Acting Assistant Principal
John Koen has been a member of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 1990.
He appears regularly on the Orchestra’s Chamber Music series, and performed
during Wolfgang Sawallisch’s 1993 Opening Week Festival and the subsequent
National Public Radio broadcast of Schumann’s Piano Quintet with Maestro
Sawallisch as pianist. Mr. Koen has been a frequent guest on the Philadelphia
Chamber Ensemble series since 1993 and is also a member of the Mondrian
Ensemble and the Network for New Music. He performed with the ensemble 1807
& Friends Chamber Music Society from 1990 to 1993.
Mr. Koen has appeared as a soloist with the New Symphony Orchestra of
Sofia, Bulgaria, under the direction of Rossen Milanov. Mr. Koen also appears
regularly as a soloist with the Lansdowne (PA) Symphony, of which he has been
principal cello since 1992. He was a nominee for the 1998 Gay/Lesbian American
Music Awards (GLAMA) for his performance of Winter Toccata
cello by Robert Maggio, which Mr. Koen commissioned, and is featured on a
recording of works by Mr. Maggio entitled Seven Mad Gods
Mr. Koen studied at the Curtis Institute of Music with David Soyer and
Peter Wiley, the original and last cellist (respectively) of the Guarneri
Quartet, from 1985 to 1990, graduating with a Bachelor of Music Performance
degree; he also studied at the New School of Music with Orlando Cole (1984-85).
In 1988 Mr. Koen performed in the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival Orchestra
as solo cellist on European tours with Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Bernstein,
and Sergiu Celibidache, including a television broadcast throughout Eastern
Europe from Gorky Park in Moscow with Maestro Bernstein, and as a member of the
Salzau Quartet in a performance for President Richard von Weizsäcker of
Germany. Mr. Koen taught at the College of New Jersey (Trenton) from 1996 to
In 2004 Mr. Koen received The Philadelphia
Orchestra’s C. Hartman Kuhn
Award, given to “a musician who has shown both musical ability and enterprise
of such character as to enhance the musical standards and reputation of The
Photo: Chris Lee
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