Big Man
Every July the offices on Aquidneck Avenue buzzed with activity.  Two or three young people were there to take ticket orders and answer the phone.  Joan Malkvoich at her desk right inside the door chatted gracefully with a seemingly constant stream of visitors, typically long-time fans of the festival.  Sometimes one of the artists would be there for one reason or another.  Volunteers were in and out all day long.  And throughout the day you would here people referring to the “Big Man.”

Who was the “Big Man?”   Mark P. Malkovich, of course (also known to artists as “Uncle Mark”), steward of the Newport Music Festival since the mid 1970's, and deserving of the nickname in so many ways.  He was once described by a loving neighbor as a Sherman Tank disguised as a teddy bear.  A real sweetheart of a man, gentle and supportive with everyone around him, but nothing could stand in his way as he pushed the festival through the countless hurdles that makes a program of 60+ chamber music concerts in three weeks such a massive undertaking.
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Born in Eveleth, Minnesota, young Mark made his way to New York City by way of the GI Bill. There he attended Columbia University, studied privately with legendary Juilliard professor Adele Marcus, and began a career in the chemical business. His work took him around the world, and he soon met and married fellow New Yorker Joan Shewring. Together they raised four children, settling in Newport, Rhode Island in 1974. Just one year later, fate intervened and soon Mark found himself directing the nascent Newport Music Festival, a dream come true and a chance for Mark's true talents to shine. The rest is music history.
Mark's son, Mark Malkovich IV, who had been managing the business side of the festival for several years, found himself in the late spring of 2010, in the position of having to fill his father's shoes … and in a hurry. The following three seasons have been successful, and Mark, with an eye on the future, is taking the festival to new heights.
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