Piano

Imogen Cooper

© Sim Canetty-Clarke

Introduction

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 and Sir Simon Rattle, Sydney Symphony with Simone Young and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Thomas Dausgaard.

Imogen has a widespread international career and has appeared with the New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Royal Concertgebouw, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Budapest Festival, NHK and London Symphony Orchestras. Her recital appearances have included Tokyo, New York, Singapore, Paris, Vienna, Prague and the Schubertiade in Schwarzenberg.

Imogen 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.

Imogen 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. Imogen was the Humanitas Visiting Professor in Classical Music and Music Education at the University of Oxford for 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.


Contact


Video & Audio

Performance Schedule

  • 19:30 19 Oct 2017 Holywell Music Room, OXFORD More info  

    SCHUMANN Märzveichen (Hans Christian Andersen Lieder Op 40)
    SCHUMANN Muttertraum (Hans Christian Andersen Lieder Op 40)
    SCHUMANN Der Soldat (Hans Christian Andersen Lieder Op 40)
    SCHUMANN Der Spielmann (Hans Christian Andersen Lieder Op 40)

    SCHUMANN Eichendorff Liederkreis Op 39

    – INTERVAL –

    FAURE Mandoline (Melodies de Venise)
    FAURE En Sourdine (Melodies de Venise)

    HAHN Chanson d’ Automne (Chanson Grises)
    HAHN Tous deux (Chanson Grises)
    HAHN L’Allée est sans fin (Chanson Grises)
    HAHN En Sourdine (Chanson Grises)
    HAHN L’Heure exquise (Chanson Grises)

    FAURE La Bonne Chanson

    Tenor: Mark Padmore

  • 15:00 05 Nov 2017 Perth Concert Hall Scotland, PERTH More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles op 33
    HAYDN Sonata in c minor Hob. XVI/20
    -Interval-
    BEETHOVEN Variations on La Stessa La Stessissima
    THOMAS ADES Darknesse Visible
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in Ab major op 110

  • 20:15 07 Nov 2017 Concertgebouw Amsterdam, AMSTERDAM More info  

    SCHUMANN Zwölf Gedichte (Kerner), op.35 (1840)
    – INTERVAL –
    FAURÉ Mandoline (uit ‘Cinq melodies ‘de Venise”; 1891)
    FAURÉ En sourdine (uit ‘Cinq melodies ‘de Venise”; 1891)
    HAHN Chanson d’automne, nr. 1 (uit ‘Chansons grises’; 1887-1890)
    HAHN Tous d’eux, nr. 2 (uit ‘Chansons grises’; 1887-1890)
    HAHN L’allee est sans fins, nr. 3 (uit ‘Chansons grises’; 1887-1890)
    HAHN En sourdine, nr. 4 (uit ‘Chansons grises’; 1887-1890)
    HAHN L’heure exquise, nr. 5 (uit ‘Chansons grises’; 1887-1890)
    FAURÉ La bonne chanson, op.61 (1892-94)

    Tenor: Mark Padmore

  • 19:30 11 Nov 2017 University College School Hampstead, HAMPSTEAD More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles Op. 33
    HAYDN Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI/20
    -Interval-
    BEETHOVEN Variations on ‘La Stessa, la stessissima’
    THOMAS ADES ‘Darknesse Visible’
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in A-flat major Op. 110

  • 19:30 13 Nov 2017 Assembly Rooms Bath, BATH More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles Op. 33
    HAYDN Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI/20
    – INTERVAL – –
    BEETHOVEN Variations on ‘La Stessa, la stessissima’
    SCHUBERT Klavierstück No. 2 D946 in E-flat major
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in A-flat major Op. 110

  • 19:30 17 Nov 2017 Stapleford Granary, STAPLEFORD More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles Op. 33
    HAYDN Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI/20
    -Interval-
    BEETHOVEN Variations on ‘La Stessa, la stessissima’
    THOMAS ADES ‘Darknesse Visible’
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in A-flat major Op. 110

  • 19:30 18 Nov 2017 John Innes Centre, NORWICH More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles Op. 33
    HAYDN Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI/20
    -Interval-
    BEETHOVEN Variations on ‘La Stessa, la stessissima’
    THOMAS ADES ‘Darknesse Visible’
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in A-flat major Op. 110

  • 19:00 24 Nov 2017 Reform Club, LONDON More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles Op. 33
    HAYDN Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI/20
    BEETHOVEN Variations on ‘La Stessa, la stessissima’
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in A-flat major Op. 110

  • 16:30 26 Nov 2017 Westminster Cathedral Hall, LONDON More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles op 33
    HAYDN Sonata in c minor Hob. XVI/20
    – INTERVAL –
    CHOPIN Ballade in F minor Op 52
    THOMAS ADES Darknesse Visible
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in Ab major op 110

  • 20:00 28 Nov 2017 Turner Sims Concert Hall, SOUTHAMPTON More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles Op. 33
    HAYDN Sonata in C minor Hob. XVI/20
    -Interval-
    BEETHOVEN Variations on ‘La Stessa, la stessissima’
    THOMAS ADES ‘Darknesse Visible’
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in A-flat major Op. 110

  • 19:15 30 Nov 2017 Howard Assembly Room, LEEDS More info  

    BEETHOVEN Bagatelles op 33
    HAYDN Sonata in c minor Hob. XVI/20
    – INTERVAL –
    BEETHOVEN Variations on La Stessa La Stessissima
    THOMAS ADES Darknesse Visible
    BEETHOVEN Sonata in Ab major op 110

Online Performances

 

Discography

  • 18 Aug 17 BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 2 Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Simone Young
    More info  

    “Cooper is known for her poetic interpretations of Schubert… and she brought that poetry, along with elegance and plenty of heft when needed, to her performance of Beethoven’s second piano concerto.”
    Steve Moffatt, Daily Telegraph, 21 August 2017

  • 03 Jun 17 MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 K. 503 Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle
    More info  

    “Cooper’s fine understanding of sound is characterised by brilliance and precision.”
    Berliner Morgenpost, 3 June 2017

  • 01 May 17 Liszt & Wagner CD release
    More info  

    “Cooper’s keyboard mastery is as searching as the music itself: the whirling bravura of the Deuxième valse oubliée and Bagatelle sans tonalité has their harmonic world sounding astonishingly forward-looking. Her way of balancing chords mesmerises the ear – both in the consonant close of Sposalizio (whose poised opening is exquisitely delivered) and the strangely dissonant final bars of Il penseroso. This is altogether exceptional music making” ★★★★★
    Malcolm Hayes, BBC Music Magazine, May 2017

  • 25 Apr 17 BACH Week Festival review
    More info  

    Music of the Baroque
    Conductor: Jane Glover
    MOZART Piano Concerto No. 25 in C major K503

    “Cooper has long been one of the world’s most eloquent and stylish Mozarteans, like her teacher, Alfred Brendel. Yet her approach to the C major concerto was very much her own — forthright in formal outline, firm yet elegant in tone, crystalline in articulation and chordal voicing, sensitive to the subtlest inflections of rubato, color and dynamics. Cooper and Glover’s shared sensibility worked entirely to the benefit of this most grandly symphonic of Mozart’s final keyboard concertos.”
    John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune, 25 April 2017

  • 17 Jun 16 CHOPIN CD Release
    More info  

    “In the quieter lyrical passages [Polonaise-fantaisie] she finds a rare poignancy that I find most affecting – and indeed it is this element that is a constant feature of Cooper’s playing. She has always been rightly lauded for her luminous, rich tone and it is deployed telling in Op 61 and the two late Nocturnes which follow.”
    Jeremy Nicholas, Gramophone

    ★★★★★ “Atmospheres are intense, intimate, turbulent and dreamlike by turns; and Cooper injects every note with strength of personality”
    Jessica Duchen, BBC Music Magazine (Instrumental Choice), September 2016

  • 08 May 16
    The Frick Collection, New York
    More info  

    “After intermission came Schubert’s Sonata in B flat (D. 960), a broadly paced, tightly structured work. Still, it has within it many fleeting gestures similar to Schumann’s: notably, those seemingly heaven-sent incursions of lyricism in the Andante sostenuto. After the wonderful first two movements, the third and fourth can, in the wrong hands, sound empty and rattling by comparison. Ms. Cooper sustained attention admirably, adding rhythmic interest with subtle touches of rubato … Many performances of this sonata prove memorable for the beauty of individual moments. This one stood out in making the work a satisfying whole.”
    James R. Oestreich, The New York Times, 10 May 2016

  • 23 Sep 15 ROBERT SCHUMANN CD release
    More info  

    “… for many years now, Imogen Cooper has reaped glowing reviews and the profound admiration of her colleagues, but have we, as a nation, really awakened to the fact that we have here not only a very distinguished but a truly great pianist? Why is she not ‘damed’? A CBE is not sufficient honour. True, she’s a woman, and woman pianists are still short-changed, but greatness, human or musical, transcends gender. Pianistically alone, Cooper commands a dynamic and colouristic range beyond most pianists. She understands that musical, like verbal, speech acquires eloquence and continuity though the close, asymmetrical juxtapositions of extreme but varied contrasts – as in any polysyllabic word. Nowhere is this truer than in Schumann…” ★★★★★
    BBC Music Magazine (Instrumental Choice), November 2015

    “Every musical twist and emotional turn is negotiated with deftness and insight, and the (Snape Maltings) recording is of demonstration quality.” ★★★★★
    Classical Music Magazine, October 2015

    ” … Cooper remains one of the sovereign pianists:
    everything she touches exudes integrity, the highest understanding coupled with a melting beauty of sound. Witness the superb articulation within a perfectly
    Schumannesque  soundworld of the opening
    F-sharp minor Novelette, and the amazing sense of rightness … ”
    International Piano Magazine (International Piano Choice) Nov/Dec 15

    “This is the third of Imogen Cooper’s discs centred around Schumann for Chandos and the first wholly devoted to Robert. It’s a fascinatingly programmed affair, taking us from his youthful Abegg Variations right to the end of his life and the Geistervariationen … Everything Cooper does speaks of long acquaintance and real empathy. She opens with the extended Eighth Novellette, which is full of tenderness, passion and humour and never sounds overbearing in the louder passages.”
    Harriet Smith, Gramophone, October 2015

    ” … this new discographic landmark takes its place among the most balanced of Schumann’s Keyboard works.”
    Michel Le Naour, p109 Classica Magazine, December 2015

  • 18 May 15 With Adrian Brendel and Henning Kraggerud
    More info  

    “The performance was characterised by moments of great delicacy and tenderness in which the music spoke for itself. The Scherzo was a frivolous, lighthearted affair in which the musicians seemed to be having fun, with its plaintive trio providing a delicate contrast. Kragarrud started off the Rondo in fine style with Imogen Cooper taking over from him, her fingers scurrying up and down the keyboard. This was a fast, ebullient movement with melody after melody pouring forth and tremendous rapport between the three players.”
    Seen & Heard International, 20 May 2015

  • 07 May 15 Seattle Symphony
    More info  

    “Cooper herself is an exemplary example of how Mozart is best played today, discerning and expressing every nuance without overdoing it, portraying emotion with restraint, and introspection lightly carried though clearly present. The lighthearted charm of the first and last movements of No. 17 were contrasted with that restraint and introspection in the slow movement, where the orchestra gave light accompaniment to the outward serenity combined with inner depth of Cooper’s playing.”
    Philippa Kiraly, The Seattle Times, 8 May 2015 

  • 06 Jan 15 ROBERT & CLARA SCHUMANN CD Release
    More info  

    “This disc contains some very distinguished Schumann playing…the understanding, individuality and poetic refinement in Cooper’s playing, and the inclusion of piano music by the composer’s wife is a fascinating broadening of our listening experience.”
    International Record Review, Jan 2015

    “Cooper asserts her stylistic credentials right at the start of the disc in Robert’s Humoreske, playing with a warm, golden tone … Cooper’s articulation is clearly defined but also effectively varied in touch and colour; her phrasing in the more meditative music is mellifluous, a quality that beautifully spills over into the F sharp major Romanze.”
    Geoffrey Norris, Saturday Telegraph 14 February 2015

    “In madcap structure, imagination, ambition and sheer wealth of ideas, Schumann’s Humoresque and Sonata No Op 11 are among his most fascinating works … Cooper allows them to cohere naturally through the sheer élan with which she imbues them.  Fresh and inspiring … a rich, empathetic and beautifully calibrated recital.” ★★★★
    BBC Music Magazine, March 2015

  • 19 Aug 14 SCHUBERT Sonata in B flat D960
    City Recital Hall, Sydney
    More info  

    “The development section darkened in mood, and, for a moment becomes obstinately focused on a repeated chord before being released for the return of the opening. Cooper brought a lifetime of experience to its expansive architecture.”
    Sydney Morning Herald

  • 05 May 14 MOZART Piano Concerto No. 22 London Symphony Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder
    More info  

    “The final breath of fresh air came not from Strauss but Mozart, with Imogen Cooper’s performance of E flat piano concerto K482. This can be a staid work, but here it was a marvel of charm, wit and restraint. I can’t think when I’ve heard it better played.”
    The Guardian 5 May 2014

  • 27 Apr 14 BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No. 1 Cleveland Orchestra / Jane Glover
    More info  

    “Imogen Cooper did not make a misstep in her performance, which ranged from the most subtle musical voicing of phrases to thunderous passages. The lengthy first movement cadenza was especially brilliant in its enunciation of Beethoven’s harmonic ideas combined with virtuoso pianism. In this performance, Ms. Cooper and Ms. Glover certainly espoused the concept of Beethoven as emerging Romantic, but not quite having left the Classical era behind.”
    Bachtrack 27 April 2014

Repertoire

BARTOK Concerto No. 3

BEETHOVEN
Concerto No. 1 in C major Op. 15
Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major Op. 19
Concerto No. 3 in C minor Op. 37
Concerto No. 4 in G major Op 58
Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major Op. 73
Chorale Fantasy in C minor Op. 80

CHOPIN
Concerto No. 1 in E minor
Concerto No. 2 in F minor

HAYDN Concerto in D major

MOZART
Concerto No. 5 in D major K. 175
Concerto No. 9 in E-flat major K. 271
Concerto No. 12 in A major K. 414
Concerto No. 13 in C major K. 415
Concerto No. 14 in E-flat major K. 449
Concerto No. 15 in B-flat major K. 450
Concerto No. 16 in D major K. 451
Concerto No. 17 in G major K. 453
Concerto No. 18 in B-flat major K. 456
Concerto No. 19 in F major K. 459
Concerto No. 20 in D minor K. 466
Concerto No. 21 in C major K. 467
Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major K. 482
Concerto No. 23 in A major K. 488
Concerto No. 24 in C minor K. 491
Concerto No. 25 in C major K. 503
Concerto No. 26 in D major K. 537
Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major K. 595
Concerto No. 10 in E-flat major for 2 pianos K. 365
Concerto No. 7 in F major (2 piano version) K. 242
Rondo in A major K. 386

POULENC Concerto

RAVEL Concerto in G major

SCHUMANN
Concerto in A minor Op. 54
Introduction and Allegro appassionato Op. 92

Chandos

Imogen has recorded five discs with Chandos Records, the most recent was released in March 2017.

LISZT
Piano Transcriptions:
Deuxième Valse oubliée, S 215/2
Gretchen, S 513
Four Pieces from ‘Années de Pèlerinage, Deuxième Année: Italie’, S 161
Niages gris, S 199
La lugubre gondola I, S 200/1
Bagatelle sans tonalité, S 216a
WAGNER
Elegie, WWV 93
Einleitung zu ‘Tristan und Isolde’, WWV 90
Isoldens Liebestod aus ‘Tristan und Isolde’, S 447

Previous recordings feature works by Robert and Clara Schumann, Brahms and Chopin.

Music Trust

Imogen Cooper has established a Trust whose aim will be to enable young pianists to work with her in the countryside in peace and quiet.  She believes passionately that music lives longer in the ear and the spirit if unviolated over a period of time by extraneous noises, and that a deeper level of discovery becomes possible; she has experienced this many times and it is unforgettable.

Imogen would like to give back to a younger generation the generosity of time that Alfred Brendel and others gave to her. To date, Pavel Kolesnikov, Lara Melda, Mishka Momen, Samson Tsoy and Alexandra Vaduva have all been scholarship holders.

For more information please contact imogencoopermusictrust@gmail.com.

Interview here.

Brochure on the Trust here.