289. George Ko: Composer, Improviser, Piano Player

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Manage episode 307022263 series 57348
By Fei Wu. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Known for his alluring sound, expressivity, and eloquence at the keyboard, pianist/composer George Ko has appeared on stages around the world, from 2000 seat auditoriums to Carnegie Hall. His music has been heard at film festivals, television broadcasts of ABC and CBC, and at music festivals in Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, and China. His recordings have appeared on films at the Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and on Netflix. His current discography encapsulates his musical style inspired by classical, jazz, R&B, and pop genres. It is in the pursuit of this style, George has created his very own improvisational technique, blending the virtuosity of classical and flexibility of jazz.

As a composer, George developed his artistry at Harvard University, where he received his bachelor's and honors in music. There, George debuted his first composition, which was premiered by the Grammy award-winning Parker Quartet. Recently, George is an active film composer and had his piano and thematic compositions debuted in the recently released Salt-N-Pepa Biopic on Lifetime in 2021. He was also the keynote artist performer for TEDx’s 2020 global sustainability conference, “COUNTDOWN”, co-hosted by Happily.

George is also a successful entrepreneur, having founded several companies and non-profits, in which he received the CES Innovation Award in Robotics in 2019 and the Harvard Gov 2.0 Award for innovation in politics. George was also the co-founder of Giant Robot Media, an Asian-American digital magazine that discovered groundbreaking creatives throughout the world.

George has given inaugural concerts for the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Bowers Museum, and the Fogg Museum. He was invited to play at the request of President Joe Biden, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Senator Barbara Boxer. In recognition of his artistic talent, George was awarded the David McCord Prize from Harvard University. He is also a 5-time laureate of the Bradshaw and Buono International Piano Competition.

George currently resides in Los Angeles, California. He is a Young Steinway Artist. You can find his music on all streaming platforms. George is on the Sonder House label. George is also a member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists and ASCAP.

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