Bill Ko & James Willshire
Chapel Arts

Bill Ko & James Willshire

This Event Takes Place @ Chapel Arts, Cheltenham (Chapel Arts, Knapp Road (Near St. James Square), Cheltenham. GL50 3QQ)

Bill Ko won the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2019 competition at the age of 15, and this raised his profile in the UK quickly through performances as part of the Cheltenham Music Festival, including one at Stowell Park promoted and attended by the late Lord Vestey, who served as Master of the Horse to Queen Elizabeth II. Bill’s year as Gloucestershire Young Musician culminated in him performing the Walton Viola Concerto with the Gloucestershire Symphony Orchestra under Glyn Oxley in November 2019, and this included media coverage from BBC Radio Gloucestershire. Following this, he has been booked for a performance of the Walton in the Shen Zhen Concert Hall in China.

Bill has achieved his LTCL diploma in violin from Trinity College and is currently preparing for his FTCL recital in viola. He currently studies in the Sixth Form at Cheltenham College and he often performs with the Cheltenham College Senior String Quartet, Senior Piano Quintet, and the College Symphony Orchestra. He is very active in other school activities: he composed and played the music for a house play at Cheltenham College and is currently discovering his new interest in composition. On top of all this, Bill has recently been appointed Head of School.

Bill Ko is a graduate of the Hong Kong Academy of Performance and Arts Junior Music Programme and is currently under the tuition of Louise Lansdown, the Head of Strings at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Recently, Bill was accepted into the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the City of Birmingham City Youth Orchestra, where he leads the viola section In addition, Bill Ko is also an international musician who has participated in many different music festivals around the world, including: the Ameropa International Chamber Music Festival in Prague, Burgos International Music Festival in Spain, Master Player Festival in the USA, and Schlern International Music Festival in Italy. He has studied with many maestros across the world such as Vadim Mazo, Cindy Chen, and Born Lau, to name a few.

After winning the Gloucestershire Young Musician of the Year 2019, Bill felt that the experience was very rewarding and that he has grown from an ‘unmatured potato’ to a ‘freshly-baked potato with butter and cheese’. Bill is now in great demand as a soloist and he is looking forward to future opportunities after a quieter year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Accompanying Bill is pianist James Willshire. Heralded for performances of “spectacular musicianship and technical brilliance” (The Scotsman), “evangelizing urgency” (International Record Review) and “freshness and lucidity” (The Herald Scotland), James Willshire has been praised for the virtuosity and intelligence of his pianism. He has appeared as soloist at the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican, Bridgewater Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Purcell Room, Palau de la Musica (Petit Palau), Glasgow City Halls, Queens Hall Edinburgh, Perth Concert Hall, St George’s Bristol, Caird Hall and the Fairfield Halls. 




  1. S Bach
    Suite no.4 in E flat for Solo Cello BWV 1010 (arr viola)
  2. Hindemith
    Sonata for Viola and Piano (1939)

B. Britten
Lachrymae: Reflections on a song of Dowland op.48

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