OSU Composer, Teacher and Musician, Mark Flugge, Dies at 52
Following a valiant 22-month struggle, Mark Flugge succumbed to major undiagnosed hearing issues and depression early Sunday morning, May 11. He expressed the hope that his music will live on, and heartfelt love to all of his many friends, family, students, and colleagues. A private service is being scheduled, with a public memorial concert in celebration of his life and music at a later date.
Mark was 52.
MARK FLUGGE is well-known as a pianist, composer, educator, and bandleader in the Central Ohio area and beyond. Recent soloist appearances include performing "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Newark-Granville Symphony Orchestra (2011), the Capital/Bexley Orchestra (2009), the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (2006 and 2010), and the Westerville Symphony (2004). He was the musical director for the "Birth of the Cool" with the Columbus Jazz Orchestra in May, 2011, and was the bandleader for the Opera Columbus production of Kurt Weill's "Berlin to Broadway" in September, 2010. He presented the solo lecture-recital "From Jelly Roll to Jarrett, a Jazz Piano History" at the King Arts Complex in 2008. In that same year, Flugge collaborated with Ronald Jenkins, musical director at First Community Church, on Sacred Jazz and Spirituals, a service and CD featuring Flugge's arrangements of standard liturgical music. In 2005 Flugge transcribed Thelonious Monk's "Town Hall Concert" recording, and subsequently led performances of the transcribed album from the piano for the Firehouse Jazz Series, and also at the University of Illinois' Summer Jazz Festival. Another Firehouse Jazz Concert Flugge produced, "A Tribute to Horace Silver", was named a "Best Event of 2005" by the Columbus Dispatch, who also included his "Tribute To Bill Evans" concert with singer Dick Mackey as one of 2007's most memorable concerts. Founder of the Chamber Jazz Series at the Columbus Music Hall in 2006, Mark continues to program, produce, and perform this series at the Columbus Museum of Art.
As a leader, Flugge has recorded three CDs: "In Love, In Blue" on solo piano, "February's Promise" (jazz quintet original compositions), and "Familiarity", which also features Gene Bertoncini and Michael Moore. "Waltz Into Madness" a new CD from flutist Lisa Jelle, features Mark on piano, plus several of his compositions and arrangements. He has also recorded four CDs with Columbus singer Dick Mackey, and is the featured soloist on the Famous Jazz Orchestra CD "Sight Readin' Baby". The Ohio Arts Council has awarded Flugge on three separate occasions for pieces he composed for his group "No Pedestrians". In 2011 Flugge performed his composition "Waltz Into Madness" with flutist Lisa Jelle at the National Flute Association annual convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. His recent composition "Chorale and Fantasy" for woodwind sextet was premiered at Capital University by QuintEssential Winds in March 2012.
The Mark Flugge Trio is the house rhythm section for the Chamber Jazz Series, and they play every Friday night at the Hyde Park steakhouse, where they've been a fixture since 2000. He frequently appears with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, and the Breckenridge (CO) Music Festival Orchestra. Performance credits include work with such notables as David "Fathead" Newman, Joe La Barbera, Jimmy Heath, Marcus Belgrave, Ken Peplowski, Joe Lovano, Jon Faddis, Eddie Daniels, John Abercrombie, Claudio Roditi, Maureen McGovern, and Ira Sullivan, among many others.
Mr. Flugge is a jazz faculty member at The Ohio State University, the Capital University Conservatory of Music, and the Jazz Arts Group's Jazz Academy; he is also a former faculty member of the Eastman School of Music, and is a member of Music Teachers National Association. Flugge has conducted clinics throughout the U.S. and Germany on jazz improvisation, jazz piano, and the music of Duke Ellington. Mark earned a BM in jazz composition from OSU, and MM in jazz performance from Eastman. His teachers include Paul Gearhart, Richard Tetley-Kardos, Bob Allen, Hank Marr, Tony Caramia, and Bill Dobbins.