Described as “a virtuoso of staggering prowess” by The Plain Dealer, Mark Kosower is a consummate artist equally at home internationally as a recital and concerto soloist and, since 2010, as principal cello of The Cleveland Orchestra. As an orchestral principal he was formerly solo cellist of the Bamberg Symphony in Germany from 2006-10 and has been guest solo cellist with the North German Radio Orchestra at the invitation of Christoph von Dohnanyi and guest principal cellist with the Seoul Philharmonic under Myung-Whun Chung.
As a soloist he appears during the 2015-16 season with The Cleveland Orchestra in Miami in performances of the Brahms Double Concerto with concertmaster William Preucil conducted by Franz Welser-Most. Other season solo engagements include Victor Herbert’s Concerto #2 with the Dayton Philharmonic, Strauss’s Don Quixote with the Indianapolis Symphony conducted by Andrey Boreyko, the Dvorak Concerto with John Nelson conducting the San Jose’s Symphony Silicon Valley and Haydn’s C Major Concerto with the Columbus Symphony conducted by Robert Moody.
Earlier in 2015, Kosower, at the invitation of Toledo Symphony music director Stefan Sanderling, performed the enigmatic and jazz influenced cello concerto of Friedrich Gulda in Toledo to great acclaim, joined the Hawaii Symphony and Carlos Miguel Prieto to perform the Lalo Concerto, performed the Dvorak Concerto with the Thailand Philharmonic, Haydn’s C Major Concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra conducted by Nicholas McGegan and recorded both Victor Herbert Concertos with Belfast’s Ulster Orchestra for Naxos under the direction of JoAnn Falletta. A frequent guest at international music festival he has appeared at the Aspen, Brevard, Eastern, North Shore Chamber, Japan’s Pacific, Ravinia, Santa Fe and Colorado’s Strings music festivals.
In past seasons, he has appeared internationally as soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Hong Kong Philharmonic, China National Symphony Orchestra in Beijing, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra 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. Other appearances have included as concerto soloist with the orchestras of Detroit, Florida, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Phoenix, Saint Paul, Seattle and Virginia among many others.
Kosower has recorded for the Ambitus, Delos, Naxos International and VAI labels, including the complete music for solo cello of Alberto Ginastera for Naxos making him the first cellist to do so. He was described as a “powerful advocate of Ginastera’s art” by MusicWeb International, and Strings Magazine said of his Hungarian music CD (also with Naxos) that “the music allows Kosower to showcase his stunning virtuosity, passionate intensity, and elegant phrasing.”
Born in Wisconsin, Kosower began studying cello at the age of one-and-a-half with his father, and later studied with Janos Starker at Indiana University and with Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School. Early in his career he was praised as “an extraordinary talent” by Janos Starker and as “a remarkable young cellist” by Yo-Yo Ma. Kosower’s many accolades include an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Sony Grant and the grand prize winner of the Irving Klein International String Competition. A dedicated teacher, he formerly taught at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2005-07) and has given master classes around the world.
He joined the CIM faculty in 2010.
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