Award-winning classical guitarist W. Mark Akin is a St. Louis based musician who has engaged audiences across the country with his dynamic on-stage presence and musicality.
Mark has won prizes in numerous competitions such as the Wilson Center Guitar Competition in Wisconsin, Beethoven Club Competition in Memphis, the University of Arizona's Beeston Competition and Sholin Competition, and was most recently selected as a winner of the Artist Presentation Society of St Louis Competition.
Originally from Tennessee Mark started his guitar studies by learning to play electric hard rock, idolizing guitarists such as Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Eddie Van Halen. After discovering the classical guitar in high school, he then decided to study the instrument full-time and subsequently received his bachelor's and master's degrees in guitar performance from Belmont University in Nashville, and the University of Arizona in Tucson. He has performed in master classes and taken lessons with some of the greatest guitarists in the world, namely Sergio and Odair Assad, Manuel Barrueco, David Russell, and Jason Vieaux, Olivier Chassain, Marcin Dylla, and Adam Holzman.
An active teacher, Mark has taught innumerable private lessons, is on faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, and also teaches with the St. Louis Guitar Society's Public School Guitar Initiative. This program establishes guitar programs in inner city public schools and schools in the greater St. Louis area.
Mark plays a Michael Gee guitar and D'Addario strings.