Tonia Ko has collaborated with leading soloists and ensembles across a variety of media—from acoustic concert pieces to improvisations and site-specific sound installations. No matter how traditional or experimental the medium, Ko’s work reveals a core that is at once whimsical, questioning, and lyrical.
Recipient of numerous accolades including a Guggenheim Fellowship, Ko’s music has been lauded by The New York Times for its “captivating” details and “vivid orchestral palette.” Her work has been performed at venues such as Walt Disney Concert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and at festivals including Tanglewood Music Center, Aspen Music Festival, Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles, and Thailand International Composition Fes*val. Ko has received grants and awards from the Barlow Foundation, Fromm Music Foundation, Chamber Music America, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) as well as residencies at MacDowell Colony, Copland House, and Djerassi Resident Artist Program.
Presenters of her work encompass a broad range of the music scene, including the Grossman Ensemble, Spektral Quartet, Wild Up, percussion/ cello duo New Morse Code, oboist Olivier Stankiewicz, and the virtuosic singers of Vol*. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, Ko earned a DMA from Cornell University. She has held positions with notable institutions including Composer-in-Residence for Young Concert Artists, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Center for Contemporary Composition at the University of Chicago, and Honorary Research Fellow at City, University of London.