Tonia Ko

The music of Tonia Ko has been described by critics as “expansive, meditative,” and containing an “uncertain piquancy.” Born in Hong Kong in 1988 and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, her work reflects and embraces her multi-cultural upbringing. Ensembles that have performed her music include the IU New Music Ensemble, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Eastman Wind Ensemble, Luna Nova New Music Ensemble, and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She has participated in festivals across the United States, such as the Wellesley Composers Conference, Brevard Music Center, as well as the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France. A three-time winner of the Louis Lane Prize and twice a finalist in the ASCAP Morton Gould competition, she has also received recognition from the International Alliance for Women in Music, Austin Peay State University, Chicago Chinese Fine Arts Society, and the Belvedere Chamber Music Festival.
Tonia is currently a Sage Fellow and doctoral student at Cornell University. She received her Master’s degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she also served as an Associate Instructor of Music Theory. At IU, she was awarded the 2011 Georgina Joshi Commission Prize. Tonia earned a Bachelor’s degree with highest distinction from the Eastman School of Music. Her mentors include Steven Stucky, Roberto Sierra, David Dzubay, Claude Baker, Aaron Travers, Robert Morris, and Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon. Tonia is also a devoted pianist and choral singer. She is a proud alumna of the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus, an organization with which she sang and danced hula for eleven years.