Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, MARK KASHPER started taking violin lessons at the age of five. In addition to being a graduate of the Moscow Conservatory, where he was one of the last and favorite pupils of the legendary David Oistrakh, Kashper also graduated from the Leningrad Conservatory. As a student, he was a recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. As the assistant concertmaster and soloist with the Moscow Conservatory Chamber Orchestra, he concertized extensively throughout the Soviet Union, Europe, and Latin America.
In February 1978, Kashper arrived in the United States as a refugee, and three months later won an audition to become a member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In September 1979 he was promoted to the first violin section and, after progressing steadily through its ranks, won another audition to become the orchestra’s Associate Principal Second Violin in May 1986. In March of 1987, Kashper won high praise for his performance of Luciano Berio’s Corale in its West-Coast premiere with the Los Angeles Philharmonic under the direction of Pierre Boulez. He has also appeared as soloist with the Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl and at the Ojai Festival, as well as in many New Music Group and Chamber Music Society programs, collaborating with such distinguished musicians as – to name just a few – Heinz Holliger, André Previn, Emanuel Ax, and Yefim Bronfman. Between 2007 and 2011, Kashper led the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s second violin section as its Acting Principal.
An active recitalist and avid chamber music player, Kashper performs extensively in the Los Angeles area and throughout the United States. Since the creation of the Los Angeles Jewish Symphony in the Spring of 1994, he has also been busy as that orchestra's founding principal concertmaster and frequent featured soloist, performing throughout Southern California and touring in New York and Israel. In February 2000, Kashper was the soloist in performances of Korngold's Violin Concerto with the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra conducted by its then-Music Director, Gisèle Ben-Dor.
In September 2001, in Japan, Kashper participated in the concerts of the Super World Orchestra – an ensemble made up of principal players from most of the world’s greatest orchestras – under the direction of Lorin Maazel. In June 2006, in France, he proudly represented the United States in the concerts of the World Philharmonic Orchestra – a unique ensemble that included principal players of the leading symphony orchestras from 80 countries.