Described as “an extraordinary talent” by the legendary cellist and teacher Janos Starker, Mark Kosower became principal cello of The Cleveland Orchestra in July 2010 and subsequently joined the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He previously served as solo cellist (a position equivalent to the American title of principal cello) of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany (2006-10) and was professor of cello and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2005-07). He has also given masterclasses around the world and, at the invitations of Christoph von Dohnanyi and Myung-Whun Chung, performed as guest principal cello.
In addition to his orchestral career and teaching activities, Mark Kosower continues an active career as a soloist. Recent and upcoming solo engagements include appearances with the orchestras of Columbus, Dayton, Hawaii, Indianapolis, and San Jose. He has also performed and recorded both of Victor Herbert’s cello concertos with Belfast’s Ulster Orchestra under the direction of JoAnn Falletta.
Mr. Kosower is a frequent guest at international chamber music festivals, including Santa Fe, Eastern Music, North Shore Chamber Music, Japan’s Pacific Music Festival, and Colorado’s Strings Music Festival. In past seasons, he has appeared internationally as soloist with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, China National Symphony in Beijing, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquestra Sinfonica de Venezuela, in addition to solo performances at the Châtelet in Paris, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, the Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and the Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro. Other appearances as concerto soloist have included the orchestras of Detroit, Florida, Houston, Milwaukee, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oregon, Phoenix, Ravinia, Saint Paul, Seattle, and Virginia.
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, which he completed for Naxos. He was described as a “powerful advocate of Ginastera’s art” by MusicWeb International, and Strings Magazine said of his Hungarian music album (also with Naxos) that “the music allows Kosower to showcase his stunning virtuosity, passionate intensity, and elegant phrasing.”
A dedicated teacher, Mr. Kosower is currently a member of the faculty at the Cleveland Institute of Music and also with the Kent/Blossom Music Festival. He has given masterclasses around the world. His previous posts include professor of cello and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (2005-07).
Born in Wisconsin, Mark 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. Mr. Kosower’s many accolades include an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Sony Grant, and as grand prize winner of the Irving M. Klein International String Competition.