Violinist Alexander Markov performs at Celia Cruz

Markov performs for the students using his traditional violin.
Community News Group / Steven Goodstein

An award-winning violinist has proven that no stage is too big (or too small) for him to perform on.

On Thursday, May 21, world-renowned Russian-American violinist Alexander Markov performed free of charge for students at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music.

Markov’s performance, which took place inside the orchestra classroom, included a mixture of classical and rock music.

During the performance, Alexander used both a traditional violin as well as a gold-plated electric violin.

In the beginning, Markov started by using his traditional violin to play various classical pieces.

After performing a few classical pieces, Markov caught the eyes of each and every student in the classroom when he pulled out his custom-made, gold-plated electric violin, somewhat of an instrument-hybrid between a violin and an electric guitar.

During this portion of the performance, Markov turned up the energy in the classroom and played various rock ballads.

He even turned off the lights to show his shining red bow, which resembled Darth Vader’s red lightsaber, and perform a cover of the Star-Spangled Banner for the students.

Markov, who was born in Moscow, Russia, grew up studying violin with his father, Albert, who was also a concert violinist, and with whom he still performs today.

By the time Markov turned eight years old, he was already appearing as a soloist with orchestras and in double concertos with his father.

Alexander later emigrated to the United States with his parents, receiving his U.S. citizenship in 1982.

After making his New York recital debut at Carnegie Hall in 1983 at the age of 16, Markov was awarded a prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grand in 1987.

He was also a Gold Medal winner at the Paganini International Violin Competition and has even performed in the Barclays Center during halftime of a Brooklyn Nets basketball game.

Despite the large crowds that he has played in front of, Markov has shown that whether he’s performing at a venue in front of an audience of 20 or 20,000, his level of effort remains the same.

“I always give maximum effort during my performances, no matter the audience, the location or the venue, because having the same approach towards every performance will help me continue to make progress as an artist,” said Markov, who performed at Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music for the first time on Thursday.

“It’s always fun to perform in front of an audience, but performing in front of a young audience with energy like this one (referring to the students) makes a great time even better.”

Markov also had advice for aspiring musicians who are motivated to be successful in the music industry.

“Success comes from one magic word – perseverance, because having talent is not enough” said Markov. “The task of making it in the music business is a difficult but pleasant challenge, and if musicians stay optimistic and patient as well as motivated, they will be successful in the long run.

Markov will once again perform at Carnegie Hall (Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, 881 Seventh Avenue at 57th Street) on Friday, June 5 at 8 p.m.

He will be joined by internationally-acclaimed conductor Matthew Savery, who is making his Carnegie Hall debut.

Tickets are priced from $25 – $120 and may be purchased by calling Carnegie Charge at (212) 247-7800 or online at

Reach Reporter Steven Goodstein at (718) 742–3384. E-mail him at

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