Professor Kim Cook of Penn State's School of Music led the Penn State Cello Choir in a performance Friday (Jan. 23) at the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel as the featured guest the Penn State Forum. Cook, who also spoke to the audience about her work, is the inaugural Penn State Laureate.
Cook and the Penn State Cello Choir performed such memorable tunes as: "Pine Cone Rag," by Martha Mier; "Fragments," by George Gershwin; "Hail to the Lion," by James A. Leyden '14; "Mellow Cello Tango," by Michael Kibbe; "Bile Them Cabbage Down," a traditional American folk song; and the Penn State Alma Mater, words by Fred Lewis Pattee and music by C.C. Converse.
Cook came to Penn State in 1991 and since then has represented the University in more than 20 different countries.
Hailed as "the superb American cellist" (Die Rheinpfalz, Frankfurt), Cook has been acclaimed for her "truly glorious tone" (Musical Opinion, London), "ravishing colors and textures" (New York Concert Review, Carnegie Hall), and "keen awareness of line and style" (The Strad). Cook has performed as a soloist in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Russia, China, Israel, Jordan, Latin America and throughout the United States. She has toured extensively as an International Artistic Ambassador for the U.S. State Department, presenting concerts and master classes throughout the world. Television and radio broadcasts of Cook's performances have been heard in Brazil, China and the United States. She has recorded concertos by Dvorak and Haydn as well as the solo sonatas of Kodaly, Crumb, and Hindemith.
A graduate of Yale and the University of Illinois, Cook studied with Gabriel Magyar, Aldo Parisot, Alan Harris, and Janos Starker. She was principal cellist of the Sao Paulo Symphony under the direction of Eleazar de Carvalho, and taught at New Mexico State. On Friday (Jan. 23) she played for members of the Penn State community and the University's Board of Trustees.
At the conclusion of the performance by Cook and the Cello Choir, Penn State President Graham Spanier took the stage with his washboard to play with the choir.