The Cleveland Orchestra appoints principal cello

Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and The Cleveland Orchestra announce the appointment of Principal Cello Mark Kosower. He will join the Orchestra in July at the beginning of the 2010 Blossom Festival, in the Louis D. Beaumont Endowed Chair.

Mark Kosower has appeared internationally as soloist with many orchestras, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic, the Orchestre de Paris, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan, the Kansai Philharmonic in Japan, the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in South Africa, and the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra. In North America, he has appeared as a soloist with the symphony orchestras of Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Minnesota , North Carolina, Oregon, Phoenix, and Seattle, amongst others, and with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Ravinia Festival Orchestra.

Mr. Kosower’s solo recitals include appearances at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, Berlin’s Komische Oper, Belgrade’s Philharmonic Hall in Serbia, the Sala Cecília Meireles in Rio de Janeiro, Kumho Art Hall in Seoul, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Merkin Concert Hall and Lincoln Center in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and on the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society series. As a chamber musician, Mr. Kosower has appeared with Bargemusic in Brooklyn , New York ; with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center; and on the Ravinia Festival’s “Rising Stars” series. In 2010, he makes his Netherlands recital debut at the de Doelen in Rotterdam and joins the Juilliard Quartet in Nuremberg and Munich for performances of the Schubert String Quintet in C major, D. 956.

Recently, Mr. Kosower released a recording of Ginastera’s complete works for cello and piano, and an album of Hungarian music with works by Popper, Dohnányi, Bartók, and others, on Naxos International. Both albums feature his recital partner and wife, pianist Jee-Won Oh. Of the Hungarian disc, Strings magazine said, “The music allows Kosower to showcase his stunning virtuosity, passionate intensity, and elegant phrasing.” Mr. Kosower also recently was the soloist in the world premiere recording of Miklós Rózsa’s Rhapsodie for Cello and Orchestra, recorded in Budapest for Naxos with the Budapest Concert Orchestra MAV.

Mr. Kosower is currently Solo Cellist of the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra in Germany under Music Director Jonathan Nott – a position equivalent to the American title of Principal Cello. Mr. Kosower performed the Ginastera Cello Concerto No. 2 last spring on tour with the Bamberger Symphoniker and is currently recording the work with them (also for Naxos ) along with the Cello Concerto No. 1, a continuation of his extensive work with that composer’s catalogue. His previous orchestral experience includes serving as guest solo cellist of the North German Radio Orchestra at the invitation of Christoph von Dohnányi and as guest principal cellist of the Seoul Philharmonic under Myung-Whun Chung.

The recipient of the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2002, Mr. Kosower was the top prize winner in the Rostropovich Competition in Paris (2001) and the Pablo Casals Competition in Germany (2000). He was also awarded a special prize at both competitions for the best interpretation of the commissioned contemporary work. In addition to his recordings for Naxos, he has also recorded for the VAI and Delos labels. A native of Wisconsin, Mr. Kosower holds a bachelor’s degree and artist diploma in cello performance from Indiana University and a master’s degree and artist diploma in cello performance from the Juilliard School. His major teachers were Joel Krosnick and Janos Starker.

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