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Jazz Monthly Feature Story
Kristina Reiko Cooper

Kristina Reiko CooperThe Los Angeles Times calls her a “striking virtuoso”. The New York Times hails her as “sensational in concert”. Passionately intense, enchanting, adventurous and one whose music offers a “scintillating combination of the ancient and modern”, these are all words to describe KRISTINA REIKO COOPER. A gifted cellist, she has performed as a soloist and chamber musician on many of the worlds’ most distinguished stages including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Suntory Hall of Tokyo and also in Paris, and Prague.

Known for her charismatic stage presence and musical versatility, Ms. Cooper has been receiving rave reviews and critical acclaim for her most recent CD. STONE and STEEL is scored for cello, piano and percussion and was recently released by Koch Records in the United States and Linus Records in Canada.

A resident of New York City and Tel Aviv, KRISTINA REIKO COOPER considers herself an urban, contemporary woman, living most of her life in big cities with glass and steel structures. Yet she plays music that often has ancient origins on her favorite 1786 William Forester cello. STONE AND STEEL is a project that is very close to her heart. “I was inspired to begin this project by living for the last couple of years in Israel, where one is constantly reminded of the weight and beauty of thousands of years of history, starkly juxtaposed with the incredible modernity of the country.  Or course, it also served as an excuse to work with some of my very favorite musicians and composers in the whole world.  We all wanted to create something utterly unique and yet familiar enough to capture the listener.” Re-working some of the very old classics-including Gregorian chants, songs of the ever-popular Elizabethan composer John Dowland and the haunting aria from Dido and Aeneus, Dido's Lament, STONE AND STEEL musically expresses them in a completely fresh and novel way, with hints of classical, jazz, electronica and many genres in between.”


KRISTINA received her bachelors and masters degrees in music and her doctorate in musical arts from The Julliard School where she studied with Joel Krosnick, Robert Mann and Felix Galimir. She first established her career as a classical artist. However, she has become known for her virtuosity and her enthusiasm for new, popular and contemporary works as well. Venturing into the jazz genre, she combines many elements of other genres to create haunting, ground-braking music in STONE AND STEEL.

COOPER recently completed a festival in Columbia, South America where she performed up to three concerts a day for ten days. In March, she looks forward to the European release of STONE AND STEEL. From March until June, she will be appearing in concerts in Jerusalem Tel Aviv, Japan and Canada.

 

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