Mark Wood (violinist)

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Mark Wood
Mark Wood 2.jpg
Background information
OriginPort Washington, New York, United States
GenresSymphonic rock, Hard rock, Heavy metal
Occupation(s)Electric Violinist, Luthier, Teacher, Composer
InstrumentsElectric violin, Viola
Years active1990–present
LabelsMark Wood Music Productions
Associated actsTrans-Siberian Orchestra, The Mark Wood Band, Electrify Your Strings

Mark Winthrop Wood is an electric violinist, as well as the founder of Wood Violins, a company that makes unique[citation needed] electric violins. His music and strings education program has been featured on news programs nationwide.[1] He is also an Emmy-winning composer and a former member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.[2]



Mark Wood studied under Dr. Richard Rusack at Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, New York before beginning his career with a full scholarship at the Juilliard School[3] in New York and studied viola under William Lincer until he left.


Wood was one of the violinists and an original member of the symphonic rock group Trans-Siberian Orchestra, which he left in 2009. He has also played with Celine Dion, Billy Joel, Steve Vai, Westworld, and Lenny Kravitz. As a solo performer he has released seven CDs featuring his own versions of popular rock songs. On these CDs he is accompanied by "The Mark Wood Band" consisting of one member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra,his wife Laura Kaye, son Elijah Wood, and several other musicians.


He is the founder of Mark Wood Music Productions, a company that creates music for the use in film and television. Wood received an Emmy award for the music of CBS-TVs coverage of the 2002 Tour de France.[4] He also composed a piece for electric string quartet commissioned by the Juilliard School, which he himself attended, entitled Nest of Vipers.[5]


After spending extensive time as a child in his father's woodworking shop, Wood built his first electric violin at age 10.[6] In the 1970s, he gained notoriety from the stringed instrument community with his first solid body electric violin, and continued experimenting with numerous variations on this design in order to create an aesthetically appealing electric violin that would allow him to move freely while playing.[7] It has since evolved into the Viper, a fretted, six-stringed electric violin with a patented chest support system. Now dubbed, "the Les Paul of the Violin world,[8]" he owns, Wood Violins, the producer of five lines of custom-made electric violins and cellos.

Judy Kang, violinist for Lady Gaga's The Monster Ball Tour, uses one of Wood's Vipers. She can be seen performing a solo on her Viper in HBO's Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden.[9] In addition to Kang, Carrie Underwood's violinist, Jimmy Herman, uses a Wood Violin. Big and Rich's violinist, Shawn Bailey, performed with a Viper at the Country Music Awards and on Good Morning America.[10]


Wood travels to over 60 schools annually[2] all over the United States with his music education program Electrify Your Strings. The program brings together classical music with contemporary styles such as rock, jazz, and blues in order to provide a custom, hands-on learning experience. While Wood works primarily with the stringed instrument portion of the band, his wife, Laura Kaye works with the choir and son, Elijah, the rhythm section, in order to invigorate interest for the school's entire music program within both the community and student body. In January 2008, his methods book Electrify your Strings was published, and he is currently in the midst of Electrify Your Strings' "Fire 'n Ice" tour. He has also taught at the annual Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camps, and, in 2008, was elected to the board of the American String Teachers Association. He debuted the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp (MWROC) in 2010, where he and many other high caliber world-class rock musicians hold a full week of workshops culminating in a final concert that includes all students and faculty. The camp is held each summer at MidAmerica Nazarene University.

On December 27, 2010, NBC's The Today Show aired a feature on the Electrify Your Strings! program filmed at an Oak Hills High School in Cincinnati, Ohio.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Wood has three brothers, 2 who play the violin and 1 who plays the cello. One of the violinists, is a school music teacher by the name of Stephen Wood. His mother was a pianist and his father an abstract painter.[12] He is married to vocalist Laura Kaye. They have one child together, Elijah Wood, born in 1996, who has been drumming for the Mark Wood Experience since 2006.


Solo albums[edit]

  • Voodoo Violince
  • Against the Grain
  • Guts Grace and Glory
  • These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
  • Sanctuary
  • Portrait of an Artist
  • Prologue
  • Turbow(2016)


  1. ^ "Inside the Real School of Rock". MSN. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  2. ^ a b Genn, Adina (March 16, 2012). "Saving Music Education, One School At A Time". Port Washington Patch. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  3. ^ "Mark Wood". Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  4. ^ "The National Academy of Television Arts and Science Presents the 24th Annual Sports Emmy Awards" (PDF). National Television Academy. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 May 2012. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Juilliard Nest of Vipers". The Juilliard Journal. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 10 May 2012.
  6. ^ Wood, Mark: Electrify your Strings, page 9. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2008
  7. ^ "About the Company". Wood Violins. Archived from the original on 2012-07-21.
  8. ^ "The Mark Wood Experience". Retrieved 8 April 2012.
  9. ^ "Howard Core". Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  10. ^ "Dominic's Music". Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  11. ^ "The Today Show with Mark Wood, Laura Kaye, and Elijah Wood". Dec 27, 2010. Retrieved 17 July 2012.
  12. ^ Wood, Mark: Electrify your Strings, page 8. Hal Leonard Corporation, 2008


External links[edit]