Tonia Ko has collaborated with leading soloists and ensembles across a variety of media, from acoustic concert pieces to improvisations and site-specific installations. No matter how traditional or experimental the medium, Ko’s work reveals a core that is whimsical, questioning and lyrical.
Recipient of a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship, Ko has received grants and awards from the PRS Foundation, Fromm and Barlow Foundations, Chamber Music America and American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as residencies at MacDowell and Copland House. She served as the 2015-2017 YCA Composer-in-Residence.
As a bubble-wrap virtuoso, she has performed at Cafe OTO, Hundred Years Gallery and Ear Taxi Festival. She received a 2021 Koussevitzky Commission for Breath, Contained III, a concerto for amplified bubble wrap and chamber orchestra.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Honolulu, Ko earned a DMA from Cornell University, where she studied with Steven Stucky and Kevin Ernste. Her practice was enriched by further studies at Tanglewood Music Center and Fondation Royaumont Académie Voix Nouvelles. She was the 2018-19 Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Chicago’s Center for Contemporary Composition and appointed Lecturer in Composition at Royal Holloway in 2020.