The enchanting cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper has won widespread acclaim for her musical versatility, her virtuosity, her charismatic stage presence and her passionate intensity. She has found great success in numerous forms of media, from her best-selling DVDs and CDs, to television performances and commercials, magazine covers, print fashion ads and even her own magazine column.
Although well-known for traversing musical genres, she first established her career as a classical artist. Hailed by the New York Times as “sensational in concert” and as a “striking virtuoso” by the Los Angeles Times, Kristina has performed as a soloist and chamber musician on many of the world’s most distinguished stages. She has been the featured soloist with such highly regarded orchestras as the Prague Chamber Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony and the Osaka Symphony and has toured extensively with the Tokyo Yomiuri Orchestra.
She is a frequent featured performer at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Jerusalem’s Henry Crown Hall, Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, Seoul Arts Center, Kioi Hall of Tokyo, Beethoven Hall in Stuttgart, Radio France in Paris, Stockholm Concert Hall, and the Fiesole Amphitheater. Her many festival appearances include The Lincoln Center Summer Festival, Mostly Mozart, Musicians from Marlboro, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Stresa International Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and Spoleto Festival USA. Kristina recently performed Tan Dun’s Water Passion at Los Angeles’s Disney Hall to rave reviews, made a solo appearance with the Shanghai Symphony for the World EXPO, and performed as a soloist for the ISCM World Music Day Festivals in Korea and Luxembourg and at Washington DC’s Library of Congress.
Kristina is also well-known for her adventurousness and as an enthusiast of new, popular and contemporary works. She has had many original works written and commissioned specifically for her. Among the innovative compositions that Kristina has premiered are Phillip Glass’s The Sound of a Voice, Roberto Sierra’s Sonata for Cello and Piano, in Europe, Mario Davidovsky’s Cello Concerto, and in the United States, Tigran Mansurian’s Cello Concerto #2. In the summer of 2008, Kristina will premiere, on a nationally broadcast concert, Josef Bardanashvilli’s Double Concerto, composed for her and Giora Feidman, widely known as the “Father of Klezmer,” with the Jerusalem Strings chamber orchestra.
Her newest project is the groundbreaking and thrilling Stone and Steel, a scintillating combination of the ancient and the modern. Scored for cello, piano and percussion, Kristina and her brilliant colleagues take some of the very old
classics - Gregorian chants, songs of the ever-popular Elizabethan composer John Dowland and the haunting aria from Dido and Aeneus, Dido’s Lament, and musically expresses them in a completely fresh and novel way. Stone and Steel will be released on Koch Records in the United States and Linus Records in Canada.
As a chamber musician, Kristina received the Walter M. Naumburg Chamber Music Award first prize. She has been a member of many renowned ensembles, including the internationally acclaimed Quartetto Gelato, Concertante and The Whitman String Quartet, and continues to perform as part of the contemporary music group Continuum, and the popular and eclectic ensemble of three, Intersection, also known as Kristina & Laura. She is also the musical co-director of The Israel Chamber Music Society.
Kristina has an extensive discography of CD and DVD recordings, including many best-sellers. She has released over two dozen recordings for Arabesque, Pony Canyon Records, Helicon Records, Linus Records and CP2, and 5 DVDs for Fuji Records. She was featured in the widely broadcast Quartetto Gelato - A Concert in Wine Country, and recently released a solo recital DVD through Amadeus Press. Kristina has been heard often on National Public Radio, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, NHK in Japan, KBS in Korea, WNYC and WQXR in New York City, as well as in television broadcasts for CNN, PBS, CBC Television, CBS’s 60 Minutes, national Chinese Television, KBS Television in Korea, Fuji Television and NHK Television in Japan.
Kristina received her bachelors and masters degrees in music and her doctorate of musical arts from The Juilliard School where she studied with Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann and Felix Galimir. She is currently a visiting professor at
The Jerusalem Academy of Music, and plays on a 1786 William Forester Cello.
Maestro Constantine Orbelian leads Festival Orchestra Napa and a stellar lineup of soloists in Seasons of Hope, an evening of works featuring stories of courage, sacrifice, and hope. Cellist Kristina Reiko Cooper and vocal ensemble Volti perform Lera Auerbach’s Symphony No. 6, Vessels of Light, a piece dedicated to the extraordinary heroism of Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese diplomat who saved thousands of Jewish refugees during World War II.