Raymond M. Cho, Founder & Emeritus Conductor
The 44 years legacy behind the
today’s of the Los Angeles Korean Philharmonic Orchestra(LAKPO) comes from its
founder and director, Raymond M. Cho. Maestro Cho, a flutist by training,
received his early musical education in his native country, Seoul, South Korea.
As a young man, he was a flutist for the Korean Army Symphony Orchestra. He received both his Bachelor and Master’s
Degrees at the California Institute of the Arts. Maestro Cho has taught at the Sherman School
of Music as well as in the Compton High School District. He served as the dean of the Eubanks
Conservatory of the Music and Arts in Los Angeles.
LAKPO was established in 1969 and
incorporated in 1993 under the leadership of Maestro Raymond M. Cho. Since its inception, LAKPO has presented two
to four concerts per year ranging from Asian Folk Music to Western Classical
Music including fully staged opera productions.
LAKPO has performed regularly at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in the heart
of Los Angeles, but has also performed in churches and other venues across Los
Angeles and Orange Counties.
He has presented over 110 concerts
featuring some world renowned soloists such as pianist, Ju Hee Suh and
violinist, Dong Suk Kang, and choirs from Korea and from our local
communities. LAKPO has been invited to
perform at functions such as the Inaugural Korean Festival in San Diego, the
Annual Korean Festival in Los Angeles and the Easter Sunrise Service at the
Hollywood Bowl. LAKPO has presented
innovative concerts such as the “Friendship Concert” which was a joint effort
between the Korean-American and African-American communities in the wake of
cultural turmoil and civil unrest in Los Angeles during the riots, featuring
soloists representing both communities performing music of their respective cultures
accompanied by LAKPO and an 80-member combined choir from both
communities. He was recognized by the
government of the Republic of South Korea for his outstanding contribution to
the Korean-American community in Southern California
Abroad, he has performed in
goodwill concerts throughout Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Formosa, the
Philippines, Okinawa and Vietnam. In
1985 and again in 1989, he was invited to China to conduct the Shanghai
Symphony Orchestra and was appointed the permanent guest conductor of the Shen
Zhen Symphony Orchestra.
The venues include such well-known
concert halls, Freud Playhouse, the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts and
the Spreckels Organ Pavilion at Balboa Park in San Diego. He has also performed on television and radio
several times throughout his career.
His awards include the prestigious
“Prix de Martell,” as the very first Asian conductor, among other recipients
including the notables, Sir George Solti and Zubin Mehta.