Imogen Cooper

solo piano

May 10, 2020, 4 PM

Music Room

A distinguished British pianist recognized as much for her poetic sensibility as her dazzling technique, Imogen Cooper closes the 2019/20 season with a program that balances the miniature with the mighty. Ludwig van Beethoven’s fleeting, aphoristic character pieces, the 11 Bagatelles, Op. 119 are stylistically contrasted by the taut, concentrated free-tonality of Arnold Schönberg’s Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19 from 1911. Cooper also performs Franz Schubert’s deeply intimate 12 German Dances, D. 790, and Joseph Haydn’s Sonata in C Major, Hob XVI:50, a work full of humorous harmonic turns. To close the program, Cooper turns to Schubert’s Piano Sonata No. 18 in G Major, D. 894, regarded by Robert Schumann as “the most perfect in form and conception” of all of the composer’s piano sonatas.

PROGRAM:

LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Bagatelles Op. 119

ARNOLD SCHÖNBERG (1874-1951)
Sechs kleine Klavierstücke, Op. 19

JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)
Piano Sonata in C Major, Hob. XVI:50

INTERMISSION

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
12 Ländler, D. 790

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1797-1828)
Piano Sonata in G Major, D. 894, Op. 78

Regarded as one of the finest interpreters of Classical and Romantic repertoire, Imogen Cooper is internationally renowned for her virtuosity and lyricism. Recent and future concerto performances include the Berliner Philharmoniker with Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard, and the Aurora Orchestra with Nicholas Collon, the latter including performances in London and at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Cooper has a widespread international career and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, NHK and London Symphony Orchestras. Recent and future recital appearances include London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, New York, Philadelphia, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Prague, and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg.

As a supporter of new music, Cooper has premiered two works at the Cheltenham International Festival; Traced Overhead by Thomas Adès (1996) and Decorated Skin by Deirdre Gribbin (2003). In 1996, she also collaborated with members of the Berliner Philharmoniker in the premiere of the quintet, Voices for Angels.

Cooper is a committed chamber musician and performs regularly with Henning Kraggerud and Adrian Brendel. As a Lieder recitalist, she has had a long collaboration with Wolfgang Holzmair in both the concert hall and recording studio. Her recent solo recordings for Chandos Records feature music by Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Wagner, and Robert and Clara Schumann.

Cooper received a CBE in the Queen’s New Year Honours in 2007 and was the recipient of an award from the Royal Philharmonic Society the following year. In 1997 she was awarded Honorary Membership of the Royal Academy of Music, and in 1999 she was made a Doctor of Music at Exeter University. Cooper was the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Classical Music and Music Education at the University of Oxford from 2012-13. The Imogen Cooper Music Trust was founded in 2015, to support young pianists at the cusp of their careers and give them time in an environment of peace and beauty.