National Symphony at the Kennedy Center}

Mark Mandarano's sure grasp on Copland's El Salon Mexico kept the music dancing and swaying evocatively.

Baltimore Sun, May 25, 2005

PSO serves a tasteful Tchaikovsky

The orchestra ends it summer with the traditional Tchaikovsy blowout, this one remarkable for understatement and musicianship.

Mandarano…proved an elegant Tchaikovskian. His baton technique is the key.  His motions are small pointed and undemonstrative, though he is possessed of a most eloquent left hand that he uses to persuasively smooth and nudge lyrical lines.  This technique seems an almost perfect expression of what he is after as a musician.  This resulted not in a dampening down, but a freedom and ease, the finesse that comes from relaxation.  That finesse was ideal for Mandarano’s own suite of selections taken from Act 3 of “Sleeping Beauty,” which tripped along lightly and ebulliently, the aural equivalent of powdered sugar.  His lyrical phrasing showed abiding panache.  The orchestra responded crisply.  And Mandarano’s readings of March Slave and the 1812 Overture were as tasteful and trim as this listener has ever heard…Tchaikovsky was well-served.

Orange County Register, Timothy Mangan. September 16, 2002

An outstanding effort from the orchestra

{Pacific Symphony} All evening Mandarano guided the ensemble with gleeful enthusiasm. Falla’s radiant melodies and steamy rhythms sounded full and lively {Three Cornered Hat} as did Strauss’s lush and dizzying suite {from Rosenkavalier}.

Orange County Register, Peter Lefevre. August 27, 2001

Festival Orchestra shines under Mandarano’s baton

{Oregon Coast Music Festival}…Mandarano gave it his all and the Festival Orchestra stayed with him all the way {in Strauss, Suite from Rosenkavalier}.  Mandarano appeared to have a tremendous amount of fun during this concert.  His adept control during the Brahms {Second Symphony}, especially when weaving the first Allegro’s themes, left some audience members murmuring the wish that he had been one of the contenders for the soon-to-be-vacated chair of Portland Symphony’s James De Priest.  Any open slots for a guest conductor have been soundly earned by Mark Mandarano.

The World, Coos Bay Oregon. Teri Albert. July 27, 2001

Melinda Wagner’s Concerto for Flute, Strings and Percussion

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize 

World Premiere Performance

Westchester Philharmonic, Mark Mandarano conductor, Paul Dunkel Flute

New York Premiere at Carnegie Hall

American Composers Orchestra, Mark Mandarano, conductor, Paul Dunkel, flute

World Premiere Recording

Westchester Philharmonic, Mark Mandarano, conductor, Paul Dunkel, flute. Bridge Records 

Voted “Best of Year” by the Sunday Times, London

 Simply Spectacular

Melinda Wagner's Pulitzer Prize-winning Flute Concerto receives its premiere recording by the commissioning artists in this generally excellent performance. The sheer sound of this piece is utterly beguiling. The extraordinary slow movement reveals the composer's gift for sustaining interest over a lengthy span of intensely quiet music, and the orchestral performance there, as well as in the two quicker parts, is simply spectacular.

Classics Today, David Hurwitz  


Here, the string playing is warm and clear, the difficult rhythmic counterpoint kept immaculately clean by Mandarano.

New Jersey Star-Ledger, Willa Conrad

A Brilliant Performance

The Concert for flute, strings and percussion by Melinda Wagner receives a brilliant performance.

TEMPO, Guy Richards


The performance is exemplary: hats off to Bridge for permitting the concerto’s premiering soloist and orchestra the chance to record the piece.

FANFARE, Stephen Ellis