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JUSTIN KOGA

Cellist USA

 

Justin Koga is proud to be Good Man #74 in the international 100 Acts of Male Goodness Project.  

 

Justin, 17, an Irvine High School senior, is an active orchestral, chamber, and solo musician as well as a dedicated advocate of musical education and outreach. Music has been his vehicle which has allowed him to travel interconnected historical, social, entrepreneurial, and philosophical pathways. 

 

As a freshman in high school, Justin was the sole winner of the Pacific Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition and debuted Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Pacific Symphony’s Maestro Alejandro Gutierrez said, “The musicianship and artistry of Justin Koga is more mature than his youth; Elgar’s Concerto is deeply intellectual and emotional. Justin is giving us a wonderful interpretation.” Additional solo highlights have been Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C major at Soka Performing Arts Center, Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata at The Richard Nixon Library, and Guzman’s El Dolor Humano at Pranamar Villas in Costa Rica. 

 

Justin is passionate about musical outreach. Independently, he has taught cello at the Escuela de Musica Cobano and the San Ramon SiNEM music school in Costa Rica for the past three summers. Inspired to do more for his eager and dedicated Escuela students, Justin recently rallied his local community of amateur and professional musicians--including renowned violinist Michelle Kim--to perform in a series of benefit concerts and raised $40,000 in donations and sponsorships. These funds were used to purchase much needed violins, violas, cellos, a double bass, and hundreds of musical supplies for the Costa Rican youths. These experiences have ignited his interest in pursuing music as a catalyst for social change. 

 

Currently, Justin is fundraising director of Laszlo, Justin & Friends, a chamber concert series which he co-launched with his cello teacher Professor Laszlo Mezo last year. Their popular concert 4CELLOS, originally sponsored by the Rolls Royce Motorcars-OC, will make an encore performance next March 2016 at The Black Box Theatre in the Studio at Sage Hill. 

 

In college, he will continue his exploration of music, philosophy, and entrepreneurship.

 

Justin believes in the transformative powers of music. It has changed his life. “When one's goal is to share their love of music with others, there is room for the whole world to participate in its dialogue. It has changed my life from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Music has shown me how to look beyond myself and see the awesome beauty and limitless potential in others and the world around me.”  

 

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