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 2016-17 season with The Cleveland Orchestra in subscription performances of Strauss’s Don Quixote conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Other season solo engagements include Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Buffalo Philharmonic conducted by JoAnn Falletta, the Dvorak Concerto with the Phoenix Symphony conducted by Tito Muñoz, Ernst Bloch’s Schelomo with the Toledo Symphony conducted by Stefan Sanderling, Haydn’s C Major Concerto with the Orquesta Filarmónica Boca del Rio in Mexico conducted by Jorge Mester, the Elgar Concerto with the Las Cruces Symphony, and a recording of Eberhard Klemmstein’s Cello Concerto with the Slovak Radio Orchestra. During the 2016-17 season Mark Kosower will also see the release of a CD for the Ambitus label of works by Reger, Strauss, and Klemmstein with pianist Jee-Won Oh.
During the 2015-16 season Mark Kosower performed the Haydn C Major Concerto with Nicholas McGegan conducting the Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival. Other season solo engagements included Victor Herbert's Concerto #2 with the Dayton Philharmonic, Strauss's Don Quixote with the Indianapolis Symphony conducted by Andrey Boreyko, the Brahms Double Concerto with violinist William Preucil and Franz Welser-Most conducting the Cleveland Orchestra at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, the Dvorak Concerto with John Nelson conducting San Jose's Symphony Silicon Valley, Haydn's C Major Concerto with the Columbus Symphony conducted by Robert Moody, and the Brahms Double Concerto with David Danzmayer at the Breckenridge Music Festival. Mark Kosower also saw the release of his recording of the Victor Herbert Cello Concertos with JoAnn Falletta and Belfast’s Ulster Orchestra for Naxos International in April 2016 to great critical acclaim. The Guardian said of the album “Mark Kosower is a red-blooded soloist” while Gramophone said he “is a wonderfully eloquent soloist who is a joy to hear.”
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), and Colorado's Strings Music festivals among others.
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 Thailand Philharmonic, 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. In the USA previous concerto appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra were with Bramwell Tovey conducting the Samuel Barber Concerto, Herbert Blomstedt conducting the Dvorak Concerto, and Ton Koopman and Boccherini's Concerto in D Major G.479. Other orchestral appearances have included the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Florida, Grand Rapids, Hawaii, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Phoenix, Seattle, Syracuse, Virginia, the Ravinia Festival 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.
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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