Mark Ackerman, Founder and Artistic Director Emeritus
Mark Ackerman was Principal Oboist of the San Antonio Symphony from 1975 to 2014. Shortly after his arrival in San Antonio, he began organizing concerts for wind quintet and other small ensembles featuring his symphony colleagues. For nearly two decades, this informal group performed concerts at the McNay Museum before moving to the Witte Museum in 1994. As the unnamed group’s Witte debut approached, a persistent museum publicist telephoned Mark wanting to know what his ensemble was called. Realizing he wasn’t going to be able to get off the phone without giving an answer, Mark looked out the window to the cedar elms in his backyard and, thinking of the tree’s Spanish name, said the first thing that popped into his head: “Olmos Ensemble”. Before long, the group officially incorporated as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and began presenting festivals, chamber orchestra concerts, and collaborations with some of the country’s leading musicians. Mark was the Artistic Director, Executive Director and oboist of Olmos Ensemble until 2015.
A native of McLaughlin, South Dakota, Mark studied with Rhadames Angelucci at the University of Minnesota and Marc Lifschey at the San Francisco Conservatory. Since retiring from the San Antonio Symphony and Olmos Ensemble, he has increasingly focused on teaching. Mark is the instructor of oboe at Texas Lutheran University and teaches privately at his home studio.