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
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.