Mark Kosower joined The Cleveland Orchestra as principal cello in 2010. Described as “a virtuoso of staggering prowess” by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he’s a consummate artist who’s equally at home internationally as a recital and concerto soloist. As an orchestral principal, he previously served as solo cellist for the Bamberg Symphony in Germany from 2006 to 2010.
Mr. Kosower’s recent and current engagements include appearing as a soloist with the Buffalo and Naples Philharmonic Orchestras; Canton, Columbus, Hawaii, Indianapolis, Phoenix, Slovak Radio, and Toledo symphony orchestras; ProMusica Chamber Orchestra in Columbus; Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra; Oregon Mozart Players; and Orquesta Filarmónica Boca del Rio. In 2018, he launched Bach for Humanity, a three-year commitment that will bring Bach’s cello suites and Mr. Kosower’s own arrangements of Bach’s violin sonatas and partitas to both conventional and nonconventional venues in the greater Cleveland area, including educational institutions, community centers, and senior residences as well as concert halls. Mr. Kosower recently recorded the Brahms Cello Sonatas with pianist Jee-Won Oh in the Beethovensaal in Hannover, Germany; the duo has also recorded works by R. Strauss, Reger, and Eberhard Klemmstein for the Ambitus label.
A frequent guest at international chamber music festivals, Mr. Kosower’s appearances include the Santa Fe and North Shore Chamber Music Festivals; Toronto Summer Music; and the Eastern, Pacific, and Strings music festivals. In past seasons, he appeared internationally as a soloist with the Orchestre de Paris; Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra; Ravinia Festival Orchestra; National Symphony Orchestra of Taiwan; Florida and Minnesota Orchestras; Hong Kong and Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestras; and Bamberg, Brazilian, China National, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, North Carolina, Oregon, Seattle, Venezuela, and Virginia symphony orchestras. Additionally, he’s given solo performances at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, and Teatro Municipal in Rio de Janeiro.
Mr. Kosower has recorded for the Ambitus, Delos, Naxos International, and VAI labels. He was the first cellist to record the complete music for solo cello by Alberto Ginastera (for Naxos), and, in a review, Musicweb International called him a “powerful and compelling advocate of Ginastera’s art.” 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 a faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Kent Blossom Music Festival. He also teaches a week of classes at Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel Valley, California, each summer, and he served as a visiting distinguished professor at the University of Oregon during the 2017–18 academic year. He’s also given master classes around the world, and he served as a professor of cello and chamber music at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music from 2005 to 2007.
Mark Kosower was born in Wisconsin and 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 János Starker at Indiana University and with Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School. Mr. Kosower’s numerous honors include an Avery Fisher Career Grant, a Sony Grant, and grand prize at the Irving M. Klein International String Competition.