Albanian violinist Gent Koço was born in Tirana in 1981 into a musical family. His mother Raimonda began teaching him the violin aged 7 and in 1991, at the age of 10 Gent moved to England where he continued his studies at both Wells Cathedral School and Chetham’s School of Music under Catherine Lord and Wen Zhou Li. Gent was then awarded a scholarship to study with Itzhak Rashkovsky at the Royal College of Music, London, graduating in 2003.
Gent currently lives in Glasgow where he has been a member of the 1st violins in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) since 2007. The BBC SSO enjoys regular international tours throughout Europe and Asia performing in some of the world’s most renowned concert halls and festivals.
Gent maintains a prominent solo career in both his native Albania and the UK and has performed a number of major orchestral works in the solo violin repertoire including concertos by Mozart, Prokofiev, Bruch and Paganini as well as works by Sarasate, Tchaikovsky, Wienavski and Ravel. A recent highlight was a performance with the Albanian Radio and Television Orchestra in April 2018 to celebrate the 75th birthday of conductor Eno Koço in which Gent performed Ravel’s Tzigane, Nassi’s Four Albanian Dances as well as having the opportunity to collaborate with his sister, soprano Teuta Koço. Gent is also an avid chamber musician performing regularly throughout Scotland with the Korça Ensemble.
Championing Albanian music, Gent has premiered violin works by numerous composers including Thoma Nassi, Vasil Tole, Pjeter Gaci and Thoma Simaku as well as interpreting a number of Albanian Urban Lyric Songs from the 1930s on the violin. Gent has a passion for restoring historic recordings and, has worked with Albanian musicians to digitally remaster a number of works recorded in Albania during the communist regime including an album by notable tenor Gaqo Cako . These include many ‘banned’ works by western composers which had been hastily recorded in secrecy by prominent musicians of the time.
Gent is a lecturer in violin at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the Junior Department.
Gent plays on an 1829 violin by French luthier, Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume.
Gent performs Paganini's 4th Violin Concerto with the Albanian Radio and Television Orchestra in 2016