|Photo: Tina Francis Mutungu|
Markdavin Obenza is a choral director, recording producer, singer, and composer. He is the director and co-founder of two Seattle-based vocal groups: the internationally-acclaimed Byrd Ensemble (founded in 2004) and Radiance (founded in 2019), both professional ensembles specializing in the performance of Renaissance vocal music and American choral music, respectively. Markdavin is the artistic director of the Byrd International Singers, a select group of singers from around the world that participate in an annual Renaissance course offered by the Byrd Ensemble. He is also the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Parish Church and Choir Director at South Seattle College.
As a recording producer for independent record label Scribe Records, Markdavin has produced CD recordings for over 40 choirs (professional and amateur) and soloists, of which several have been reviewed on Gramophone, Early Music America, Early Music Review, and Fanfare. Scribe Records’ catalog contains Byrd Ensemble’s recording Arvo Pärt (2013), appeared in French drama film L'apparition (2018) and a number of world-premiere recordings, including Small Raine (2018) by American composer Nico Muhly, commissioned and performed by the Tudor Choir.
As a baritone and countertenor, Markdavin has performed with the Byrd Ensemble, Tudor Choir, members of the Tallis Scholars, Kronos Quartet, and Early Music Vancouver. He has also appeared on numerous films and video game soundtracks.
In his spare time, Markdavin composes choral music for the Byrd Ensemble and the Trinity Choir, and hosts ThisChoirNerd podcast. He enjoys ultimate frisbee, tennis, and has recently become interested in meditation.
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