Maestro Cooper to Speak April 5


On April 5, 2012, from 12:30-1:15 in Davis Fine Arts Center Auditorium, you have the opportunity to meet Maestro Grant Cooper face-to-face, and hear him talk about connections between “learning” and “education” from his roots in New Zealand to the current programming initiatives at the West Virginia Symphony. 

Maestro Cooper graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Pure Mathematics from his native New Zealand at the University of Auckland.  It was his performing career, however, that took him to many of the major concert halls of the world from Beijing to London.  Maestro Cooper accepted a fellowship from the Queen Elizabeth II Arts Council for study in the United States. This, in turn, led to performances in New York’s Carnegie Hall and at Tanglewood under Arthur Fiedler, where he also performed as principal trumpet under conductors Leonard Bernstein and Sir Neville Marriner, among others.

Maestro Cooper is no stranger to academia, having served as assistant director of Bands at Yale University, a visiting professor at the University of Tulsa, Associate Professor of Music at SUNY Fredonia and Professor of Music at Ithaca College.  He was the recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1990 and received a Hagan Award for Excellence in Creative Activity in 1993.

Before being named as Artistic Director and Conductor of the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra in 2001, Maestro Cooper served as resident conductor of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra in NY. 

A commissioned composer, he is especially passionate about creating works to introduce young audiences to the orchestra, including such works asRumpelstiltzkinfor narrator and orchestra,Goldilocks and the Three Bears,Boyz in the Woodfor coloratura soprano and rap singer, andSong of the Wolfwhich are regularly performed as part of the West Virginia Symphony’s education program.    

This convocation is being jointly sponsored by the College of Arts and Humanities and the College of Professional Studies and is open to the entire University Community.

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