is one of the UK’s leading period oboists, specialising in music from baroque to modern.
His playing career took off in 2000 when he joined the English Baroque Soloists under Sir John Eliot Gardiner for their epic year long Bach Pilgrimage. Since then Mark has freelanced with most of the UK's leading period instrument orchestras as well as those in Europe and Australia performing repertoire from Bach to Stravinsky using copies and original oboes from his collection of over 20 instruments.
‘declamatory and soothing by turns’ Graham Rikson, The Arts Desk
" Oboe playing of rare delicacy"
Neil Black O.B.E.
At present Mark is a member of the following UK groups with whom he is regularly recording, broadcasting and performing; Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique with whom highlights have included amongst other things, Berlioz at the Opera Comique, Beethoven 9 (tour of Europe and America), Gluck 's Orpheo (Royal Opera House), Stravinsky, Verdi and Debussy’s Pelleas and Melisande (BBC Proms 2012); the English Baroque Soloists whose highlights have included tours to Mexico, USA, performances at the BBC Proms and the filming of the BBC’s Docu-drama ‘Eroica’; the Kings Consort; Classical Opera; The Mozartists; La Serenissima, Instruments of Time and Truth, Das Neue Orchesta (Köln); Armonico Consort and The Harmonious Society of Tickelfiddle Gentlemen.
He also regularly works for the Academy of Ancient Music and the London Handel Orchestra amongst others.
Mark has performed for many years as a chamber musician.
Initially whilst a student his interest in contemporary music led to performances of works by Castiglioni, Takemitsu, Bozay,
Globokar, Roxburough and Jonty Harrison as well as Simon Holts' 'Sparrow Night' and Berio's sequenza with Akanthos contemporary music group including a performance at the RNCM's Berio Festival in which Berio heard him perform Sequenza VII.
Whilst at the RNCM Mark also gave the second performance of Alan Rawsthornes 2nd oboe quartet for the Rawsthorne Society.
This interest for contemporary music was further developed with his oboe trio Pipers 3, who regularly commissioned and performed new works with live broadcasts on Classic FM, Radio 3 and Radio 4. Composers who wrote for them included Finnissy, Knotts, Causton, Rennan, Leigh, Nicolson, Hilling, Bayliss, Bramson and Keeley
His passion for Baroque performance led to the the formation of the Denner Ensemble in 2001 with whom he performed throughout the UK for more than ten years.
More recently an interest in 19th century oboe music has led to the formation of Charme du Hautbois with whom he explores repertoire for oboe with various combinations of bassoon, strings, harp and piano using period instruments. Highlights have included premiering Rutland Boughton's 2nd oboe quartet (from 1945) in 2014 for the Rutland Boughton Society and to a recording in 2017 of Rutland’s complete chamber works for oboe.
Marks playing on it was described as ‘Truly an inspiration to both players and listeners..’
"The best performance of my oboe sequenza I have heard"
Mark has given many Baroque concerto performances on oboe and oboe damore throughout the UK & Europe with amongst others, the Kings Consort, Serenissima, The Harmonious Society of Ticklefiddle Gentlemen, Armonico Consort, Instruments of Time and Truth, Musical & Amicable Society, 18th Century concert Orchestra, The Corelli Consort, Le Chardon and the European Union Baroque Orchestra.
The Ticklefiddle's most recent CD (Music for European Courts and Concerts) features the oboe. Diapason's 5 star review said ‘Let us also hail... outstanding soloists, including Mark Baigent’s oboe ..’
On Classical oboe, Mark has performed the Hummel (2016), Krommer (2017) and Dittersdorf (2019) concertos for the English Haydn Festival as well as the Herschel concerto and a number of symphony concertantes with Christophe Coin and Simon Standage amongst his colleagues. In 2017 this included the 20th century UK premiere of JC Bachs sinfonia concertante in
On the modern oboe, other than Baroque works, Mark has performed Simon Holts' 'Sparrow Night' for oboe and chamber ensemble as well as Rimsky-Korsakov's 'Variations on a theme of Glinka' for oboe and military band.
A performance of the Strauss concerto was booked for June 2020 in Shrewsbury but this has had to be postponed
Throughout his years as a performer, Mark has also worked with experimental and alternative music groups, primarily working with Far Black Furlong.
All their music was improvised and layered up to produce raw yet beautiful albums.
Mark also performed for Tony Wakeford on 'Not all of me will die' and his group 'Orchestra Noir' on the album 'What if...', as well as on Richard Moult's album 'Momick'.