Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello. Photo by Lim Jong Jin. download

Mark Kosower


A modern player with a “signature sound” and distinctive style of playing, Mark Kosower embodies the concept of the complete musician performing as concerto soloist with symphony orchestras, in solo recitals and with pianist Jee Won Oh, and as a much sought-after chamber musician. He is Principal Cello of the Cleveland Orchestra, a scholar and Teacher of Cello at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. His performance repertoire and recorded discography are testaments to a deep devotion, not only to frequently heard repertoire such as Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations and concertos of Haydn, Walton, Elgar and Dvorak but, significantly, to less well-known concertos of Alberto Ginastera, Miklos Rozsa, Frederic Gulda and Victor Herbert.

Mark Kosower began cello studies with his father who, upon hearing 1 and 1/2 year old Mark sing the melodies his father was practicing, recognized Mark’s natural musical talent and gave him his first cello. Important academic and life-long influences were Janos Starker who invited him to study at Indiana University and Joel Krosnick with whom he studied at The Juilliard School. He is a former member of Chamber Music Two, a two-year residency program of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He received an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a SONY Grant and was top prize winner in both the Rostropovich and Pablo Casals International Cello Competitions including special prizes at both competitions for the best interpretation of the newly commissioned works by Marco Stroppa and Cristobal Halffter. He was Grand Prize winner of both the Irving Klein International String Competition and the WAMSO Competition of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Kosower is known for varied traditional and contemporary repertoire such as Haydn C Major Concerto which he has performed with Jorge Mester and the Orquesta Filarmónica Boca del Rio in Mexico, and with the Columbus Symphony conducted by Robert Moody; Strauss’s Don Quixote which he has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony conducted by Andrey Boreyko; The Dvorak Concerto which he has performed with Tito Muñoz and the Phoenix Symphony; the Brahms’s Double Concerto which he has performed with violinist William Preucil and Franz Welser-Möst conducting the Cleveland Orchestra at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami; Ernst Bloch’s Schelomo with which he has performed with Stefan Sanderling and the Toledo Symphony; Victor Herbert’s Concerto #2 which he has performed with the Dayton Philharmonic; and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic. His recordings include Eberhard Klemmstein’s Cello Concerto with the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Victor Herbert Cello Concertos with JoAnn Falletta and Belfast’s Ulster Orchestra for Naxos International in April 2016.

With the Cleveland Orchestra, Kosower has appeared with Nicholas McGegan conducting Haydn C Major Concerto at the Blossom Music Festival, Sir Andrew Davis conducting Strauss’s Don Quixote, Bramwell Tovey conducting the Samuel Barber Concerto, Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Dvorak Concerto, and Ton Koopman conducting Boccherini’s Concerto in D Major G.479.

Other orchestral appearances have included the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Florida, Grand Rapids, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Phoenix, Seattle, Syracuse, Virginia, the Ravinia Festival, San Jose’s Symphony Silicon Valley, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and recitals at the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the National Gallery of Art and on the Great Performer’s Series at Lincoln Center.

In past seasons he has appeared internationally as soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, the Orquestra Filarmonica de Minas Gerais in Brazil, and the Orquestra Sinfonica de Venezuela, as well as solo performances at the Chatelet in Paris, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro.

Mark Kosower is a frequent guest at international chamber music festivals including the Santa Fe, the Eastern Music, the North Shore Chamber Music, the Pacific Music (of Japan), Breckenridge Music Festival, and Colorado’s Strings Music festivals among others.

Mark Kosower is Teacher of Cello at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is on the faculty at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. His previous posts include Solo Cellist of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany from 2006 – 2010, and Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 2005 – 2007.

January 2018. Please discard previously dated materials and contact email hidden; JavaScript is required before making any alterations or cuts.

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Press Quotes

“An exceptionally intelligent and sensitive cellist.”

Chicago Tribune

“It was though he touched the instrument and sound flowed out; relaxed, shining, round, extraordinarily beautiful, but at the same time full of character and expression.”

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
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Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello




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