Mark Kosower

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 as a much admired and sought-after chamber musician. He is Principal Cello of The Cleveland Orchestra and a scholar and teacher of cello. 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.”

In recent seasons Mr. Kosower has been guest soloist with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Canton Symphony, the Columbus Symphony, Columbus Pro Musica, the Hawaii Symphony, the Dayton Philharmonic, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Naples Philharmonic, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Toledo Symphony among others in addition to twenty-two concerto appearances with The Cleveland Orchestra. He has performed as soloist with Herbert Blomstedt, Sir Andrew Davis, Christoph Eschenbach, and Franz Welser-Möst. During the 2021-22 season Mr. Kosower performs the Gulda Concerto with The Cleveland Orchestra at the Blossom Music Festival and makes appearances with the symphony orchestras of Bangor, Dayton, and Santa Fe among others. He appears in recitals with Max Levinson, chamber music with James Ehnes at the Seattle Chamber Music Society, and performs all six Bach cello suites at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival.

In 2017 Mark Kosower launched Bach for Humanity, an initiative that aims to bring people together though Bach’s music in presentations for diverse socioeconomic groups in churches, community organizations, educational institutions, homeless shelters, performing arts series, radio and television stations, and retirement communities. For three years Mr. Kosower performed the complete cello suites and his own transcriptions of the violin sonatas and partitas for cello to widespread acclaim in both conventional and nonconventional venues such as the Cleveland Cello Society, the Cleveland School of the Arts, Judson Manor, and the Cosgrove Center for the homeless. During the coronavirus pandemic Mark Kosower performed two livestream performances of the Bach Cello Suites from Trinity Cathedral in Cleveland to raise money for Covid-19 victims and as part of Bach for Humanity. Other activities during the pandemic have included live and recorded chamber music performances for the North Shore Chamber Music Festival’s Onstage/Offstage series and for the Seattle Chamber Music Society in addition to other recordings and numerous social media projects.

Mark Kosower 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, and the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra among others. In the United States he has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Florida, Grand Rapids, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Seattle, Virginia, the Ravinia Festival and St. Paul chamber orchestras, and has given recitals at the Kennedy Center, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the National Gallery of Art, and on the Great Performer’s Series at Lincoln Center. Mark Kosower is a frequent guest at international chamber music festivals including the Santa Fe, North Shore, and Colorado College of Music chamber music festivals and has appeared at the Aspen, Eastern, and Pacific Music (of Japan) festivals among many others. His chamber music appearances have included performances with Yefim Bronfman, James Ehnes, Leon Fleisher, Vadim Gluzman, Robert Mann, Janos Starker, Schmuel Ashkenasi, and the Juilliard String Quartet.

Formerly Solo Cellist of the Bamberg Symphony in Germany, Mr. Kosower teaches a series of master classes at Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel Valley each summer and is on the faculty at Carnegie Hall’s NYO-USA program and the Colorado College of Music Summer Music Festival. He has also worked with students in lessons and master classes around the world including the New World Symphony fellows, the Shanghai Orchestra Academy, and the Baccareli Institute of São Paulo and has been on the faculties at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the San Francisco Conservatory.