Felix Ko


Photos by Matt Dine

What is your earliest memory of classical music?

The garbage trucks in Taiwan always do street cleaning with the music of Beethoven’s Für Elise.

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career?

Back in my senior year in college, I went to a Gewandhausorchester concert with Maestro Herbert Blomstedt. They gave the best performance of  Schubert’s Ninth Symphony that I’ve ever heard. Starting from then, I wished I could become one of them one day, and I turned to music after my graduation.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century?

This is a tricky one. I believe concerts in the 21st Century should not be restricted in any form. They should be more accessible and entertaining, such as outdoor concerts, crossovers with other fields of art, dining and dancing during performances, and of course traditional types of concerts.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Will Hudgins, my studio teacher at NEC, always encourages me to challenge myself. He is one of the kindest musicians I have ever met and takes good care of all his students.

Which composer or genre of music do you feel you connect with the most?


What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it?

Mallet Quartet by Steve Reich. It is always a challenge and torture to perform, but the purity and simplicity make it such a beautiful and inspiring piece.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician?

When some audience members told me they liked the performance after a concert, it encouraged me a lot and gave me the biggest energy to keep going on.

Favorite non-classical musician or band

Sunset Rollercoaster, an indie music group from Taiwan

If you could play another instrument, what would it be?

French Horn

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing?

Probably an engineer making chips for Apple

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us

I was not majoring in music at college and I never thought of becoming a musician until I worked as a laboratory assistant. I realized being an engineer would not be my lifelong pursuit. I then took my first orchestral private lesson only six months before my audition at NEC. Then I came to the U.S., and eventually I was accepted into TŌN. Everything in music is new to me and I wish I could’ve started doing this earlier!