Classical improvisations : George Ko

Sep 14, 2023 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
skylight gallery

Salmagundi Program Committee

Open to the public
Eventbrite RSVP required
$30 | General admission
15% off | Salmagundi members with promo code
The promo code will be sent in an email to all members, and can also be requested by contacting

About the Event

Come enjoy an evening of mystical-musical wonder as Young Steinway Artist George Ko plays a completely improvised setlist at NYC’s Salmagundi Club. George will be playing his originals and spontaneous covers ranging from Classical to jazz, hip-hop, anime, and film music. You will also have the unique opportunity to create and request a song during the show.

George will be playing music from Studio Ghibli, Disney, and John Mayer. Towards the end of the program, George will ask the audience for requests, and you will have the unique opportunity to hear your choice of any song, movie music, musical, anime, or even a story/mood to be improvised in real-time.

About the Performer

George Ko from the knees up in a velvet suit, leaning against a piano.Heralded by Steinway & Sons for “making classical music exciting and accessible for the masses,” pianist George Ko has encapsulated audiences worldwide with his classical improvisations on the piano, blending Chopin-like virtuosity with the vast soundscapes of cinema. He has been presented at Carnegie Hall nine times and is a repeat keynote performer for TEDx.

George is engaged in a 20-city tour and has given over 200 digital concerts in the past two years. His performances have been broadcasted on ABC and featured in music festivals in Italy, Germany, Luxembourg, and China. As a recording artist, his piano compositions have appeared in films at the Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, and Netflix. You can hear George’s piano on records by The Black Keys, Foster the People, 24kGoldn, and Handsome Boy Modeling School.

George improvises all the songs at his concerts, a practice almost non-existent in the traditional classical world. Each original or cover performed is never the same in a live performance. He often takes daring requests from the audience, including their Spotify favorites, to a custom song inspired by their current mood in real-time.

Currently, George resides in Los Angeles, California. His music is distributed independently on all streaming platforms. George is also a member of the Society of Composers and Lyricists and ASCAP. While not playing the piano, you can find George walking around taking photos of food just before devouring it. He is an avid coffee pour-over enthusiast and collector of Asian American art. French and Japanese boutique Maison Kitsuné outfits George for all his concert wear. George is represented by Polyphony Arts in Europe. George is a Young Steinway Artist.

First Set

  1. “Avatar”
  2. “Nomad in the Sky”
  3. “Dance of the Fire God”
  4. “Space Cowboy”
  5. “Gravity”, by John Mayer
  6. “Blackbird”, by The Beatles
  7. “Reflection”, from Mulan
  8. “Impromptu for No One”
  9. “Goddess of The Night,” a new song
  10. “Inspired”

Second Set

  1. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
  2. “Pure Imagination”
  3. Music from La La Land
  4. “A Town with an Ocean View”, from Kiki’s Delivery Service
  5. “Merry Go Round of Life”, from Howl’s Moving Castle
  6. “Green Tea Farm”, by Hiromi
  7. “One Summer’s Day”, from Spirited Away
  8. Requests
  9. Improvised Variations on a Theme of Paganini


Salmagundi members are welcome to have dinner beforehand in our dining room. Dining reservations can be made via our Reservations page.

George Ko, a man with glasses in a suit, peacefully plays the piano, his ear leaning toward the keys.
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