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Fanfare Contributor Bio

Mark Novak

I was nine years old when the Beatles invaded America. I was hooked. I’d always enjoyed singing and then guitar became a reality for me when my Uncle Charlie bought me a brand new Gibson ES-330 for my 11th birthday in 1965. I formed a band with a couple of my neighborhood buddies where I was lead singer and guitar player. Hence, my formative musical years commenced. Fast forward 20 years—I was now married with two daughters. I had a Master’s degree in Chemistry and was well into a professional career in the petrochemicals industry. I had left a successful wedding band and my musical interests were undergoing a metamorphosis. Several years before, a friend suggested Dvořák’s Ninth Symphony when I asked for a recommendation to get my toes wet in the vast classical music world. I was hooked—again. My appetite to explore this world was nearly insatiable. I began accumulating many LPs of a wide range of repertoire from Baroque through contemporary and began educating myself through composer biographies and musical commentaries on a wide variety of great works. My own preferences began to solidify—chamber and orchestral music became (and still are) my meat and potatoes.

Parallel with this was my desire to hear music in the highest fidelity. I love and appreciate the sounds of acoustic instruments and wanted to hear them in my home with utmost fidelity. This quest has led me to my current music rig (tubed Manley Labs Snapper monoblock amps, Cary SLP-05 tubed preamp, Marantz SA-11S2 CD/SACD player and Vandersteen 3A Sig speakers) which is in a dedicated music room in our home. Realistically recorded music is always a priority for me.

These days, after retiring from my 33 year career in 2009, I am an adjunct chemistry instructor as a second, part-time career. I lead an occasional worship time at my church with my guitar (now an acoustic-electric) and voice. And I love exploring the byways of the Classical and Romantic repertoires.


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