Zack Merkovsky


Photo by Matt Dine


Lucerne Contemporary Festival Academy, 2022; Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, Guest Artist, 2021–22

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

I remember watching one of Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concerts in a music class in elementary school. I think they played the mambo from West Side Story.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century?

I think it’s really important for orchestras to be active in commissioning and championing young living composers. Somehow we must be engaged with the times we live in, rather than solely act as a living museum for the “greats” of classical music.

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it?

I tend to get obsessed with whatever pieces I’m currently working on. There’s always more to know or learn about a particular piece, and it’s more fun when you’re always playing your favorites.

Favorite non-classical musician or band

Currently, Avishai Cohen, Westbound Situation, Masayoshi Takanaka, Charles Mingus

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?

Bassoon or horn

Piece of advice for a young classical musician

Soak up all the music you can, classical or otherwise. There is so much out there to discover and fall in love with.