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

Mark Kosower

Biography

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A modern player with a “signature sound” and distinctive style of playing, cellist 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 admired and 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. Mark’s performance repertoire and 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 Dvořák but, significantly, to less well-known concertos of Alberto Ginastera, Miklos Rozsa, Frederich Gulda and Victor Herbert. Mr. Kosower has recorded for the Ambitus, Delos, Naxos International and VAI labels, including as the first cellist to record the complete music for solo cello of Alberto Ginastera (Naxos). He was described as a “powerful advocate of Ginastera’s art” by MusicWeb International, and Strings Magazine noted of his Hungarian music album (also with Naxos) that “the music allows Kosower to showcase his stunning virtuosity, passionate intensity, and elegant phrasing.”

Mark Kosower’s 2018/2019 performances feature Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (Ohio) and music director/conductor David Danzmayr, Ginastera Cello Concerto No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra and conductor Gustavo Gimeno and two cello gems, Dovřák’s Rondo, Op. 94 and Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto with the Canton Symphony.

Kosower is known for varied traditional and contemporary repertoire. His many honors include an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a SONY Grant and was top prize winner in both the Rostropovich and Pablo Casals International Cello Competitions, among others.

Other orchestral appearances have included symphony orchestras throughout the US, Europe and Asia, and recitals at the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the National Gallery of Art, on the Great Performer’s Series at Lincoln Center. the Chatelet in Paris, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to his busy performing career, Mark is also a dedicated teacher. He is on the cello faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. Kosower gives masterclasses around the world.

A modern player with a “signature sound” and distinctive style of playing, cellist 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 admired and 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. Mark’s performance repertoire and 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 Dvořák but, significantly, to less well-known concertos of Alberto Ginastera, Miklos Rozsa, Frederich Gulda and Victor Herbert. Mr. Kosower has recorded for the Ambitus, Delos, Naxos International and VAI labels, including as the first cellist to record the complete music for solo cello of Alberto Ginastera (Naxos). He was described as a “powerful advocate of Ginastera’s art” by MusicWeb International, and Strings Magazine noted of his Hungarian music album (also with Naxos) that “the music allows Kosower to showcase his stunning virtuosity, passionate intensity, and elegant phrasing.”

Mark Kosower’s 2018/2019 performances feature Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra (Ohio) and music director/conductor David Danzmayr, Ginastera Cello Concerto No. 2 with the Cleveland Orchestra and conductor Gustavo Gimeno and two cello gems, Dovřák’s Rondo, Op. 94 and Victor Herbert’s Cello Concerto with the Canton Symphony.

Highlights for 2017/2018 included the Dvořák Cello Concerto with the Peninsula Music Festival, the Haydn Cello Concerto No. 2 with the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra and a return engagement with the North Shore Chamber Music Festival, performing Shostakovich’s Piano Trio No. 2 and Brahms’ String Sextet, Op.18.

Mark Kosower began cello studies with his father who, upon hearing 1 and ½-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. His many honors include 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. Mark was also  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 Dvořák 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 Stefan Sanderling and the Toledo Symphony; Victor Herbert’s Concerto No. 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 (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 Dvořák 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 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.

In addition to his busy performing career, Mark is also a dedicated teacher. He is on the cello faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. His previous posts include solo cellist of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany (f2006-2010), and Professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2005-2007). Kosower has given masterclasses around the world.

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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© Roger Mastroianni, Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra.
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello
Mark Kosower, cello

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