A native of Japan, Ko Iwasaki graduated in 1963 from the Toho Conservatory where he studied cello with Hideo Saito. He soon appeared as a soloist with all of Japans leading orchestras. In 1964 he came to the USA on a Fulbright Scholarship and studied with Leonard Rose and Harvey Shapiro at the Juilliard School of Music. During 1966 he studied with Pablo Casals in Puerto Rico and made his New York debut in the Young Artist Concert Series. His European debut with the London Symphony Orchestra with André Previn followed in 1972.
Mr. Iwasaki has won several international competitions such as the Budapest Cello Competition, Second Prize in the 1969 Cassado Cello Competition, and the Bronze Medal in the 1970 International Tchaikovsky Competition. He has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, Polish National Radio Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, Vancouver Symphony, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and many other orchestras in the USA, Europe and Asia. In addition to his solo career, he has participated in numerous festivals, such as Santa Fe, La Jolla, Aspen, Round Top, Kuhumo, Lockenhaus and Newbury.
From 1974 to 1995 he was a performing artist at Illinois State University. Currently he teaches cello and chamber music at Southern Methodist University, is an active soloist as well as chamber musician, and gives master classes for cello or chamber music at many festivals and universities. He is the music director of the Okinawa International Music Festival and the Kurashiki International Music Festival.
Mr. Iwasaki has recorded for Teack, Toshiba, Phillips, DOCO, PNCO and Camerata.