"Scribe the light!" ~ Judith

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“…beautiful sound…very insightful musicianship, transcends the technical difficulties of her instrument and phrases with great maturity and feeling. Her teaching instincts are sound and imaginative…students respond enthusiastically. I want to recommend her to you as strongly as I can. I am proud to have been her teacher and her friend and will watch her as her exciting career as musician and artist teacher unfolds.”

Leon Russianoff, Clarinet Instructor, The Juilliard School

Judith Pauley Markovich graduated with honors from The Juilliard School with a Master’s degree in performance. While in NYC, Markovich performed as clarinetist on some prestigious stages, including as guest artist at Carnegie Recital Hall. Her playing has inspired composers Alec Wilder, Allan Blank, Gilman Collier and Larry Smith, and Carl Della Peruti to write for her. At Morton Gould’s request, she soloed his jazz ensemble work. 

Markovich is exceptional…has that special flare that eludes many musicians.

Franklin Cohen, Principal Clarinet Emeritus of the Cleveland Orchestra

“That is some of the finest clarinet playing I have ever heard.”

Barry Tuckwell, international virtuoso, French horn


Though a contest winner, Markovich loves to teach. Markovich was leader of the Brioso Quintet, part of the Lincoln Center chamber music school program for NYC schools. She traveled as the teaching assistant of the late, world-renowned Leon Russianoff of the Juilliard School. Later, she became a Akron University’s clarinet instructor and principal clarinetist of the Akron Symphony under Louis Lane, former assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra. She has built and conducted bands and orchestras in New York, New Jersey, and Kansas City, MO, and established the first State Junior High Jazz Ensemble in New Jersey.  

“…superbly equipped in being resourceful, imaginative…she is an impressive combination of maturity and professionalism on the one hand, and enthusiasm and strong motivation on the other…highest recommendation…”                                                

                                                                                        Richard Killough, Director, NYC


Experienced as a performer of orchestral, operatic, show music, chamber music, and a touch of jazz, Markovich’s performance career as a clarinetist paused abruptly in 1980 due to an illness that almost took her life. During her long but miraculous recovery, she discovered new purpose and direction in music, married Richard, and raised his three young sons as her own. Markovich spent her free time teaching and developing a unique improvisational style for classical instruments in worship. As a result, she dabbled with writing a script which she produced as a 2006 Christmas musical called The Soul Felt Its Worth, using favorite hymns and her first attempt to write a song without training. For years to follow, she wrote fragments of tunes and rhythms on napkin corners and notepads but tossed them into a drawer with no idea she had a composer gene. This eventually led her out of curiosity (at 65) to her first composition lesson with Nashville’s composer David Moser McKay, and five years later with Joan Tower. At 70, she penned her first commission, Emergence, an orchestral tone poem that embraces the process of becoming who we were meant to be. Since then, one of the top international violists of our day, Brett Deubner, began to champion her work, having recorded Remember with PARMA Navona Records and Three Miniatures for Solo Viola. The rest is history with a growing catalogue of choices, showing that it is never too late to unearth a buried part of yourself.

Markovich was honored to be selected as one of the composers to be performed at the 2022 International Composers Festival in Sussex, UK, in May and Composer of the Month (2024) by J. W. Pepper. Two years after her first premiere, several premieres occurred, including The Dabbling Duck, which was performed by the Arkansas Symphony’s River Rhapsodies Series. Other premieres occurred in Arkansas, Tennessee, New Jersey, Paris, Germany, Argentina, and Italy. Her work has been featured on ASCAP’s New Music Friday, Radio WPRB’s Classical Discoveries, and stations in Atlanta and Kansas City. Commissions of new works were premiered by internationally renowned artists, including guitarist Sergio Puccini, cellist Diane Chaplin, violist Brett Deubner, violinist Christina McGann, Tel Aviv harpist Rachel Talitman with Parisian violist (Paris Conservatory) Pierre Henri Xuereb, and emerging artist violist, Amaro Dubois. In 2023 Nashville’s Grammy-nominated ALIAS Chamber Ensemble premiered her piano quintet at an event celebrating Women’s History Month. Her most recent work brought three accomplished clarinetist friends together. It was commissioned by doctor and former award-winning clarinetist, David Stern, to feature a “proem” he wrote about the tragic suicide of his son Alan. The highly-esteemed clarinetist Franklin Cohen and his talented family will perform the premiere slated for the 2025 Cleveland ChamberFest. Their mutual aim is to bring greater awareness of the rising epidemic of suicide.

Not without a clear God-given purpose, Markovich remains passionate about innovative, improvisational, classical and sacred works created to serve humanitarian and spiritual needs, as well as teaching and encouraging young generations. Not given to trends and catch words, if they fit what she is inspired by, so be it. She loves the use of electronics in classical music but does not avoid a beautiful melody. Markovich aims to wed the anointed sounds and melodic writing of great classical masters of the past with forerunners who rise today using music only she hears. You will find her soundscapes wrapped around profound universal messages. One example is Cornerstone, an upcoming viola concerto, which includes a merciful parable she wrote called: The Bully and the Cornerstone.

Born and raised in the mountains of Kingsport, TN, Markovich, like many, has pushed through seemingly immovable stereotypes and exclusions to now reside in Spring Hill as an emerging composer and author with her husband, Richard. When not performing, composing, or writing her novel series, you will most often find her in a flannel shirt digging in the garden, housing people in transition, drinking dandelion coffee over a Sudoku, or working in her ministry through the arts to serve those in need.

As a performer, publisher, and author, Markovich is a member of ASCAP, IAWM, and ACFW.

To read Markovich’s blog story on becoming a composer, click here: https://judithmarkovich.com/on-becoming-a-composer

Recent Review

 “In writing Three Miniatures, Markovich was inspired by the rapidly changing metres of Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for solo clarinet. The opening movement engages immediately for Deubner’s commanding execution of its acrobatic dance moves, and the third likewise impresses for its freewheeling energy and abandon. It’s the eloquent lyricism of the solemn central part that registers most powerfully—the kind of mournful material for which the viola is perfectly suited.”  Reviewer: Textura

Brett Deubner’s Album: HOPE: Music for Solo Viola

(Available on streaming platforms)


Click Here for a List of Compositions

 Works in the Oven:

A work for survivors of a suicide loss for tenor, violin, clarinet in A, chimes, timpani, piano
   Commissioned by David Stern | Projected World Premiere with Franklin Cohen 2024
When Words Fail for Viola and Harp

   Commissioned by harpist Rachel Talitman, Tel Aviv, Israel | World Premiere, December 2023 | Album release 2024

Crossroads Sonata/Concerto No. 2 for Viola and Piano/Orchestra

   Commissioned by Amaro Dubois| World premiere, 2024 

Resting Place for Classical Guitar

  Commissioned by Sergio Puccini | World premiere, September 2023 | Album available by 2024

Cornerstone Concerto No. 1 for Viola and Orchestra (Ready for Orchestra!)

   2024 Premieres to be performed by international violist Brett Deubner