The music of Tonia Ko has been lauded by The New York Times for its “captivating” details and “vivid orchestral palette.” Her interests in texture and physical movement play into a larger theme of interdependency between visual art and music.
For the 2016-17 season, Tonia was guest composer at Clarion Concerts in Columbia County and The Process Series at UNC Chapel Hill. She was also commissioned by clarinetist Chen Halevi for the CEME Festival in Tel Aviv and Young Concert Artists, writing for Olivier Stankiewicz, principal of the London Symphony Orchestra. Future projects include collaborations with Hocket piano duo, The Rhythm Method string quartet, and University of Kansas Wind Ensemble.
Tonia’s music has been performed by ensembles such as Minnesota Orchestra, Volti, New York Youth Symphony, Flux Quartet, orkest de ereprijs, Eastman Wind Ensemble, New Morse Code, and Sō Percussion. She has been featured at nief-norf Summer Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Thailand International Composition Festival, Shanghai Conservatory New Music Week, Wellesley Composers Conference, and the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau. Tonia has received awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, BMI, Composers Now, International Alliance for Women in Music, well as residencies at Copland House, Djerassi, Pocantico Center, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and Atlantic Center for the Arts. She is currently represented by Young Concert Artists, Inc. as 2015-2017 Composer-in-Residence.
Her own explorations as an artist have sparked interdisciplinary connections— most prominently Breath, Contained, an ongoing project using bubble wrap as a canvas for both art and sound. She has also collaborated with performance artist Kale Roberts, Periapsis Music and Dance, and the Perry Chiu Experimental Theatre in Hong Kong. Tonia is currently a doctoral candidate at Cornell University where she studied with Steven Stucky and Kevin Ernste. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Honolulu, she received previous degrees from Indiana University and the Eastman School of Music.