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. Highlights of recent seasons included his debut with the Rotterdam Philharmonic, as well as appearances with the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony Orchestra, and at Eastern Music Festival. In past seasons, he has appeared internationally with the Orchestre de Paris, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Beijing’s China National Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, and the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, among others. In the United States, his appearances as a soloist have included engagements with the orchestras of Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Milwaukee, Ravinia, St. Paul, and Seattle.
An active advocate of 20th- and 21st-century music, Mark Kosower has brought lesser-known contemporary masterworks to international attention in recent years, demonstrated by two recent albums on the Naxos label, the first featuring the complete cello concertos of Alberto Ginastera with the Bamberg Symphony (making Kosower the first cellist to record the complete catalog of works for solo cello by this composer) and a second album with the world premiere recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Rhapsodie for solo cello and or- chestra. Kosower also recently recorded works by Reger, Strauss, and Eberhard Klemmstein with pianist Jee-Won Oh for the Ambitus label, and has also recorded for Delos and VAI.
As a recitalist, Mark Kosower has appeared on the Great Performers series at Lincoln Center, at the Kennedy Center, Aspen Music Festival, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, and the National Gallery in Washington D.C. He has also performed with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Juilliard String Quartet.
Born in Wisconsin, Mr. Kosower began studying cello at the age of one-and- a-half with his father, who studied with former Cleveland Orchestra principal cello Ernst Silberstein. He holds a bachelor’s degree and artist diploma in cello performance from Indiana University, where he studied with Janos Starker, and a master’s degree and artist diploma in cello performance from the Juilliard School, where he studied with Joel Krosnick. Mr. Kosower’s many accolades include an Avery Fisher Career Grant, and being a top prize winner in both the Rostropovich and Pablo Casals International Cello Competitions.