Mark Kosower

Principal Cello

Mark Kosower

Louis D. Beaumont Endowed Chair

Mark Kosower joined The Cleveland Orchestra as principal cello in 2010. Described as “a virtuoso of staggering prowess” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he is a consummate artist equally at home internationally as a recital and concerto soloist. As an orchestral principal, he was formerly solo cellist of the Bamberg Symphony in Germany (2006-10).

His recent and current schedule features Mr. Kosower appearing as soloist with the symphony orchestras of Buffalo, Canton, Columbus, Indianapolis, Naples, Phoenix, Toledo, Columbus Pro Musica, and the Oregon Mozart Players. He also launched Bach for Humanity in 2018, a three-year commitment to the greater Cleveland area bringing the cello suites and his arrangements of the violin sonatas and partitas to both conventional and nonconventional venues, including educational institutions, community centers, senior residences, and the concert hall. Mr. Kosower recently recorded the Brahms Cello Sonatas with pianist Jee-Won Oh in the Beethovensaal in Hannover, Germany, and the duo saw the release of works by Strauss, Reger, and Klemmstein with the Ambitus label.

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 Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, 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, 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. From those recordings, he was described as a “powerful advocate of Ginastera’s art” by Music-Web 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 the Kent Blossom Music Festival. He also teaches a week of classes at California's Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel Valley each summer and served as a visiting distinguished professor at the University of Oregon during the 2017-18 academic year. 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 who studied with Ernst Silberstein, principal cello of The Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell. He 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.