Mark McKenzie

Interviews & Reviews

Joshua Bell and “A Mother’s Prayer” up for 2018 Grammy consideration

Sony Masterworks submitted “A Mother’s Prayer” performed by concert violinist Joshua Bell and 135 of London’s finest orchestral, choral and boys choir musicians for 2018 Grammy consideration.  Thank you for your consideration. We appreciate an sharing of this page with friends.

Polish priest Maximillian Kolbe, tortured at Auschwitz asked those around him to not be overcome with hatred but to love for “Only love is creative.” His compassion lead him to sacrificially die in Auschwitz’s starvation bunker to help a man with children survive. The film makers, musicians and I hope this message of hope, love, and beauty amidst great darkness will be enjoyed by many and spread widely. A portion of each sale goes to the Shoa Foundation, Word Vision and Catholic Relief Services.

Following are reviews from Film Music Critics around the world:

“A triumphant ravishing masterwork…finest film music yet for 2018” American Music Preservation
“Staggeringly beautiful…score of the year” Movie Music UK
“Boundless expression of joy…score of the year”
“Tender, heartfelt, soaring, gorgeous…score of the year” Score Zone
“profound…inspiring and haunting…stunningly beautiful.” Movie Music International
“You’re going to have goosebumps…one of the best scores of the year.” Cinematic Sound
“An ode to symphonic beauty…do not miss this celebration of life and love” Soundtrack Dreams
Brought to tears…the more I hear it the more I believe it is a truly theophanic work.” (a manifestation or appearance of God) The Click Track

Joshua Abby RoadL-R Concert violinist Joshua Bell with Composer Mark McKenzie holding Joshua's Stradivarius during playbacks on the Inspiring animated film MAX AND ME - Version 6I LOVE YOUIMG_2349IMG_2386IMG_2184 - Version 3IMG_2406_2Clara Sanabras and Mark McKenzie at Abby Raod Studios - Version 2Sunset HugI AM Max and Me Mixing Engineer Armin Steiner at 21st Century FoxIMG_2278P1020121

KolbeRubertoMAX 420


  1. I Am (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 1:13
  2. Two Crowns Vision 1:22
  3. Head in the Clouds Over You 2:16
  4. You Could be Anything 2:44
  5. In the Trenches 2:29
  6. If You Are So Intelligent Why Don’t You Believe? 5:22
  7. Ask and it Will Be Given to You 1:25
  8. When I’m Saying Me I Mean You   :51
  9. Dare To Dream Bigger  1:51
  10. A Mother’s Prayer (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 3:10
  11. Dapper Duds   1:50
  12. Sunset Hug 1:49
  13. I’m Sorry 3:02
  14. Nazi Brutality 3:17
  15. Prayer For Peace 3:40
  16. Auschwitz Cries  2:56
  17. Only Love is Creative 2:37
  18. I Love You (w/ Joshua Bell on violin) 4:00
  19. Triumph Over Fear   3:20
  20. He Was Always With Me 1:50
  21. I Believe in You 4:12
  22. Heaven’s Welcome 2:28

Violin Soloist: Joshua Bell
Soundtrack Available on Sony Masterworks
Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, London
Recording Engineer: Peter Cobbin
Mixed at 21st Century Fox Newman Scoring Stage
Mixing Engineer: Armin Steiner
Conductor: Gordon Johnson
Choir:  London Voices
Chorus Masters: Terry Edwards and Ben Parry
Solo Vocalist:  Clara Sanabras
Boys Choir: Libera
Libera Choir Director: Robert Prizeman
Orchestra Leader: Thomas Bowes
Piano: Dave Arch
Boy Soloist: Issac London
Wooden Recorders: Helen Keen
Guitar: John Parricelli
Orchestra Contractor: Isobel Griffiths
Assistant Orchestra Contractor: Susie Gillis
Supervising Music & Scoring Editor: Marc S Perlman MPSE
Additional Music Editing:  David Lai
Music Preparation: Gregg Nestor
Mastering Engineer: Patricia Sullivan
Assistant Recording Engineer: John Barrett
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Christine Russell

In addition to Robert Ruberto and those listed above the composer would like to thank producers Pablo Barroso and Claudia Nemer, Sony Classical’s Mark Cavell, writer Bruce Morris, Animators Paty Garcia-Pena, Gregorio Nunez, legal help Gary Fine and Angela Shirley, the Sony team Lynn Lendway, Stacie Negas, Jennifer Liebeskind, and Beth Miller, Stephen Ritzenthaler, Jerry Goldsmith, David Baker, Nancy Rice Baker, Morten Lauridsen, Michael Cunningham, Ivar Lunde, Sue, Megan and Mollie McKenzie.


View »


10.14.13  Rochester Post Bulletin written by Tom Weber

“…McKenzie  is returning to Lake City, MN to perform, for the first time, a solo piano concert Sept. 25 at the Lincoln High School auditorium…But why now, after all these years? That answer came from one of McKenzie’s partners on a recent project: Paul McCartney. McKenzie and McCartney worked together recently at Abbey Road studios in London on McCartney’s “Music of the Spheres”symphonic suite for the new game “Destiny.”

During a break in recording, McCartney told McKenzie he likes nothing better than sharing his music with people.

Shortly afterward, McKenzie said, “I woke up with the thought that music is for sharing.I’ve never had a performer’s temperament, but you start to realize this isn’t about me. Hopefully, it will be an evening of sharing music.”

So now McKenzie is ready to get back to where he once belonged.

For the concert, McKenzie will play selections from his movies in their original piano-only form. Then, he’ll play a scene from the movie, with the same basic tune now in its orchestrated version.

The concert will open with music from “Dances with Wolves,” the first film on which the classically-music trained McKenzie worked. “It changed my mind about music in general,” he said of that experience. “I’ve tried to focus my career on writing beautiful music.”

McKenzie started piano lessons in Lake City, and also took lessons in Rochester. He earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, then did his master’s and doctorate at the University of Southern California.

As part of the concert, McKenzie wants to pay tribute to his music teachers in Lake City, share life lessons he’s learned and plans to end with a question-and-answer session.

“I’ll answer things like, ‘What was Paul McCartney like?'” he said.

Well, what was he like?

“You know,” McKenzie said, “I’ve worked with a lot of movie stars. My anticipation was that he would be aloof and guarded. But when he walked in the room it was like an old buddy walked in. There was not one iota of ‘Look at me, I’m a star.’ I came home so inspired by his humility, his love for people.”

That inspiration is what McKenzie hopes to draw upon for his first solo piano concert.”

View »