Described by the Los Angeles Times as “a brilliant virtuoso, playing with the perfect combination of energy and eloquence,” internationally acclaimed viola recitalist and soloist Roland Kato has been a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra since 1978 with Sir Neville Marriner. He was appointed principal viola by lona Brown in 1987. He has also held the principal position in many orchestras, including the LA Opera orchestra, the Pasadena Symphony, the California Chamber Symphony and the Pasadena Chamber Orchestra.
A sought-after chamber musician, Roland participates in many chamber series in Los Angeles. He was invited to appear as a guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and has also performed with the New York New Music Ensemble. He was honored to join Yo-Yo Ma in a chamber music concert benefiting cancer research.
Roland has appeared as soloist/recitalist on both viola and viola d’amore throughout the United States and abroad for LACO. In November 2002, Roland and LACO concertmaster Margaret Batjer performed the West Coast premiere of Benjamin Britten’s Double Concerto in B minor for Violin and Viola. His festival appearances in the include the Grand Canyon Chamber Music, Sitka (Alaska) Summer Music, Oregon Bach and Carmel Bach festivals; the Festival Casals in Puerto Rico and the Festival Internacional de Música in Costa Rica.
Roland produced the first-ever recording of Telemann’s Quatrième livre de quatuors, a collection of six chamber pieces performed by the period instrument ensemble American Baroque, on the Koch Classics International label. This Grammy-nominated recording has been re-released on the Music and Arts label.
Roland’s arrangements and transcriptions have been performed worldwide. His transcription of Prokofiev’s Music For Children was recently given its New York premiere, and his arrangement of Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite was premiered at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC by the New Hampshire-based Apple Hill Chamber Players.