United States, Weston Massachusetts Cello
Leland Philip Ko (b. 1998) is a cellist of Chinese-Canadian descent from the Boston area. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in venues across America’s east coast, such as Merkin Concert Hall and Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York, and Jordan Hall and Sanders Theatre in Boston, as well as internationally in Sweden, Israel, and Spain, including Auditorio Manuel de Falla in Granada. Violinist Itzhak Perlman has said of Leland that he “plays with the beauty of sound and subtlety that we don’t often encounter in a cellist of his age,” and that he is “a musician who willingly considers all aspects of music.” Leland’s most recent accolades include second prize at the inaugural Bader and Overton Canadian Cello Competition in 2020, and appearing as a finalist in the 2020 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.
Past engagements over the last decade include concerto appearances with the Boston Landmarks Orchestra, the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra, the Arlington Philharmonic, the Brockton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Pro Musica, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Princeton University Orchestra, and multiple appearances with the Wellesley Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra.
Despite growing up a part of Boston’s strong youth orchestra culture, Leland has often sought out chamber music at various summer festivals over the years, having attended the Perlman Music Program’s Summer Music School and its Chamber Music Workshop, and Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute. Through these festivals, Leland has had the chance to study with and occasionally perform alongside artists such as Ronald Leonard, Merry Peckham, Laurence Lesser, Joel Krosnick, Donald Weilerstein, Vivian Weilerstein, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Marcy Rosen, Ralph Kirshbaum, Frans Helmerson, Gary Hoffman, and Itzhak Perlman.
Leland’s love for chamber music has also led him to be an Artist in Residence of New York Piano Society (NYPS), as well as a frequent performer on Swedish pianist Per Tengstrand’s concert series “Music on Park Ave” at Scandinavia House in NYC, and former Music Director of Opus 21, a student-run chamber music collective at Princeton.
Leland was a long-time student of Ronald Lowry and Paul Katz before attending Princeton University, where he graduated with a B.A. degree in German Literature. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree at The Juilliard School under the teaching of Minhye Clara Kim and Timothy Eddy.
Leland was also a competitive long-distance runner for several years, but remains loyal to his original passion of tennis, both as a player and even more so as a fan. Since 2010, he has played on one of the many cellos made in Maine over the last few decades by Nathaniel Slobodkin and a Swiss-made bow by Pierre-Yves Fuchs.
Updated as of November 2020.
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