Deirdre Cooper – Cello

Deirdre spent the first years of her life in Edinburgh while her mother was a member of the Edinburgh Quartet. It was after emigrating to the United States that she started having cello lessons and extensive chamber music coaching with Colin Hampton, cellist of the Grillar String Quartet and as a student in New York, she studied with both Bernard Greenhouse of the Beaux Arts Trio and Zara Nelsova. During this time as a student, she won a full scholarship to Aspen International Summer Music Festival and participated in Pierre Fournier’s master classes in Geneva. Since starting her professional career, she has appeared as soloist with orchestras in both the US and UK, including the San francisco Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ballet Orchestra and the Glasgow Chamber Orchestra. As well as playing principal cello with European Festival Orchestra at Les Jardin Musicaux, Deirdre has held positions with the Scottish Ballet Orchestra as principal cellist, The BBC Scottish Symphony as sub-principal and has recently been appointed no 3 cellist with the Philharmonia Orchestra. She has been guest principal cellist with the BBC Scottish Symphony, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, , The New Queens Hall Orchestra, the English Sinfonia, Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra and other orchestra and ensembles both in the UK and the USA. Alonside her orchestral work, Deirdre has continued to remain very active in all her chamber music commitments. While living in California, she was a member of the Robert Bloch String Quartet (quartet in residence at UC Davis) playing Baroque and classical repertoire on period instruments and also commissioning many new works by American composers. In 1996 Deirdre joined the Smith Quartet which specializes in performing contemporary works both acoustic and with tape and/or live electronics. The quartet has commissioned many works and has performed throughout the UK, Europe, Japan, South America and Canada. They have recorded for Sony, Decca, BMG and others and on radio for BBC 3 and Classic FM and BBC2’s Culture Show with Steve Reich. With their own record lable, Signum, they have brought out three CDs featuring music of Steve Reich, Philip Glass and others. In January, 2005 the quartet appeared in BBC2’s Holocaust, A Music Memorial Concert from Auschwitz performing Steve Reich’s Different Trains. The film marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.