The accordionist Marko Kassl (Klagenfurt/Austria) received his first accordion lessons at the age of seven. He studied with Mika Väyrynen, Roman Pechmann, James Crabb and Mie Miki. With her he finished his post-graduate studies at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen/Germany.
Kassl has chalked up a number of notable successes at international competitions – he was awarded a scholarship by the Richard-Wagner-Verband and a sponsorship award from GWK Münster/Westphalia. The winner of the Austrian Accordion Competition, he was also a price-winner in the JAA Accordion Competition in Tokyo and the international Pro Loco Camalò Competition in Italy.
As soloist and chamber musician Marko Kassl performed at festivals and venues like Grachtenfestival Amsterdam, Ankara Festival, Mersin Music Festival, Donaueschinger Musiktage, at the Duisburg Theater, Philharmonie Essen, Köln Philharmonie, Festival Musica Eterna Dubrovnik, Chamber Music Festival Utrecht and Ljubljana Festival.
He is intensively collaborating with internationally acclaimed composers in order to create and enlarge the repertory for his still young instrument. Among composers who have dedicated works to him are Stefan Heucke, Roderik de Man, Wilfried Maria Danner, Sinta Wullur, Ivo Petric, Bruno Strobl, Chiel Meijering, Philemon Mukarno, Juan Fellipe Waller and Nico Huijbregts. In 2008 he premiered with Esra Pehlivanli playing the viola Selim Dogru’s “Devil’s Diary” for viola, accordion and symphony orchestra.
He is also involved in interdisciplinary projects – for example at “AUD-VIS” an avantgarde silent movies project of Filmbank Amsterdam. He was musical director at Georg Kreisler’s “Heute Abend: Lola Blau”, which toured theaters like Stadttheater Walfischgasse in Vienna/Austria. Duo MARES (with Esra Pehlivanli - viola) were laureates of the 2009 Jur Naessens Music Award with their interdisciplinary project “Volume Nuevo+”, where they incorporate contemporary dance, theatre, live video and electronics.
In 2008 the CD “Heimat” was released at ClassicClips – it features world premiere recordings of music for accordion and piano – an arrangement of Leos Janacek’s “On An Overgrown Path” and Stefan Heucke’s original “Heimat op.49″.
In 2009 Karnatic Lab Records released the record “Spielzeug” with Fie Schouten/bass clarinet and Koen Kaptijn/trombone – the CD features among others world premiere recordings of Philemon Mukarno’s and Héctor Moro’s music.
In the very same year Marko Kassl was musical director of the musical audio drama “LOLA BLAU”, directed by Konrad Chr. Göke, singers were Heike Maria Förster and Stella Göke – the record was released by bvpm-records.
In 2010 ClassicClips released the debut CD of Duo MARES – it’s called “VOLUME NUEVO” and it comprises a selection of compositions written specially for Duo MARES.
In 2012 Cagsav Müzik released the album “Richness of the Tones” by Duo MARES – its program consists mainly of original compositions for the duo by turkish composers, amongst others it also contains the world premiere recording of Selim Dogru’s double concerto “Devil’s Diary” for viola, accordion and symphony orchestra.
In 2014 ClassicClips released the album “Buffoni” by Ensemble Black Pencil – its program is an adventurous mix of original compostions for the ensemble and colorful arrangements of old music.
In 2017 GWK records released the second album of Ensemble Black Pencil – “Kaiseki” draws its inspiration from the Japanese kaiseki cuisine and its culinary traditions. Original works composed specially for that project are being combined with arrangements of Japanese folk songs.
Also 2017 Augemus Musikverlag released its sampler “Akkordeonherbst 2016″ which includes three pieces played by trio Fire, Rain and Espresso.
Ensemble Black Pencil’s third album “La Volta” was published 2018. It draws its inspiration from the performance practice of music and compositions from the Elizabethan period, specifically Thomas Morley’s “First Book of Consort Lessons” (1599), the most important Renaissance publication on Broken consort.
Kassl also recorded for diverse portrait-cds of composers like Nico Huijbregts’ “Falsche Tango” (2010) and “Hoe alles oplost” (2014), Roderik de Man’s “Past & Present Tracks” (2011) and “Present & Past Tracks” (2015) or Miro Dobrowolny’s “Skordaturen” (2013).
Marko Kassl also recorded for radio-stations like Deutschlandradio, WDR (both Germany), TRT (Turkey), Ö1 (Austria), RTV Slovenia and Concertzender (the Netherlands).